NT101: How to get started

By Kevin M Schreiner

January 17, 2009

NT101: Watch and Learn


The purpose of the "Newbie Track"  Open Web Studio training videos is to get you started down the best  development path by demonstrating the industry-proven approaches and standards practiced by the Open Web Studio Team and surrounding community.


The goal of this video, "How to get Started",  is to present a brief explanation  of the platform's basic use.  This introduction is meant as a starting point for your experience with Open Web Studio. The video will teach you how to create and open existing configurations. From there, a general explanation of how configurations are published to your application, and finally, how to select the configurations to be executed. Going beyond the basics, the overview  also provides an explanation of how the version history is tracked over time, allowing you to roll back to any older version when necessary.


To get started, lets assume you have already installed Open Web Studio on your target platform.

  1. Drop an OWS module on your page.
  2. Click "New Configuration" - a default template is provided here automatically.
  3. For the purpose of this video and the tutorials to follow. Let's remove the default actions, providing a clean base to begin growing.
  4. Click "General" to give the configuration a name, "Sample Configuration". You will learn in future tutorials what functionality is provided within the general tab, including the paging properties, and whether or not to enable Ajax functionality. so for now just hit "Save."
  5. Now that we have made the configuration change, we can publish this change back to the server by clicking "Publish".
  6. Notice that whenever we click "publish", OWS immediatly confirms that the changes have been sent to the server.
  7. To open an existing configuration, click the "Open" link.
  8. From the provided list you can see that the default columns yield a bit more information about each configuration. From each entry in the list you can open or  copy the configuration, review the name, the date it was created, the date it was last updated, the name of the user who last updated and the number of event log entries and versions that exist for that configuration. You can click on the column headings to sort this information if you are having trouble locating the configuration you need.
  9. Click the name of the configuration, or the edit pencil to open it within Open Web Studio.
  10. Now, to demonstrate the version history:  Begin by adding a standard output block to your configuration. To do this - simply click on "Actions", then "Detail".
  11. Double click on the new action in the tree to initiate the editor. All actions provide a simple editor interface prompting for attributes that are specific to each type.
  12. Because we are not providing a content which should be bound to a default query, our template should be set as a "No Query" template. This way, our output will display the contents of this action directly. For now, we want it to say, "Hello World".
  13. Click "Publish".
  14. Now, we saved that version to the server. We can make another change to show how the version history works.
  15. But First, let's review the version history by clicking on the "Tools" tab, then "View" on the Repository Ribbon Group.
  16. Click on the most recent entry. You will see two entries. The first entry at the bottom of the list is the initial configuration, followed by the recently updated version. Give the most recent entry a label so we know what it was:
  17. Press the "Label" button the Repository Ribbon Group.
  18. Now enter a descriptive name: "Hello World Example".
  19. Okay, so let's go back an make a change by Editing the "No Query" template we just created. This is done by just double clicking it in the action tree.
  20. Now, change the text to say, "Goodbye World!".
  21. Again, click "Publish."
  22. Returning to the Repository you can now see a new entry has been added to the listing ahead of the labelled entry.
  23. Two options exist for accessing older versions from the repository. Rolling back to this version will remove the current version, returning our history back to the selected point. Reverting, however, simply copies the selected entry and makes it the most recent entry in the version history.
  24. Revert first, showis that our version history has remained intact, while allowing us to view the older version.
  25. Rollback next, shows that the version history has now rolled back to the timeline that existed prior to the "Goodbye World" version.
  26. Okay, enough fun with the history. Now it is time to see the results. This is done by setting a configuration to be the runtime configuration for our module.
  27. Go back to the page where we began and click "Settings".
  28. Now select the configuration from the drop down list, and click "Update."
  29. The screen now shows our configuration's output.

You should now have a decent understanding of how to create, load and execute configurations, and additionally, how to access the verion history. Each tutorial within the Newbie Track series will provide the same simplistic approach to using Open Web Studio. To find out more, just watch the next video in the series.

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