Working with Multi-Format Output and User Agents

Multi-Format Output (MFO) is a feature that extends the static publishing capabilities of the CMS. A basic static publish only renders HTML files; MFO allows content to be published with any file extension (such as .aspx, .php, or .jsp.).

Since MFO is an extension of the static publishing feature, it renders (meaning the XSL is applied to the XML) all content at publish. Rendered pages need no further processing before being deployed to a web server. An MFO-compatible XSL template can apply server-specific markup to content managed in the CMS.

MFO publishing is also compatible with the use of structured URLs in links, navigations, and XHTML content, provided that the structured URLs function without using the DSS software. MFO requires a dedicated CMS publishing target.

Configuring MFO takes three steps:

  1. The XSL stylesheets for a site must be configured to transform CMS content into valid markup for the targeted server technology. 
  2. The CMS site must be configured to support each desired file type.
  3. A publishing target must be configured for the desired file type.

Configuring User Agents and Sites

Each instance of MFO requires a new user agent and site configuration. This configuration associates a particular file extension with a publishing target. Follow these steps to create a new user agent and site configuration:

  1. From the CMS client, go to Administration > Publishing System > User Agents and Sites.
  2. Click "+" to add a new user agent. 
  3. Create a user agent by entering the following values:
    • Name: Provides a friendly name to associate with the specific user agent. For Multi-Format Output, this value should match the file extension to be used.
    • Search String: Defines a search string value for content associated with a particular publishing target. For Multi-Format Output, this value should match the file extension to be used.
    • Content Type: Defines the output type of the files created on publish. For MFO, the value should be text/html.

    Here is a sample user agent for the ASP file format:

  4. The new user agent is saved automatically when you navigate away. To delete a user agent, click the - (minus) button.
  5. Click the + button to add a new site. Fill out the Name and Search String fields as in step three and enter a value for Site Group.

  6. The new site is saved automatically when you navigate away from the page. To delete a site from the sites list, click the - button.
  7. Go to the Publishing Targets tab and click New Publishing Target. In the Transform Options section, check Transform pages on server during publish and select values for User Agent and Site. When you’re finished, click Save.