SDL Tridion User Interface 2012 Overview

This week I was lucky enough to head over to Amsterdam for one of their SDL Tridion User Interface 2012 Bootcamps. This one was hosted by the brilliant Nuno Linhares who showed us all the new interface as well as how to configure and install the product.

The new interface (formerly known as SiteEdit) is an exciting step forward for SDL Tridion and is probably just the first of many steps towards content editors and authors having no need to use the traditional CME interface.

Goodbye Proxy

The days of the proxy are over. The new UI is now hosted within the CME. You actually navigate to your staging website, click on the SDL Tridion button and then you are redirected back to the new Tridion UI and the staging website is loaded into an IFRAME:

SDL Tridion User Interface 2012 Button

SDL Tridion User Interface 2012 Redirect to the CME

As you can see in the screenshot above, the UI has the same look and feel as 2011 and includes the ribbon along the top.


RTF Inline Editing

When you go inline edit content, the properties box is attached to the content so there is no need to go back up to the toolbar to format the text:
SDL Tridion User Interface 2012 Properties


Content Library

With the popularity of tablets in the world today, the UI has been created with that in mind and Tridion have tried to keep the popups to a minimum so when you would like to add a piece of content to a page, the content library slides in from the left hand side:
SDL Tridion User Interface 2012 Content Library


Drag and Drop

If you are adding an image into a rich text field and you haven’t uploaded it into Tridion yet, you can simply drag the image from your computer directly into the library and the UI will create the multimedia component for you. This will either use the schema set on the folder or the default multimedia schema. If the schema has required metadata then the UI will ask the user to enter this information.


Editing Metadata

Whilst inline editing and you find that you need to edit the metadata of a page or a component, this is possible too:
SDL Tridion User Interface 2012 Metadata
SDL Tridion User Interface 2012 Metadata Popup


One handy little feature is that the breadcrumb follows you right the way through to the individual field you are editing:
SDL Tridion User Interface 2012 Breadcrumb


New Terminology

A few new bits of terminology are introduced in this new release:

Page Types

Page Types are predefined types of pages that users are allowed to create per Publication. This means that administrators can create sample pages for different sections of their website and when a new page is created using this Page Type then all the information, metadata, components will be cloned, allowing the user to create new pages extremely quickly!

Content Types

Content Types are predefined Component Presentations that are allowed on specified Page Types. You can define a prototype Component to use along with the Default Component Template that will be used as well as the default storage location. Any new content types added to a page will be cloned based on the prototype Component. You can even auto generate the content name if you want:
SDL Tridion User Interface 2012 Content Type

Page Layouts

Gone are Page Templates and up step Page Layouts. The layout section in the ribbon allows users to change the layout of their page on the fly extremely quickly and with no need for re-publishing the page. The icons for these layouts are all editable within the CME which is great:
SDL Tridion User Interface 2012 Page Layout

Component Layouts

Gone are Component Templates and up step Component Layouts. Just like Page Layouts, the layout section in the ribbon allows the user to change the layout of their content on the fly. These icons are also editable in the CME:
SDL Tridion User Interface 2012 Component Layout

Session Preview

Session Preview allows a content editor to quickly edit content across multiple pages without the need to publish their pages each time. As the UI is now integrated with the CME, it instantly knows that the content that is published is different to what is in the CME so by clicking ‘Update Preview’, the updated content is rendered on the fly and does not flood the publishing queue. When work is finished, click “Finish Editing” and this will check all the edited content in and send the pages they exist on to the Publishing queue.


Regions are defined drop zones on a Page that you can lock down to specific Content Schemas and Component Templates and you can also limit the amount of components that are allowed in that Region. This is a great feature that unfortunately only exist in the UI for the time being but fingers crossed this will be added into the CME in the next release too.


The settings of the UI are controlled in the dashboard. There is no need to set this in a separate configuration file:
SDL Tridion User Interface 2012 Settings

General Border Settings – These are colour settings for the different borders in the UI which you can change so they do not clash with your websites colour scheme.

Session Preview Settings – This allows you to disable Session Preview and change the Sessions Binary Settings.

Content Type Mappings – This setting allows you to set what content types are available when users create content in the UI per Publication.

BluePrint Context Settings – This allows you to set per Publication where the content will be read/localised/saved and where the pages will be read/localised/saved.

Persona and Footprint

The Preview section of the Ribbon contains interactions with Persona and Session Footprint:

SDL Tridion User Interface 2012 Preview Section

The Persona sections hooks into an Address Book in Audience Manager and allows you to set your current session as a user within Audience Manager. The Session Footprint section which is a really impressive feature allows you to override your current session settings to show how your page would look like under different Browser types, Operating Systems, Language Types, Search Term Referrer etc:
SDL Tridion User Interface 2012 Footprint


The Architecture of the SDL Tridion User Interface 2012 introduces a new ODATA web service, a new Database and a sprinkle of cross domain magic along with a session token that allows Tridion to track your session information across different domains:
SDL Tridion User Interface 2012 Session Preview Architecture



The UI comes with a handy installer and requires some configuration once the base product is installed. Some new Template Building Blocks are required too and an updated script tag is required at the bottom of the pages. SDL Tridion 2011 SP1 and the SP1 Hotfix Rollup is required in order to use it.


As you can tell by this post, there are a lot of fantastic new features. The UI is planned for full release in May and we can’t wait to get our clients to use it.

Any questions?

If you need more information or have any questions just get in touch and we'd be happy to answer them for you.