Depending on the type of organisation that you work for, you may need some type of content approval process within your Episerver website where a compliance team, or just simply your manager, needs to approve your changes before it gets published to the live website. Government and finance are typical types of organisations that require this. In these types of organisations, the marketing team writes the website content, using a standard style and voice that mirrors your organisation's ideas and principles. Marketers are not lawyers and won't always know if what they write is slanderous, break regulation, be inaccurate, so a lawyer or compliance team needs to check the content is safe. If you are using Episerver 10.1 and above, implementing this sort of process is very easy. In this tutorial, I'm going to create a single content approach process for all pages on my site. It is very likely that you will want to cater these rules based on your site structure etc.. In the right-hand 'Navigation Panel', open the home page, on the left-hand side, click the home page's burger menu, to open the context menu. Click the 'Edit Approval Sequence' menu. This will open the 'Approval Sequence' dialogue. This is where you will define the approval steps a page must go through before it can be published; in this simple example, I'm only going to a single approver.. me! In your company you may want to add a Group like 'Compliance' or 'Legal', you may want several people to approve content etc.. all of this is possible and I would recommend you follow this tutorial first, and then go and experiment yourself a bit. The first thing you need to do is make sure that the 'Approval Sequence' is enabled, as seen in the image above. Next, you will need to add in an approval step. In my example, I'm adding myself, but you can also add people, or, groups. You might be thinking that you need more than one person to approve your content. EPiserver makes this easy for you. The content approval process lets you add as many 'Steps' that you want into the approval process. Each step is an extra person, or group, that the content will need to go through before it can be published to the site. Although adding additional steps is really simple, it actually adds a lot of power. Once you are happy with everything, in the top right-hand side of the screen, press the 'Save' button. Although this is really simple, that's all it takes to set-up content approval in Episerver.
Now we have our approval sequence set-up, let's have a look at content approval in action. Go to any page within your workflow, make any change to the 'Publish', in the top right-hand side where you normally see the 'Publish' button. You will now see a ready for review button. Clicking this will now trigger the content approval steps. The steps will work sequentially, so the first step will go first, the second will only start after the first approver agrees etc.. As a content editor that's all you have to do for now.
Let's say you're now an approver, there a number of ways you might be notified that you have content ready for approver email instant message etc.. all these things will require custom development, however. Out of the box, the only way a content approver will know they have content ready to approve is by logging into the Episerver editor. When they visit a page that needs approval, in the top right-hand side, instead of seeing the big blue 'Ready To Publish' message, they will see an 'Awaiting Your Approval' message. How you deal with content changes is up to you, however, I would recommend using the 'Compare Revisions' feature to quickly see changes. When you are happy with everything, click the 'Ready To Publish' button. After the page has been through the full content approval workflow, you will see a yellow 'Ready To Publish' notification in the top right-hand side. In the Publish area, you will now be able to publish your changes.
Content approval may look simple but it is really powerful. Out of the box, anyone with Episerver admin privileges can set-up basic work. If you need more advanced features, like email notifications then your developers can do this with minimal work. Content approval is a big step forward compared to the old workflow systems, which were difficult to understand, set-up and customise.
Software Architect, Programmer and Technologist Jon Jones is founder and CEO of London-based tech firm Digital Prompt. He has been working in the field for nearly a decade, specializing in new technologies and technical solution research in the web business. A passionate blogger by heart , speaker & consultant from England.. always on the hunt for the next challenge