Setup Umbraco Content Channels

This chapter will walk you through the steps needed to setup your Umbraco V4 sites to post content using external blog writer systems like Windows LiveWriter or iBlogger from illumineX. You need to setup a channel to your user account in Umbraco and add special tags to your master template to enable auto detection for modern blog writer systems. This guidance assumes, you have installed a weblog package before. This blog should be running and be able to post new blog documents from inside Umbraco backend.

Setting up a channel

With the version 4 of Umbraco, administrators are able to create users and establish content channels for the users to be able to contribute content via external blog writer systems. Notice the Content Channel tab, when a new user is created. In figure 1.1 below, you can see that there are a lot of options which can be configured.

Channel setup dialogue
fig 1.1: Channel setup dialogue
  • Give the channel a Name. For the purpose to be able to post content to a blog you should call the channel by a meaningful name like Blog in this example.
  • Then chose the Start Node in Content, for this example the weblog homepage Hello, World! node and for Start Node in Media Library the weblogMedia node in media section. All media data e.g. photo and image files come along with your blog posts will be added below this selected start node.
  • Check the box for Search all children, which gives you access to all the blog posts below your starting node.
  • Select the document type your blog posts should be created of in listbox Document Type. When ever you post to your blog by the external blog writer this document type will be used to create a document which will be inserted below your selected Start Node in Content. In this example setup select type weblog Post.
  • Finally specify Content (bodyText) element in the select box Description Field. In this element will be inserted the XHTML content of your blog posts. You should be sure that your description field is a tinyMCE text editor data type field to ensure an error free publishing experience.
You can leave the other select boxes empty, refer to chapter Tips and Tricks for more informations about this advanced topic.

Configure the template

With the release of Umbraco V4, combined with the latest version of Windows LiveWriter or iBlogger from illumineX, setting things up has never been easier. Here are the steps to enable auto detection of the MetaBlog API for your web site.
  • Go to the template for the document type you are using for content to be added by the external blog writer system, or the master template of it. You can also use the master template of your sites homepage. Make sure the template holds the HTML HEAD content.
  • You will find your website templates in Settings section, open left side folder Templates by double click.
  • When editing the template xhtml code, move your cursor before closing </head> tag.
  • Locate the small icon labeled Insert Macro in the editor toolbar (see figure 1.2) and click it.
  • In the popup dialogue locate select box Choose a macro and select [Channels] Header Links.
  • Press the Ok button to insert the macro into your template. The result should look like the image below.
  • Save your modified template by pressing Ctrl-S or the Save icon in the toolbar.
Auto discover configuration
fig 1.2: Auto discover configuration
  • If you need full control about auto discover setup in your website you can manually insert MetaBlog API tags this way:
    • Delete the inserted macro code above.
    • Locate the small question mark icon in the editor toolbar (see figure 1.2) and click it.
    • In the popup help window scroll to the bottom to find a code snippet and instructions for adding info to the <head></head> tag of your template that will permit external blog writer systems (via the MetaBlog API) to auto discover your settings. The code chunk will look something like this:
<head>
    <link rel="EditURI" type="application/rsd+xml" 
        href="http://www.yourdomain.com/umbraco/channels/rsd.aspx" />
    <link rel="wlwmanifest" type="application/wlwmanifest+xml"
        href="http://www.yourdomain.com/umbraco/channels/wlwmanifest.aspx" />
</head>
  • Insert and modify the code chunk to make sure you replaced www.yourdomain.com with the actual name of your website.
Hint: The macro above executes the same task of inserting this code chunk, but also takes care to replace the domain part with the actual domain name, the page was requested by a web browser.


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Last edited Feb 7, 2009 at 3:22 PM by iwache, version 20

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