Sitecore PXM: Reordering pages in InDesign CC 2014

Dear Sitecorians and Designers,

Sorry for being away from my blog for a very long time. I was busy with a lot of things happening on personal and professional front. But, here I am sharing some of more experiences related to new encounters with various Sections of Sitecore!

Hope you are enjoying using Sitecore PXM with Indesign and creating amazing documents from Sitecore Items?

Challenge: Reordering Pages in InDesign and storing the order in PXM Projects

While working, a few designer friends asked the development team – Hey, how do we store the reordering of the pages done in InDesign back to Sitecore?

The thing that we have noticed, is that Design Team generally uses Pages Tab in InDesign toolbox to reorder the pages. But obviously, how can that be stored in Sitecore.

When we are confused with directions on Life, we go to God, and when we were confused with things in Sitecore, we approach Sitecore Support team. And that’s what we did.

Steps we tried:

  1. Designer loads the Print Studio project in Adobe InDesign.
  2. There are already some pages available, which were created previously.
  3. The designer adds a new page to the Project, using the (+) button on the top in Projects Tab – The page gets added and is placed as the last page in Pages Folder.
  4. As the page is a cover page, the designer tries to reorder the page to the beginning of Print Studio Project – or the main Document – but there is no such way in the options in the Projects tab Also, Drag and Drop in the Projects Tab – on the Pages Folder – creates a new page.
  5. So the designer goes to the Pages Tab – right-clicks on the page to be moved and moves it to the desired location – but the change isn’t reflected in the Projects Tab, where the Print Studio project is loaded.
  6. There is no way to save these changes – if at this point, the Save button or Save to Current Item button is clicked, the prompt says “You have not selected any valid page items.”
  7. Next, the designer goes to the specific page in and clicks save and Save Item works – Save Layout
  8. The Designer closes the document, refreshes the document and loads the Print Studio Project again, but the page reordering changes are lost.

Solution:

The solution was pretty simple, instead of using the Pages tab to reorder, we need to use the Arrow Buttons given in the Sitecore Connector – Logical as well – as that’s the way it would be able to communicate the change from within InDesign to Sitecore.

This is how it can be done:

Project Tab-reorder options

Special thanks to Paul Kravchenko for helping us out with this.

Happy Sitecoring!:)

Getting a Designer familiar with Sitecore InDesign Connector for Adobe InDesign

Hi Sitecorians and Designers,

Today, let’s have a look at an important part of the Sitecore Print Experience Manager (PXM) — the Sitecore InDesign Connector — for Adobe InDesign and get well-versed with it.

First and foremost, lets install the Sitecore InDesign Connector from the Sitecore Developer Portal. For  (Sitecore 8.0 Update-1) click here and if you are looking for Sitecore 8.0 Initial Release check here.

Once installed, open Adobe InDesign and in the Menubar click on the Window menu, we can now see a new option down there – called Sitecore.

Step-1

Click on project and make the panels available. To work in a simpler way, drag and pull the projects tab out from the whole chunk and put it different.

Step-2

Now, click on the small down arrow in right top corner and go-to Plug-in Settings:

Step-3

Add the URL of your Sitecore instance — http://scpxmpoc in my case — and click OK.

Step-4

Next, Login to Sitecore using the normal Admin user.

Step-5

Do not forget to select the Web Server URL we just entered.

Step-6

Once logged in, we can see the Sitecore Content Tree in the content tab. And, in the Libraries tab, we have the PXM Projects. If any of this is not seen make sure you press the Refresh button in the tab – (placed the right-most in the toolbar of the tab)

Now, we have 2 options – working with an existing project or creating a new one. Lets look at both of them.

Working with an Existing Project:

Drag and drop a Project from the Libraries tab to the Project Tab onto the refresh button.

Step-8

We will be able to see the whole structure of the PXM Project.

Next, select the PXM Project, and click on the Load Project button.

Step-9

This will load the PXM project as a document into the Adobe InDesign. Now, make all the required changes to the project – Add required components – text frames, image frames, etc – and save back the content in Sitecore.

Step-10

The PXM project can be exported to PDF and checked like a normal INDD file. This was about when a PXM Project already exists.

Lets look at the case, where we need to create a new PXM Project.

Working with a New PXM Project:

In the Libraries Tab, select the Print Studio Projects Item and click on ‘+’ button to add a new PXM Project. I’ll name this one as Sitecore Endeavor Demo PXM Project. Type the name and click Ok.

Step-11

Next, Open an InDesign File (.indd file) which we want to use for the formatting for our PXM Project. This is what we call – a Master Document. Once the .indd file is open in Adobe InDesign, in the Libraries tab, select the Folder called Master Documents and click on the add (+) button.

Step-12

Basically, what this does is saves the document into Sitecore as a Master Document (ideally, uploads it from here to Sitecore) as a formatting to be used for the PXM Projects. I’ll name this as Launch Sitecore Document.

Next, we load drag and drop the project into the Projects tab – similar to what we did while working with the previously existing project section.

