Best Practices for Using Schema Designer

Product: CMS

Version: All

Published: July 28, 2021

Last updated: 8/5/2021

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We’ve cooked up a few best practices for using the Schema Designer in Ingeniux CMS.

Whether you’re creating new schemas for a brand-new implementation or editing schemas in an existing implementation, following these suggestions should make your job a little easier.

Plan Naming Conventions Ahead of Time

Ingeniux CMS can hold as many different sites (or whatever your implementation output might be) as necessary and publish to as many targets as needed. If there is a chance that your organization might build multiple implementations in the CMS (either immediately or in the distant future) you should calculate that into your strategy for naming schemas.

If you start off by naming your schemas toward your particular implementation from the outset you will find it easier to make schemas that are differentiated for new implementation later. For instance, both implementations might have a Search Results page, but they may work completely differently. By naming one of these schemas “Implementation A Search Page” because you plan to name the second “Implementation B Search Page” you’ll avoid confusion down the line when it comes time to actually build that second implementation.

Create a Template Schema

If you are going to make dozens of schemas for your implementation, data normalization usually dictates that they will have many of the same fields (e.g. Title, Abstract, Thumbnail, Site Control, etc.) shared across the different schemas.

Create one “template” schema with these standard fields, then copy and paste the template prior to adding fields for new, unique schemas.

Remember to keep your template schema in draft mode so that it can’t be used for content.

Create Favorites

In Schema Designer, navigate to Create/Edit at the top of the view and you’ll notice in the left-hand column a Favorites tab. In this tab, users can save any field or combination of fields that you might want to add to another schema by drag and dropping them into the tab. All the settings you put on your fields before you Favorite them are saved, so you don’t have to keep setting them for each new schema. You can even Favorite entire groups of fields by selecting the fields from the top item and shift click to the last one you want to include, then dragging them all over to the Favorites tab and giving it a name – it’s then instantly reusable!

Test Schemas in Dev Before Prod

Our best practices dictate that it is best to vet your schemas in a development CMS before you bring them over to your production CMS. You can easily download your schemas from schema designer on dev and upload them to prod when you have fully tested them. Uploading a schema to replace an already existing one will automatically version up the schema.

Remove Unused Schemas

Nothing is more confusing than a long list of schemas that have deprecated and unused types in it. Use these different methods to hide schemas from users:

  • Draft Mode: Doesn’t show up in the New Page, New Component, or New Asset dialog for anyone, even Administrators. Existing content items made from the schema are unaffected. Administrators will still see it in schema designer.
  • Security: Removing all unwanted groups from security means they won’t see the item in the new dialog lists. Administrators will still be able to see it everywhere.
  • Page Creation Rules: If a user only has the permission Allowed to Create New Pages and doesn’t have Allowed to Create New Pages Using Page Types then they won’t be able to see anything they don’t have a Page Creation Rule for. Administrators always have all permissions, so will still see it everywhere.
  • Delete: To delete a schema you will first need to make sure that there are no content items made from the schema in the CMS, even in the Recycle folder. You may want to download a copy of the schema before deleting it, in case you need to reinstate it later.

Changes en Masse

If you need to make a change across many schemas and doing it manually would be time prohibitive, you can download your schemas and alter the downloaded files. These files are XML files that are read by the uploader and transformed into schemas in the CMS database. You can easily use developer tools to alter these files. You should upload these altered schemas to a dev CMS for testing before going to prod in case you made any errors. If the schemas aren’t correctly formatted they will fail to upload. If they do successfully upload, you should still create content items from them and ensure that you have everything perfect.

Have you done something interesting, fun, or to save time in Schema Designer in Ingeniux CMS? Share your tips in the comments!


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