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UB Web Management

Transforming UB’s digital communications through process and tools

Launches

Do an extensive site overhaul while simultaneously maintaining your existing pages.

On this page:

Only a Unit Web Leader or Site Manager may request Launches for your site.

We recommend only advanced users work in Launches to not disrupt your main website.  

Overview

If you already have a UBCMS website but now would like to explore making extensive modifications to some of your pages, Launches may be for you. This built-in UBCMS functionality allows you to continue maintaining your existing pages, while simultaneously making parallel changes to a completely version of your site. Then when you are ready to commit those changes, you can seamlessly promote your Launches changes onto your existing site.

Use Case

  • Launches is best when you wish to make extensive changes to the content of some of your pages, which you do not wish to make immediately live, while you also need to continue updating your current (live) pages.
  • Launches is NOT effective for overhauling your entire site, especially where you need to add/delete or move pages around. (Do these changes on your current site in Author.)

Pros

  • In Launches, you are working on an alternative version of each page.
  • You can modify each Launches page without impacting the corresponding pages in your current site in Author (but see 'guardrails' below).
  • You can continue to update your current page in Author (and your Live site). These changes will be reflected on the corresponding Launches page unless you 'cancel inheritance' (see below).

Cons

  • Launches has some limitations (see 'guardrails' below); basically no copying, renaming, or moving Launches pages.
  • Your Digital Assets and Shared Content pages are not included in Launches. You will need to make corresponding adjustments to your master content areas in Author.

Guardrails to Keep In Mind

There are strict limits for Launches pages--breaking them will disrupt your site.

You CAN:

  • Modify the content on individual pages in Launches.
  • Publish your Launches changes. Technically you will 'promote' your changed pages back to your master site, where they will overwrite each page in Author. You can then activate each modified page to make it live.

You SHOULD NOT:

  • Create new Launches pages. *
  • Copy Launches pages. *
  • Move Launches pages. *
  • Rename Launches pages (give them a new file name /URL). *
  • Retitle Launches pages (give them a new descripttive title). * 
  • Adjust any settings in Page Properties of Launches pages, such as *
    • add or remove tags (normally this is done to shared content anyway),
    • change the 'hide in navigation' settings,
    • adjust vanity URLs.

* Do these steps in your main Author site. The new/renamed pages will automatically be pushed over to the Launches version. (You can also activate any of these changes to your published site, but that is a separate consideration.)

We're Sold, What Do We Do Next?

Contact the DCT Help Team. We will confirm if Launches is a good fit for your needs. Then we will set up a special synchronized copy of your site, and turn on the Launches section of your Sidekick.

How Do We Use Launches?

Launches version shows a timestamp in the Sidekick.

Launches version shows a timestamp in the Sidekick.

  1. Maintain Your Current Site as Usual
    • Update your current site in Author as needed, modifying page content and activating/deactivating as needed to publish changes on your live site.
    • Note, your master site in Author AND the Launches version both use your main Shared Content and Digital Asset files.  
  2. Overhaul Your Launches Pages as Desired
    • On a page by page basis, make any desiring changes to the content of your site.
    • Changes in Launches will NOT be reflected in your current site in Author.
    • Changes in Author WILL be mirrored in your Launches site, including:
      • Modifications to page content in Author will be mirrored on the corresponding page in Launches (unless you 'cancel inheritance' -- see more below).
      • If a page is moved/renamed in Author, it will similarly be moved/renamed in Launches.
      • If a page is deleted from Author, it will similarly be deleted from Launches, despite any changes there.
      • If a page is added to Author, it will similarly be added to Launches.
    • To stop page content changes in Author being mirrored in Launches, click the 'cancel inheritance' icon on each desired component on the corresponding page in Launches. (There is no page-wide or site-wide icon.) > read more about 'Inheritance'
    • Since your shared content and DAM files are not part of the Launches site, you will need to maintain these separately, e.g. adding new files as needed for your Launches modifications.
  3. Promote Your Revised Page(s)
    • When you have completed your desired modifications,
      1. Go to each Launches page you have been overhauling.
      2. Click 'Promote Launch' in the Sidekick's Versioning tab. This will push your changes over to the corresponding page in Author (actually overwriting that page).
        > read more about promoting pages below
      3. Activate each updated page in Author as desired to make your changes visible on the live site.