Step-13

As this is a new project, it doesn’t have any document or snippets or components – So lets start adding them. We can add them using the Add (+) button in the toolbox above. And after we add the document in the project, we can change its master to the one we just uploaded. By default, the Default master is selected by Sitecore. So lets go and change it. For that, we need to drag and drop the Master document we just created in Sitecore, to the Document in Projects Tab

Step-15

Now, we can create a page below, again using add (+) button, and then drag and drop content item fields from the Content Tab onto the page – which will by default create a snippet and the Components which Sitecore PXM can understand into the PXM Project.

Step-16

Next, select all the components we just added onto the page, and drag and drop it onto the page in Projects Tab. They will get added in a snippet onto the page and get saved back to Sitecore.

Step-17

Again, once the changes are done, we can export the PXM project as a PDF.

Happy Sitecoring and Happy Adobe InDesigning!:)

Configuring InDesign Server CC 2015 for Sitecore PXM

Dear Sitecore Family,

This post is in continuation of the previous post. As it was getting very long, it would become un-interesting and hence I divided into two.

In case you missed the first post, you can check it out here.

For this, we can refer to the PXM Server Installation Guide. As the steps are pretty straight forward, I won’t be going into the details of these, but just state the actions.

This includes 3 main actions

  1. Installing Dashboard Server and InDesign Processing Service – which we can found here and ensure that the Dashboard WebService is running at the following port: http://localhost:8070/DashBoardWebService
  2. Configuring Changes in Sitecore PXM Config, Dashboard Service and Processing Service – as specified in the PXM Server Installation Guide.
  3. Next is Setting up the PXM Publishing Folder

For the third, basically there is already a folder created at the location: C:\PXMPublishing

Add the directory C:\PXMPublishing\PublishFolder as a virtual directory in IIS Manager Website, which is the PXM Sitecore instance.

Virtual-Directory-PXM

Next, go to SDN and download a zip from APS (which is the previous version of PXM) – which has the exact configurations that a PXM Publishing folder should have. The link is :  https://sdn.sitecore.net/Products/Adaptive%20Print%20Studio/APS%201,-d-,4/Download/14_140929.aspx

Download the Zip APSPublishing.zip  – unzip it. It contains the exact required folder structure. It contains all folders and files that you need to be able to publish with InDesign Server and store files. Give full Control to Network Service at the parent location – PXMPublishing directory.

With this, the Installation and Configuration of the InDesign Server for Sitecore PXM is complete!

Important tip:

With the Virtual Folder available we can access the PDF File in the Publish Folder directly in browser. This is how you can do it:

My Sitecore instance name is scpxmpoc – so when i access a PDF File as

http://scpxmpoc/PublishFolder/Another-Launch-Sitecore-Article_Workflow_635914174879217629.pdf

This is how it looks:

PDF-in-Browser

Happy Sitecore PXMing!:)

Installing InDesign Server CC 2015 – Troubleshooting for Sitecore PXM

Hey Fellas!

Recently, I have been busy working on a project on Sitecore Print Experience Manager. And I must say, Sitecore PXM is awesome!

If you are interested in knowing more and understanding what Sitecore PXM is, I would suggest referring to the Sitecore PXM Video Series by Mark Demeny.

During the beginnning of the project, we installed and configured a trial version of Adobe InDesign Server CC 2015 and faced a number of challenges while doing so. The solution was not easy to find. I thought to write about it, maybe it helps someone using Adobe InDesign Server CC for that matter.

After I installed the InDesign Server CC 2015, I went to the installation location (C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe InDesign CC Server 2015) and clicked on the InDesignServerService.msc it gave me the following error.

InDesign-Server-Event-Viewer

These are the steps that I followed and as below:

Go to Command Prompt as Administrator and go to the location where InDesign Server is installed. In my case it was C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe InDesign CC Server 2015

  • First, uninstall InDesignServerService

InDesignServerService.exe /install /u

  • Register the 64-bit version of InDesignServerMMC as our machine is 64-bit.

\regsvr32 InDesignServerMMC64.dll

– I registered the 64 bit version of the DLL — and Bingo! The above error was gone!

  • Next, open MMC Snap in from command line
  • add InDesignServerService.msc
  • install InDesignServerService

InDesignServerService.exe /install

  • Right-click on InDesignServerService folder in left-pane and choose New > New InDesignServer-instance
  • specify port and other options – I have selected 8088
  • open Services, start InDesignServerService

InDesignServerService

  • Open Services.msc
    • Open properties of InDesignServerService
    • Set Startup type to Automatic
    • Go to Logon tab and ensure that Local System Account is set and Allow service to interact with desktop is checked.

But, even after doing all these steps, the InDesign Server wasn’t starting.

Okay, you want to know how did I understand that InDesign Server wasn’t starting?

Well, that is because the SOAP response on browser wasn’t available at http://localhost:8088/service?wsdl  – where I had configured the InDesign Server.

