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News Desk Plugin
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Summary

This Plugin allows you to manage news on your AbleCommerce store. The news articles can be categorized in different categories and they can have different statuses like Draft, Reviewed, Ready and Published. News articles can also be set to expire after a certain expiry date. They can be searched and sorted based on their creation date, last modified date, published date or expiry date. Admin users can preview the news that are not yet published. On the store side you can show latest news, news by category or all the news items listed in a categorized directory.

Features

News and Article Management

News Desk helps you easily manage news and other articles on your AbleCommerce store. Keeping your customers informed about your company, your products, your sales and your strategic moves is one of the key things in retaining existing customers as well as generating new ones. Use News Desk to get all this information our to your customers in an organized and easy way.

News Categories

The news articles can be categorized in different categories. You can decide to have one type of news displayed on a particular page and other type of news on another page. Also browsing news by category enhances the accessibility of news on your website.

News Archives

You old news are always accessible in your new archives. You can also make old news inaccessible if you like.

Search

News Desk allows you to search news articles both in the merchant admin and the retail store side. The merchant admin search is very comprehensive and gives you very granular control over the search. The retail store side search allows users to search your news items.

Preview

News Desk allows the admin to preview the news articles before they are published.

News Statuses

News Desk supports four different news statuses Draft, Review, Ready and Published

  • Draft: This status represents that a news article is new and/or still being written or compiled. New articles always have draft status.
  • Review: This status represents that compilation of news article is complete. Its is now under review or needs review.
  • Ready: This status represents that the news article has been reviewed and is ready to be published.
  • Published: This status represents that the news article has been published. A news article that is in published state is visible on the retail store side.

Create Date, Plublised Date, Last Modified Date, and Expiry Date

NewsDesk maintains all important information regarding a news article. You can easily find out when your news article was initially created, when it was last modified and when it was marked for publishing. You can set an expiry date for a news article after which it is no longer accessible to the users.

Other Features

  • Fully Integrated with AbleCommerce merchant admin
  • Easy to use ConLib controls that can be used on any page easily

Installation

  • Step-0
    Download the NewsDesk software from the download link you received on purchase.

  • Step-1
    Start by taking a backup of following files in your store
    • Admin/menu.sitemap.
    • Admin/breadcrumbs.sitemap

  • Step-2
    Copy all files from 'WebSite' folder to your store where AbleCommerce is installed. Copy all files to the corresponding directories in your store. For example copy everything from WebSite/ConLib/ folder to 'ConLib' folder of your store and so on. Please make sure that you take backups of any existing files that get updated.

  • Step-3

    If you previously customized Admin/menu.sitemap and Admin/breadcrumbs.sitemap files you will have to manually update these files. Otherwise you can simply replace these files with the files provided in the installation.

    To manually update these files follow these steps

    Here is the code that you will have to add to menu.sitemap file

    <siteMapNode title="Add-Ons" LookId="TopItemLook" roles="System,Admin,Jr. Admin">
    <siteMapNode title="NewsDesk" url="~/Admin/NewsDesk/Default.aspx" />
    <siteMapNode title="Plugables Add-Ons" url="~/Admin/Plugables/AddOns/Default.aspx" />
    </siteMapNode >

    You can add the above code anywhere in the main <siteMap> node.
    If a node named 'Add-Ons' already exists you should just add the sub nodes code as follows

    <siteMapNode title="News Desk" url="~/Admin/NewsDesk/Default.aspx" />
    <siteMapNode title="Plugables Add-Ons" url="~/Admin/Plugables/AddOns/Default.aspx" />


    Here is the code that you will have to add to breadcrumbs.sitemap file

    <siteMapNode title="Add-Ons">
    <siteMapNode url="~/Admin/NewsDesk/Default.aspx" title="News Desk">
    <siteMapNode url="~/Admin/NewsDesk/AddNews.aspx" title="Add News" />
    <siteMapNode url="~/Admin/NewsDesk/NewsCategories.aspx" title="News Categories" />
    <siteMapNode url="~/Admin/NewsDesk/EditNews.aspx" title="Edit News" />
    <siteMapNode url="~/Admin/NewsDesk/CategoryNews.aspx" title="Category News" />
    </siteMapNode >

