July 24, 2014

Tridion CMIS connector for aDAM - External content Library

We had a requirement to connect aDam with Tridion 2013. I started the POC after reading docs, posts       ( from Eric & Bart).

External Content Library aka ECL was introduced in Tridion 2013 to connect external content/multimedia sources with Tridion Interface e.g youtube, vimeo, flicker, facebook, aDam, Media Manager. Its a great feature.
When content starts displaying in the CME, it looks like native components.


  • Assembly: Tridion.ExternalContentLibrary.V2
  • Admin Privilege

Mount Point: Tridion folder which you mount to access external content. all external content is listed under this folder. 

ECL Stub Schema: When a provider is mounted in Tridion, it generates a Stub schema , and all stub components (from external sources) displayed in this mountPoint are type of this stub schema.(because you need a schema to represent a component in Tridion)

Interface: Interfaces in following figure are used in development.

  • aDam Studio installed
  • Rest Service to access its content - in aDam 5.0 there was no open API/oData etc were available. In current 5.0 version there is no official API comes with aDam installer. but aDam guys provided this Sample Rest Service which can be extended, as i discussed with them, API will be released in next versions.
Few Terminologies
  • Classification: its basically taxonomy of aDam, and content in CME would also categorized by classification. 
  • Record: Assets are called Record in aDam. 
Lets move to development side, i will keep code short as possible with a view to brevity and clarity.

Here i am declaring that my connector will show two types of item in the interface, first one is a folder, which is collection of items, in aDam case its Classification. Rest methods are standard implementations.

AdamEclProvider : IContentLibrary 
it initialize the AddIn, this is the class which is configured in ExternalContentLibrary.xml.

    Description = "Adam External Content Library Provider",
    Publisher = "Raj Future Technologies",
    Version = "")]
    public class AdamEclProvider : IContentLibrary

public IList<IDisplayType> DisplayTypes
                return new[]
                        HostServices.CreateDisplayType( "clf", "Classification", EclItemTypes.Folder),
                        HostServices.CreateDisplayType( "ast", "Assets", EclItemTypes.File),


     }//Class end

AdamContext : IContentLibraryContext:

This call has code for connecting to external sources and retrieval of the content. 

internal class AdamContext : IContentLibraryContext


/*this method is triggered when user click on MountPoint, its fetches the classifications from the Adam and show there
now when that particular folder is clicked, sub classicifations and assest are displayed. */

public IFolderContent GetFolderContent(IEclUri parentFolderUri, int pageIndex, EclItemTypes itemTypes)
            List<IContentLibraryListItem> result = new List<IContentLibraryListItem>();
            if (parentFolderUri.ItemType == EclItemTypes.MountPoint && itemTypes.HasFlag(EclItemTypes.Folder))
//AdamHelper is kind of facade to get the information from service
                            var classifications = AdamHelper.GetClassifications();
                foreach (var classification in classifications)
                    result.Add(new AdamListClassification(parentFolderUri.PublicationId, classification.id.ToString(), classification.Name));                
           canSearch = true;
            else if (parentFolderUri.ItemType == EclItemTypes.Folder && parentFolderUri.SubType == "clf" && itemTypes.HasFlag(EclItemTypes.File))
               // throw new Exception("iam here");
                var records = AdamHelper.GetRecords(parentFolderUri.ItemId);
                return AdamEclProvider.HostServices.CreateFolderContent(parentFolderUri, result, false, canSearch);

//fetch particular item. 
public IContentLibraryItem GetItem(IEclUri eclUri)
                       if (eclUri.ItemType == EclItemTypes.File && eclUri.SubType == "ast")
                var record = AdamHelper.GetRecord(eclUri.ItemId);
                return new AdamAsset(eclUri.PublicationId, record, eclUri.ItemId);
            throw new NotSupportedException();

//fetch item list
 public IList<IContentLibraryItem> GetItems(IList<IEclUri> eclUris)
///code goes here to call the aDam helper

} //Class end

//This class represent one type of asset, so if you have image, video you have to implement it for  each of the asset.

public class AdamAsset : IContentLibraryMultimediaItem
public AdamAsset(int publicationId, RecordData record, string parentId)
            _parentId = parentId;
            _record = record;
            _id = AdamEclProvider.HostServices.CreateEclUri(publicationId, AdamEclProvider.MountPointId, record.id.ToString(), "ast", EclItemTypes.File);


public string DisplayTypeId
            get { return "ast"; }


}//Class end

//Represent a classification

public class AdamClassification : IContentLibraryListItem, IContentLibraryItem 



Note: You have to set WebReady property to "Yes" from Files tab to view the asset in Tridion.

with above code you will able to display the asset in CMS and will able to include it in the native Tridion components, for publishing those there would be additional template code. which i did not do as scope of my POC and different direction of the project.

Official Adam Connector: Official aDam connector is also available from SDL which is licensed Separately. You can check with SDL for it.

Let me know if you have any questions or need any help, feel free to comment below.

July 09, 2014

Content Porter - How it works

Content Porter(CP)  is integral part of SDL Tridion development to transfer content in DTAP environments. I have used it in various releases 5.3 sp1, 2009, 2011 etc. Its has been improved a lot in each of the releases. 2013 sp1 claims to be fastest CP ever.

Next set of lines i will explain some internals of content porter. 

Following tools/services are behind the import/export of a Content Porter package.
  • Content Porter Client
  • Import Export Service
  • Core Service
 1) Content Porter Client - this tools is generally downloaded on the client machine from the CM GUI interface. 
It acts as thin client for user, which send user selections/settings to server and show the progress of import/export.

 2) Import Export Service - It is installed after running Content Porter server setup. Here import/export happens. It basically groups and wraps different method of Core Service.

if you open: http://CMSURL/ImportExportService/ImportExportService.asmx. You will see some endpoints. and from their names you can figure out the use.

Another URL http://CMSURL/ImportExportService/UploadPackage.aspx:  its used to upload package from client to Server side.

 3) Core Service - Its is installed as part of Tridion CM installation. It is used by Import/Export service APIs to facilitate the import/export of content.

Export Process: 

  1. User selects content to be exported.
  2. and that selections are sent to Import/Export Service
  3. Import export service calls Core service APIs and complete Package is generated at server file-system
  4. Progress of that is shown to user on CP client
  5. at last exported package is sent back to User Machine via CP client.
Fig-1: Export Process


Import Process

  1. User selects package to be imported
  2. Package is uploaded at server with help of client & import/export service
  3. Service extract the package to a temp folder
  4. Service read the package
  5. Then items are updated in the CM DB using coreservice

Fig-2: Import Process

So in both cases(export/import) most of the work is performed at server side,  so it does not matter much from where you actually trigger content porter.