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Authoring web content

From: SharePoint 2013 New Features

Video: Authoring web content

There are a handful of new Authoring and Web Content Management features in SharePoint 2013. Some of them though are exactly the kind of features that make users very happy because things that haven't worked quite like they should have, will begin to work in ways that users will appreciate more. For example, this is just a little thing, but many times I've wanted to copy content from Microsoft Word and paste it into a rich-text editor Web Part and the Word formatting has always created a problem.

Authoring web content

There are a handful of new Authoring and Web Content Management features in SharePoint 2013. Some of them though are exactly the kind of features that make users very happy because things that haven't worked quite like they should have, will begin to work in ways that users will appreciate more. For example, this is just a little thing, but many times I've wanted to copy content from Microsoft Word and paste it into a rich-text editor Web Part and the Word formatting has always created a problem.

Now in SharePoint 2013, any web parts that support rich text also support Word formatting. So do the Content Editor Web Part and any HTML field control that sits on a page. So, I can copy and paste from Word and that will be fabulous, not just for me, but for many, many other users. In SharePoint 2010, the Variations feature was used for a number of things: language, but also geography, and location within an organization.

In earlier versions of SharePoint, Variations were used to make content available to people based on their language, but also on their country, their region, whatever mobile device they used or however your organization decided to deliver out content, you could create your own variations. In SharePoint 2013, when we talk about variations, we only mean variations around language, its support for multilingual sites. Some of those other variations from SharePoint 2010 are handled in different ways. For example different mobile devices are now handled through channels.

Corporate branding can also be handled through channels. So, when we take a look at variations, we mean the ability to have content and to deliver it to a user in their preferred language based on settings in their web browser. SharePoint Server 2013 has an integrated translation service, so if you are authoring content, you'll be able to select content that you want to export and determine whether the content requires human translation or it could be handled with machine translation.

You can also use translated content across multiple site collections using another feature that we will talk about in just a minute. And that would actually be a recommendation because Microsoft recommends that if you have multilingual content that you separate that content by language into different site collections to best be able to manage it. We also have new Web Content Management features, for example a Content Search Web Part, that's just amazing. With the Content Search Web Part, you have the ability to customize queries and to create very specific searches for users on your site.

One of the ways you do that is through the use of Refiners and we see them in the Content Search Web Part. A Refiner is a category of information that's available. For example, if one of the columns used in your site is "department," then when you use the Content Search Web Part--and some other features in SharePoint as well--a refiner will appear that will allow you or a user automatically to choose a particular department, one specific department out of the refiner.

So it's sub-filter for search terms. You could also think of it, if you're familiar with Excel as you would for example, a slicer. But it's very specific to filtering. In terms of branding, this is amazing. Until now in every version of SharePoint, you needed to use Visual Studio or SharePoint Designer if you wanted to brand your SharePoint sites. But now you can also use Adobe Dreamweaver or any HTML editor you want to use. Now you can still use SharePoint designer or Visual Studio, but support for any HTML editor allows your staff to use whatever tool they are most familiar with to brand SharePoint sites.

We also have device-specific targeting of content, so I can aim not just for mobile devices, but for specific mobile devices. And the ability to do that revolves around channels. Finally, we have something called Cross- site publishing that I mentioned just a moment ago for multilingual sites. What Cross-site publishing does is it allows us to have content that is created or authored in one place and then is published in another. So I don't have to create content in the site that I want to display it in.

So this allows me to reuse content from one site to another or reuse content across multiple site collections. Cross-site publishing is based on the new search features in SharePoint 2013 and for the first time now, we can create sites that cross SharePoint farms--not just Cross-site collections--across entire farms. And that means that you can create content in your intranet and publish it in your Internet site. The details of Cross-site publishing are beyond the scope of this course, but let's take a look at how it's organized so you can imagine whether or not Cross-site publishing could be the solution for some of the business problems your organization has.

With Cross-site publishing, we have two sites or more, this is a simple diagram where we start with an Authoring Site and this is where your content providers will create shareable content. So imagine this as inside your Firewall, perhaps on your intranet and we're creating a product catalog; a series of pictures, and descriptions, and prices, and so on. Well, now the word catalog comes up because a catalog is actually a list or a library in an Authoring Site.

And the reason that we need a catalog is it's the catalog itself that is shared out to the search engine, so that it can find the appropriate content to be able to publish. You also need a Term Store of metadata terms that you use to organize the content that you want to publish. And then finally you have a Publishing Site which can be on an intranet, in another server farm, or it can even be someplace else right here in this same site collection, but a site where users can read to publish content.

Here is the beauty of this, we can actually create content in a very secure environment and share it anonymously, so anyone can browse the content, but only a few people have the permission to be able to author it. Another use of this is being able to combine it with variations to enable multilingual sites from a common site collection. So we can create one set of help documents, one set of installation diagrams, one set of recipes, and then have those translated either human translated or machine translated. And when someone searches, based on the settings in their browser, search will deliver the appropriate content for that user.

Cross-site publishing is really the jewel in the crown of this collection of features that allow us to manage our authoring and our publishing environments in ways that support how organizations really work.

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SharePoint 2013 New Features

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Gini Courter
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