Exploring Microsoft’s Adxstudio Portals: Part 4

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BDO

Hello World!

If you have been following along with my web series, by this point you should have a portal setup to play around with – either setup by Adxstudio, via the instructions on the Adxstudio website, or by following the steps in my previous post on Installing Adxstudio Portals.

In either case, you should have received a trial key from Adxstudio. If you haven’t, reach out to them directly and they will hook you up. The registration key will remove the annoying message when you start up your portal.

The registration key is a text file and the contents need to be copied to a new record in Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Please follow the instructions here.

So now that you have the basic portal, a traditional first step in any kind of development is to produce “Hello World!”

With our portal, there are a couple of different ways we will accomplish this.

Front side editing is a method where an authenticated user logs into the portal and edits the content directly on the particular page. This is a typical feature of most content management systems.

Hello World Method 1: Front Side Editing

Step Screenshot
Either navigate to your trial portal or launch your portal from Visual Studio  1
If you ran the website gallery process to setup the basic portal, it will have added some default portal users.

Click on the Sign In button.

Username: administrator

Password: [email protected]

 

 

 2
You will arrive at the profile page. Notice that there are now a number of pop-ups for editing sections on the pages.

For now, click the home (house) icon at the top left.

 3
You will now be taken back to the familiar home page.

Click on the “Welcome to the Basic Portal” section and then in the pop-up click Edit.

 4
Type in “Hello World” (or whatever other content you want).

You can play around with formatting.

Click Save.

 5
Sign out as system administrator and you will see that content has been updated.  6

 

Hello World Method 2: Content Updating in Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Updating the content directly in Microsoft Dynamics CRM isn’t as in-your-face as the front side, but understanding how and where things are stored in Dynamics CRM will help you understand how the portal works. There are some eventual limitations to the front side editing that will force a user to update information on the backend.

Step Screenshot
In Dynamics CRM Navigate to Portals -> Web Pages.  7
Locate the Home page record and open it.  8
Adxstudio solution has added a WYSIWYG control to the webpage record form; here you can also update the content.

Notice any changes made using the front side editing options are reflected here as well.

Simply save the record when done updating content.

 9
Returning to the portal, you notice that the page still shows the “old” content, refreshing the page doesn’t help.

In this case you need to Clear the Cache.  The easiest way to do this is to setup a shortcut in your browser to run the following javascript commandlet:

1.       Create shortcut

2.       Edit the properties

3.       Cut and Paste the following into the URL:

javascript:var url=document.location.protocol+’//’+document.location.host+(document.location.host.indexOf(“demo.adxstudio.com”)!=-1?document.location.pathname.split(“/”).slice(0, 3).join(“/”):””)+’/Cache.axd?Message=InvalidateAll&d=’+(new Date()).valueOf();var req=new XMLHttpRequest();req.open(‘GET’,url,false);req.send(null);window.location.reload(true);

Then click on the shortcut.

In a production portal, we would setup web notification URLs to automatically update the cache when there are updates to the portal.

 10
The webpage should now be updated.  11

 

I know what you are thinking… that you could have put together an HTML page in notepad in about 30 seconds to effectively do the same thing. However, these steps provide a bit of background and the foundation for the true power of Microsoft Dynamics CRM portal applications, specifically surfacing Dynamics CRM data and being able to collect Dynamics CRM information.

In my next post we will look at surfacing actual Dynamics CRM information onto a portal page.

Need help with your Microsoft Dynamics CRM Portal project? Contact BDO, we can help!

Nick Doelman
CRM Manager at BDO Solutions
Contact Nick Doelman


 

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