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Saturday, 17 November 2012

Building a Templated Web Site with Force.com - Part 3

In Part 1 of this series, I looked at how to turn an HTML page into a Visualforce page in order to use it as a template for a Force.com site.  Part 2 covered how to turn the page into a template and create a home page that used the template to provide the common content.  

Up to now the pages have only been available to users that have logged in to the Salesforce system. This post will show how to expose the pages in a Force.com site, to allow access from the wider web.

Before creating a Force.com site I have to choose my domain name - so I navigate to Setup -> App Setup -> Develop -> Sites and the following page is presented:

Screen Shot 2012 11 17 at 11 30 13

As I'm using a Force.com Free Edition org (yes, I was lucky enough to be able to grab a couple of these when they were available - I only wish I'd had the foresight to grab about 50!) I can't change the rather ugly default domain name, but in Enterprise/Unlimited Edition you can choose what you like, as long as someone else hasn't taken it.  I'm not stuck with this domain name however, as I can define a custom 'vanity' URL for my site, which I'll set up later.

Ticking the box and confirming that I understand I can't change the domain name, registers my domain and takes me to the back to the Sites page with my domain defined.

Screen Shot 2012 11 17 at 11 35 02

I then click the 'New' button to create my new site.  As this is for demo purposes only, I've filled in the minimum amount of information.  If you'd like more information on the purpose of each of these fields, check the help page by clicking the 'Help for this Page' link at the top right.

Screen Shot 2012 11 17 at 11 40 27

As I have specified my 'home' Visualforce page, this is automatically included in the list of pages for the site:

Screen Shot 2012 11 17 at 11 43 59

As an aside, whenever you add a Visualforce page to a site, your site automatically gets access to any Apex classes that it depends on. 

And that's it!  I can now navigate to the default site address and access my page without going through any form of authentication.

Screen Shot 2012 11 17 at 11 48 47

While my site is now available on the internet, the chances of anyone bothering to type in the full URL are pretty slim, so the next task is to set up the vanity URL. This has to be a CNAME redirect from my personal domain to the Force.com site domain name.  In my case I'm going to create a subdomain to bobbuzzard.org of example.bobbuzzard.org.  My registration system is Freeparking, and I have to set up an alias to the Force.com A record in order for the CNAME record to be created:

Screen Shot 2012 11 17 at 12 09 25

I can then verify that my record has been created using an online nslookup tool:

Screen Shot 2012 11 17 at 12 18 09

 

Finally, update the site configuration to define the custom URL:

Screen Shot 2012 11 17 at 14 52 53

Sometimes the DNS records don't propagate for a while, so if the vanity URL doesn't work, give it a couple of hours and try again.

Accessing my site via http://example.bobbuzzard.org shows that everything is set up correctly and propagated:

 

Screen Shot 2012 11 17 at 14 56 01

In the next post I'll add pages for one or two of the other tabs and show one way to highlight the tab associated with the page.

 

 

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Building a Templated Web Site with Force.com - Part 2

In Part 1 of this series, I looked at how to turn an HTML page into a Visualforce page in order to use it as a template for a Force.com site.  This post covers how to turn the page into a template and create a home page that uses the template to provide the common content.

Visualforce supports templating via a combination of three tags:

  • <apex:insert />
    This tag appears in the template page and is used to inject the content specific to the page actually being rendered. 
  • <apex:composition/>
    This tag appears in the home page and defines the template page that will provide the common content.
  • <apex:define/>
    This tag appears in the home page and defines the content to be injected into the template.  For each define element, there must be an associated <apex:insert/> tag with the same name present in the template page.

My page has the following common content:

Header

Screen Shot 2012 11 03 at 14 15 42

Sidebar:

Screen Shot 2012 11 03 at 14 17 19

and footer

Screen Shot 2012 11 03 at 14 18 03

while the home page has the specific article content:

Screen Shot 2012 11 03 at 14 20 12

Thus my template page needs a single <apex:insert/> component for the article body.  However, I also want to be able to define the title on a per-page basis, so I'll need to add another for that.

Looking at the current source of my page, the following two elements need to be moved out to my home page and replaced with <apex:insert /> tags:

<title>Defrost by FCT</title>

and

<div id="content">
	<div class="post">
		<h2 class="title"><a href="#">Welcome to Defrost</a></h2>
		<div class="entry">
			<p><apex:image url="{!URLFOR($Resource.Defrost, 'images/pics01.jpg')}" alt="" width="600" height="200"/>This is <strong>Defrost</strong>, a free, fully standards-compliant CSS template designed by  <a href="http://www.freecsstemplates.org">FCT</a>.  The picture in this template is from <a href="http://fotogrph.com/">FotoGrph</a>.This free template is released under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/">Creative Commons Attributions 3.0</a> license, so you’re pretty much free to do whatever you want with it (even use it commercially) provided you keep the links in the footer intact. Aside from that, have fun with it :)</p>
		</div>
	</div>
	<div class="post">
		<h2 class="title"><a href="#">Lorem ipsum sed aliquam</a></h2>
		<div class="entry">
			<p><apex:image url="{!URLFOR($Resource.Defrost, 'images/pics02.jpg')}" alt="" width="600" height="200"/>Sed lacus. Donec lectus. Nullam pretium nibh ut turpis. Nam bibendum. In nulla tortor, elementum vel, tempor at, varius non, purus. Mauris vitae nisl nec metus placerat consectetuer. Donec ipsum. Proin imperdiet est. Phasellus <a href="#">dapibus semper urna</a>. Pellentesque ornare, consectetuer nisl felis ac diam. Sed lacus. Donec lectus. Nullam pretium nibh ut turpis. Nam bibendum. Mauris vitae nisl nec metus placerat consectetuer. </p>
		</div>
	</div>
	<div class="post">
		<h2 class="title"><a href="#">Phasellus pellentesque turpis </a></h2>
		<div class="entry">
			<p><apex:image url="{!URLFOR($Resource.Defrost, 'images/pics01.jpg')}" alt="" width="600" height="200"/>Sed lacus. Donec lectus. Nullam pretium nibh ut turpis. Nam bibendum. In nulla tortor, elementum vel, tempor at, varius non, purus. Mauris vitae nisl nec metus placerat consectetuer. Donec ipsum. Proin imperdiet est. Pellentesque ornare, orci in consectetuer hendrerit, urna elit eleifend nunc. Donec ipsum. Proin imperdiet est. Pellentesque ornare, orci in consectetuer hendrerit, urna elit eleifend nunc.</p>
		</div>
	</div>
	<div style="clear: both;">&nbsp;</div>
</div>
<!-- end #content -->
 

These become: 

<title><apex:insert name="title"/></title>

and

<apex:insert name="content" />
 

I can then create my home page, containing the <apex:composition/> component that defines my template, and the <apex:define/> tags for the title - 'Bob Buzzard Blog Site - Home' and the article content:

<apex:page sidebar="false" showheader="false" standardstylesheets="false">
  <apex:composition template="template">
    <apex:define name="title">
       Bob Buzzard Blog Site - Home
    </apex:define>
    <apex:define name="content">
		<div id="content">
			<div class="post">
				<h2 class="title"><a href="#">Welcome to Defrost</a></h2>
				<div class="entry">
					<p><apex:image url="{!URLFOR($Resource.Defrost, 'images/pics01.jpg')}" alt="" width="600" height="200"/>This is <strong>Defrost</strong>, a free, fully standards-compliant CSS template designed by  <a href="http://www.freecsstemplates.org">FCT</a>.  The picture in this template is from <a href="http://fotogrph.com/">FotoGrph</a>.This free template is released under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/">Creative Commons Attributions 3.0</a> license, so you’re pretty much free to do whatever you want with it (even use it commercially) provided you keep the links in the footer intact. Aside from that, have fun with it :)</p>
				</div>
			</div>
			<div class="post">
				<h2 class="title"><a href="#">Lorem ipsum sed aliquam</a></h2>
				<div class="entry">
					<p><apex:image url="{!URLFOR($Resource.Defrost, 'images/pics02.jpg')}" alt="" width="600" height="200"/>Sed lacus. Donec lectus. Nullam pretium nibh ut turpis. Nam bibendum. In nulla tortor, elementum vel, tempor at, varius non, purus. Mauris vitae nisl nec metus placerat consectetuer. Donec ipsum. Proin imperdiet est. Phasellus <a href="#">dapibus semper urna</a>. Pellentesque ornare, consectetuer nisl felis ac diam. Sed lacus. Donec lectus. Nullam pretium nibh ut turpis. Nam bibendum. Mauris vitae nisl nec metus placerat consectetuer. </p>
				</div>
			</div>
			<div class="post">
				<h2 class="title"><a href="#">Phasellus pellentesque turpis </a></h2>
				<div class="entry">
					<p><apex:image url="{!URLFOR($Resource.Defrost, 'images/pics01.jpg')}" alt="" width="600" height="200"/>Sed lacus. Donec lectus. Nullam pretium nibh ut turpis. Nam bibendum. In nulla tortor, elementum vel, tempor at, varius non, purus. Mauris vitae nisl nec metus placerat consectetuer. Donec ipsum. Proin imperdiet est. Pellentesque ornare, orci in consectetuer hendrerit, urna elit eleifend nunc. Donec ipsum. Proin imperdiet est. Pellentesque ornare, orci in consectetuer hendrerit, urna elit eleifend nunc.</p>
				</div>
			</div>
			<div style="clear: both;">&nbsp;</div>
		</div>
		<!-- end #content -->
    </apex:define>
  </apex:composition>
</apex:page>

 accessing my home visualforce page shows that the template has been correctly picked up:

Screen Shot 2012 11 03 at 14 52 10

The template and home page are available in the Part 2 directory of the github repository for this blog series at:

https://github.com/keirbowden/blog_force_com_sites

In the next post I'll look at how to make the page available on the web via a Force.com site, including a custom web address.