Not always an Extension

Despite what you might find on Google, Tridion is not all about extensions. Consider implementing or configuring for the majority of your content management system functionality.

Update: Read an insightful follow-up from Robert Curlette on the history of Tridion extensions and their positive impact on projects.

Things I've seen customers or consultants wonder about:
  • Default schema selection for components in a folder? Not an extension.
  • Having such Linked Schema create the correct multimedia schema regardless of which component creation button is selected? Not an extension.
  • Context menu show/hide dynamic changes according to security access controls? Not an extension.
  • Filter author-entered rich text before component save? Not an extension.
  • Change component markup to XML, (X)HTML, ASP.NET, JSP, PHP, Json, or some other text format? Not an extension.
  • Have a component validate and update to its source schema? Not an extension, unless you want to automate this. :-)
Favorite features and approaches:
  • Basic workflow set up? Not an extension.
  • Open a pop-up to show more information for individual schema fields? Not an extension.
  • Iframe a custom page so it shows in the context of the content manger explorer? Not an extension.
  • Allow authors the ability to add content, select a template, or re-use existing page "prototypes" via copy and paste? Not an extension.
  • Metadata on components, component templates, template building blocks, pages, or publications? Not an extension.
  • Allow author-entered, manual "merge fields" that get rendered to something else? Not an extension.
Pet Peeves and "opportunities for learning:"
  • A required title for manage-able items in the CMS? Not an extension, though you might need different "title" fields.
  • Render content to multiple formats, localize to multiple languages, manage content within the same, inherited, or parallel publications? Not an extension, though of course coding is involved.
  • Let authors easily publish one or more items to multiple channels with a few clicks? Not an extension, though I've seen requests to make it even fewer clicks.
  • Configure a selectable, hierarchical, manageable list of keywords for component field options? Not an extension.
  • Change the list of selectable schema options? Not an extension.
  • Change the list of selectable template options? Not an extension.

Don't let the fascinating StackOverflow questions or creative community content imply changing default SDL Tridion behavior in the default, go to practice. Unless you've already implemented or know all the possible scenarios, your default choice shouldn't be to extend the system.

Yes, you will install, code, implement, and create Tridion building blocks. But give the "basic" functionality a try before starting that "how do I" search to extend the system. Start with your business requirements, add the default functionality to your shortlist, then consider an appropriate API. Tridion is extensible, but it's not all about extensions.

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