Are You Ready for a Contextual Web?

As a long-time SDL Tridion consultant, you're about to enter into oddly familiar, yet different new implementations in about a year, give or take a year. I'm suggesting the Midas Rule, or the idea that "whoever touches something first and cares the most gets to decide what to do with it" will change our roles as Content Management System (CMS) professionals.
You and your team may need more skills across more disciplines in bigger implementations but the good news is you won't be alone. The company, practitioners, and community are preparing to deal with an analytics-enabled and targeted, Contextual Web (again).

The Vendor

SDL itself has and continues to integrate its product lines. Though the claim to a "Comprehensive, Integrated Product Portfolio" might be hard to interpret in practical terms for implementers, see how this translates to the actual products in +Philipp Engel's presentation.

By Midas Rule, the product(s) will integrate. And no, those familiar-looking interfaces aren't becoming more like Tridion. SDL software is becoming more, well SDL.

One SDL Document by Document

I previously mentioned the rebranding and SDL Tridion 2013 SP1 updates my team’s applying to the Education materials.

Part of this is using updated templates. My philosophy again is to rely on your company’s experts at handling the bulk of writing standards and document templates. Here’s a quick tip on applying that brand new shiny Marketing PowerPoint template to an existing document.

In PowerPoint go to Design and click the Down Arrow in the Themes section.

Then simply find an open the .potx file to swap out the design.

Layouts that have the same name change automatically, however you may need to do two more things:
  1. Change layouts (in the home tab) to the new versions
  2. Change aspect (Design > Page Setup > Slide sized for) as needed if switching to a different ratio (e.g. from 4:3 to 16:9). One issue with changing aspect ratios is your images need to be re-scaled. See this older post by Microsoft’s Mary Feil-Jacobs on ways to do this which mostly still apply to current versions of PowerPoint (I like resetting images, but right now we have to update a few images and replace the old ones anyways).
For my slide update to “widescreen” I just needed to change the first drop-down to On-screen Show (16:9).

SDL Tridion Component Synchronizer is Dead. Long live ComponentSynchronizer!

When you change SDL Tridion content definitions or schemas, the content based on them do not update automatically. Read about schema changes in this post if the fact is new to you.

Many underestimate how "easy" synchronizing content is. The GUI does it automatically and the old PowerTools used a little XSLT, some scripts calls, and a custom page. I've seen at least four restarts by various Tridionauts which supports my "easier-than-it-looks" theory.

Update and Clarification: see Dominic's point on the PowerShell Component Synchronizer. I agree with all of his points but still think the PowerTools Component Synchronizer was harder than it looked.

And strangely, many have assumed this feature isn't in the product or that we need to re-invent the logic. It's the Groundhog Day (Movie) challenge for the Tridion community.  Content Porter can sync content and since SDL Tridion 2013 SP1, we have an API for Component Synchronizer. See the details in Eric Huiza'a post.

What's needed next is...