About this feature
Being able to preview your website, app or other channel, at any selected date and time in the future, is a very powerful feature. However, one drawback of the way this feature worked in previous releases was that in order to preview an edition, you first had to schedule it. Once an edition is scheduled, it is locked and cannot be edited until it's unscheduled, something which can become inconvenient if you want to keep making changes.
A quick preview that shows how the slots in the edition will be rendered on your website or app and displays this edition alongside currently published content. Quick preview is designed to make it easy to preview work in progress, even if you haven't finished populating all the edition's slots.
The edition can also be 'promoted' to a preview environment and displayed alongside other scheduled or promoted content, so you know exactly what your chosen channel will look like on a chosen date and time. This works in the same way as the current preview feature, except that the edition does not need to be scheduled.
When you promote an edition to the preview environment, you are making its content available for other users to view, whereas a quick preview is transitory and can only be viewed by the user working on the edition.
We'll use a simple example to explain the new preview features in more detail.
Here's the content currently published to a home page. It just consists of two banners promoting a Spring collection.
We have created an event for a Spring sale, containing two editions: one called "Spring sale now on" and a summer collection edition that will contain a single slot with a banner advertising the summer collection.
The scheduled edition contains a spring sale now on banner, targetting the home page. We're happy with this banner, so we've scheduled it and if we to choose the content preview after this edition's start date, then the content from this edition would be included.
The summer collection banner edition has a start date of 3 days later and is intended to publish a banner underneath the sale banner on the home screen with "get ready for summer" text.
We want to preview this edition as a work in progress and see how it will appear on the home page. However we don't want to schedule it yet, so we use the new quick preview feature.
Click the Preview button at the top right of the edition window and choose the app you want to use for the preview. In this example we're using an app that previews a website, but it works equally well when previewing the edition in a mobile app for example.
Notice that the date/time preview is not available. Quick preview is designed just to focus on the contents of this edition.
The preview app is opened and renders the content of the the slots in this edition. In this case we have just one slot containing the "get ready for summer" banner. This is a quick preview, with the edition displayed alongside the published content currently on the website. The content from the "spring sale now on" edition is not included in the preview since the edition has been scheduled, but is not yet published.
Promote to preview
From the schedule menu choose "Promote to preview".
Now when we click the "Preview" button, the Date/Time preview is available. This is the usual preview feature allowing us to choose a date and time and an app to preview the content.
Updating the preview
If we make a change to the edition, such as adding or deleting slots or the content within them, then if choose Preview again, a message will be displayed telling you that the version of the edition that you promoted to the preview environment is out of date.
To update it, choose "Update preview" from the Schedule menu. Now when you preview the content, the updated edition will be previewed.
You may also choose to remove the edition from the preview environment, so it will no longer be displayed alongside other editions that have been promoted to the preview environment, scheduled or gone live.
The preview will be displayed for every valid slot within the edition, even if a slot is empty. If a slot is not valid, for example it must contain content of a certain type and cannot be empty, then a message will be displayed in the preview dialog warning you that only 3 out of 4 slots, for example, can be previewed. The contents of the invalid slot will be ignored.