    You can add the above code anywhere in the main <siteMap> node.
    If a node named 'Add-Ons' already exists you should just add the sub nodes code as follows

    <siteMapNode url="~/Admin/NewsDesk/Default.aspx" title="News Desk">
    <siteMapNode url="~/Admin/NewsDesk/AddNews.aspx" title="Add News" />
    <siteMapNode url="~/Admin/NewsDesk/NewsCategories.aspx" title="News Categories" />
    <siteMapNode url="~/Admin/NewsDesk/EditNews.aspx" title="Edit News" />
    <siteMapNode url="~/Admin/NewsDesk/CategoryNews.aspx" title="Category News" />

  •  

  • Step-4

    Run the SQL scripts on your database from InstallScripts/DB/ folder. As a precaution always take a backup of your database before running SQL scripts.



  • Installation of NewsDesk is now complete. You can starting publishing news using NewsDesk by going to the Add-Ons->NewsDesk menu in merchant amdin.

ConLib Configuration

On your store you can make use of the features made available by NewsDesk by using the ConLib controls provided by NewsDesk. Here is a a brief summary of what different type of ConLib controls are available and how they can be used.

Displaying Latest News

To display latest news you can use the [[ConLib:NewsDesk\LatestNews]] control in your scriptlets.

[[ConLib:NewsDesk\LatestNews Caption="Latest News" MaxItems="5" MaxDaysOld="30"]]

  • Caption property is used to show the a caption header for latest news. The default caption is 'Latest News'.
  • MaxItems property controls the maximum number of news items displayed. The default value is 5.
  • MaxDaysOld indicates the number of days back form today for which the news items are displayed. The default value is -1 which indicates no limit.

Displaying Categorized News

To display news categories and their news items in a categorized manner you can use the [[ConLib:NewsDesk\NewsCategories]] control in your scriptlets.

[[ConLib:NewsDesk\NewsCategories Caption="News" ShowCaption="true" ShowEmptyCategories="false" ShowNewsItems="true" ShowNewsItemSummary="true" MaxNewsItemsPerCategory="0" ]]

  • Caption property is used to show a caption header. The default caption is 'News Categories'.
  • ShowCaption indicates whether to display the caption header or not. The default value is 'true'.
  • ShowEmtpyCategories indicates whether to display categories that contain no news items.
  • ShowNewsItems indicates whether to display news items for each category or not. The default value is false.
  • ShowNewsItemSummary indicates whether to display summary of the news items or not. The default value is false.
  • MaxNewsItemsPerCategory indicates the number of news items to display for each category if news items are set to be displayed. The default value is 0 which means no limit.

NOTE: Only the published and non-expired news items are displayed on the store.

Displaying News Details

To display details of a news item you can use the [[ConLib:NewsDesk\NewsDetails]] control in your scriplet.

[[ConLib:NewsDesk\NewsCategories ShowTitle="true" ShowSummary="false" ShowDescription="true" ShowDate"true" DateToDisplay="PUBLISHED" ShowRelatedLinks="true" ]]

  • ShowSummary indicates whether to display news summary or not. The default value is 'true'.
  • ShowDescription indicates whether to display news detailed description or not. The default value is 'true'.
  • ShowDate indicates whether to display news date or not. The default value is 'false'.
  • DateToDisplay tells which date to display. Valid values are "PUBLISHED", "LASTMODIFIED" and "CREATED. The default value is "PUBLISHED".
  • ShowRelatedLinks indicates whether to display related links at the bottom or not. The default is 'true'.

More

  • Latest News can also be viewed on LatestNews.aspx page.
  • News items in a given category can be viewed on CategoryNews.aspx page.

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