Be Careful 'Promoting' Your Launches Pages

When you 'promote' a Launches page, it OVER-WRITES the corresponding page in Author.

Please coordinate with us BEFORE promoting a large number of pages.

How Do We Access Our Launches Pages?

Launches are accessible from the sidekick Versioning tab.

Launches are accessible from the sidekick Versioning tab.

You can get to these from within the site’s pages.

To Switch to a Launches Version

  • Open a page for editing.
  • In the Sidekick, use the Versioning tab.
  • Reveal the Launches section
  • Check the box next to 'Redesign…' then click 'Switch.'

You will now see the Launches version of that page. You can also save the URL that is displayed after switching — it will always load the Launches version (…/content/launches/…).

To Switch to the Master Version

  • Open a page for editing.
  • In the Sidekick, use the Versioning tab.
  • Reveal the Launches section
  • Check the box next to 'Production...' then click 'Switch.'

You will now see the master (current) version of your page in Author.

How Do We 'Cancel Inheritance'?

Normally your master pages in Author are synchronized with their equivalent versions in Launches.  Changes in Author automatically are updated over to the versions in Launches, overwriting the versions in Launches. You cannot make any changes to the Launches pages until you break this connection through 'cancel inheritance.'

  • You cannot cancel inheritance for your entire site, or for an entire page.  
  • You must 'cancel inheritance' for each component on any page you wish to modify. This is done as follows:
    1. Switch to the Launches version of a page (in the Sidekick Versioning tab, under Launches, select the 'Redesign' version and click 'Switch').
    2. In the Launches page, choose the component you wish to modify. Until you cancel inheritance, you cannot modify the content of a component - settings/text are grayed out.
    3. To cancel inheritance, either:
      • Right-click the component and click the padlock lock icon in the upper right corner of the component.
        or
      • Open the component for editing and click the padlock icon (look in the lower left of the component).
    4. You can now make modifications to this component in Launches.
  • If you later re-lock the icon, your Launches changes will be ignored.
  • These changes will NOT appear in the Author version until they are 'Promoted.' (Read more about promoting pages below.)
Lock icon revealed by right-clicking component.

Lock icon revealed by right-clicking component.

Component open for editing reveals lock icon.

Component open for editing reveals lock icon. Icon is now clicked 'unlocked'.

How Do We Promote Pages?

Transfering the revisions on your Launches page back to your current master site is called 'promotion.'

To Promote a page:

1. On your Launches page, click to the Page tab of the Sidekick.

  • Instead of Activate Page, you will see 'Promote Page.'

2. Click 'Promote Page.' (Please ignore the 'Mark Launch Production Ready.' )

  • A dialog box will open with several choices:
    • 'Promote full launch to production version.'
      (We are not yet ready to support this option.)
    • 'Promote page changes to production version.'
      (This is the prefered option.)
    • 'Include sub pages.'
      (This means child pages. Feel free to include if relevant.)
    • 'Add to Workflow Package.'
      (We are not yet ready to support this option.)
Promote Launch dialog box.

Promote Launch dialog box.

3. Choose 'Promote page changes...' and click 'Promote.'

4. A popup will display 'Launch Promoted. Redirecting to Author.'

Promote Launch completion message.

Promote Launch completion message.

3. Choose 'Promote page changes...' and click 'Promote.'

4. A popup will display 'Launch Promoted. Redirecting to Author.'

5. The page will then be refreshed to display the revised version of your master page (the 'production' version).

6. If you wish to publish those changes to your live site, sinply 'activate' the page as usual.

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