Next, opening Console and typing InDesignServer -errorlist it showed me the following error:

InDesign-Licencing-of-Trial-Version

Aah, so that’s what all was about!

Going into the details, I found that it was because the trial license wasn’t installed while installing the Adobe InDesign Server and that we need to specifically install it. Thanks to this link: https://helpx.adobe.com/indesign/release-note/indesign-server-cc-release-notes.html

For that, we need to download APTEE – Adobe Provisioning Toolkit Enterprise Edition – from here: http://www.adobe.com/devnet/creativesuite/enterprisedeployment.html

Next, I installed the Adobe Provisioning Toolkit Enterprise Edition and then fired the following command in the command window:

adobe_prtk –tool=StartTrial –leid=V7{}InDesignServer-11-Win-GM

and restarted the InDesignServer Services:

InDesignServer-Services

Tadaa!! The InDesign Server was giving the SOAP response now.

Soap-Response

With that, installation of InDesign Server is completed.

Check out the next post, in continuation to this one, which explains configuring the InDesign Server and the corresponding Sitecore instance with which we are planning to connect it.

Happy InDesigning!:)

 

Sitecore MVP 2016 – Thank you Sitecore & Community

Dear All,

Recently, Sitecore announced their MVP Awards for 2016, and I think you would be happy to know, that your Sitecore Endeavor blog author – Varun Shringarpure – has been awarded Sitecore MVP 2016 – for second time in a row!

Technology2016

Firstly, thanks to my mentors, my guru Kiran Patil and Hardeep Bhamra without whom, this feat is impossible! Thanks to Horizontal India (Horizontal Integration) for having such a great culture, that we can feel energized to learn new things all the time and share it with everyone in the Sitecore Community — Thank you Sabin Sir!  Thank you Sitecore, for the award – it means a lot to me! Thanks to my Family, who allowed me to spend time on Sitecore stuff — as it made me happier — even during weekends, which otherwise I would have spent with them. And above all, a big thanks to the Sitecore community, thanks for reading the posts, commenting on it, discussing things offline on email, using my modules, giving feedback and in the end, recharging me to do more for the community!:)

After getting the Sitecore MVP Award last year, it was an awesome feeling and at the same time, I had decided to push myself further, and to share more and more with the community just hope I was able to do enough. This year again, I promise I would do more and try to help the community as much as possible.

A brief about Sitecore MVPs this year, there are in all 221 MVPs of 2016

Overview2016 Sitecore MVP awards

Congratulations to all the Sitecore MVPs!

Worth a read:

ANNOUNCING THE 2016 SITECORE MVP AWARDS

Sitecore MVPs 2016

Happy Sitecoring and Happy Sharing, because indeed Sharing is Caring!:)

2015 in review

Dear Readers,

Wish you all a very Happy and Prosperous 2016. The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 26,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 10 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Sitecore Module: Sitecore Community Project Templates

Dear Sitecore Family,

Happy Belated Thanksgiving!

My friend Brijesh Patel and I, were working on this module from at least 4 weeks, and we planned to publish this Sitecore Module right on Thanksgiving, as a vote of thanks to Sitecore and the great Sitecore healthy and helping Community.

Thank you!

Sitecore Community Project Templates, is created by 2 Sitecore Community members, and its for the Community!

Yes, all of you!

Inspiration:

All passionate developers have one thing in common, learning a new thing and then doing a small demo regarding it to understand its core concept. — isn’t it?

And, while doing so, we create a Sitecore solution and a Visual Studio project solution. Now, for our help, Alen Pelin has already created SIM, which helps in setting up a Sitecore solution very quick. But still, we spend a lot of time in setting up the visual studio solution. We thought, why not create a set of project templates (for individual projects) and starter kits (a project solution containing multiple projects) so that the time to setup things is set to minimum and a developer only concentrates on one thing — The POC of his/her learning!

With this noble cause, started a journey of formulating the projects and what you see is a very basic first cut of the project templates. We have a future plan of upgrading these and making it very useful not just for POC stuff, but even for live projects. We dream to make it so worth of use, that for every Web project / Project solution that any Architect/Lead Developer of a project makes, he/she uses Sitecore Community Project Templates!

And as you know, nothing can be achieved by a single person — IT NEEDS A TEAM TO ACHIEVE A DREAM! — THE BIGGER THE DREAM, THE MORE IMPORTANT THE TEAM! And hence, we need your help!

We need a lot of suggestions to be incorporated into the Project Templates and if you want to contribute, just go ahead and fork the Development Branch on GitHub and submit your changes back, we would be more than happy to accept until there are any breaking changes or malicious code!

Oh, you exited about it? Want to know more about the module?

Sure, here you go!

Documentation: Sitecore Community Project Templates

Sitecore Marketplace: Sitecore Marketplace Module

Source code: GitHub

Visual Studio Gallery Link: Check here, review and rate the Template we have created. Tell us what you liked and what you think should be included so that our developer lives are better!:)

 

Have a great Thanksgiving!