A blog post from the future
Hello Stefan. This is you writing a blog post in DateTime.Now.AddYears(yearsItTakesToCompleteVNext). I just thought I’d let you know how you develop with EpiServer nowadays.
If the development process won’t look like this something horrible has happened with the space/time continuum and you should be worried. Chances are a guy named Biff is involved.
There is no PageData. At least not as far as you or your site is concerned. Instead you work with a model that makes sense to your current user stories, whatever they may be. This probably remind you of you used to work with PageTypeBuilder but taken a step further.
Let’s say you have a Person page that should display a Name, Phone number and mail address of the person. The class that handles this looks like this:
Since your class implements the marker interface IAmAPageType EPiServer knows that it specifies a page type and will sync property info as well as data for you.
Usually this isn’t enough though since you often want to specify more information about your properties like help texts etc. EpiServer uses a fluent mapping interface for this.
Since you know that you you need to show “contact info” on many other pages it makes sense to group to this functionality into a sort of custom property.
EPiServer uses the type to try and figure out how your control should be rendered and since we’ve specified a new type here (ContactInfo) we need to tell EPiServer how to display it in, for instance, Edit mode. We do this by using the standard Asp.Net MVC functionality called Display Templates. By placing an Asp.Net MVC user control called ContactInfo in a folder called Views/Shared/DisplayTemplates/EditMode/ContactInfo.ascx we can define the view behavior of our custom property in edit mode.
We can of course do the same for the rendering of our page in our normal views. To display the control you again use standard functionality as such
IoC is used internally by EPiServer and if you don’t care about it you don’t have to. if you do, good for you! Let’s say that you on the Person page need to list the persons who are also working in the same department as the person you’re viewing. To get that list you need to do some sort of query based on the current page as well as some sort of structure information.
To access these two separate sort of data you need to instruct your class that you’re interested in this information. You do this by taking a constructor dependency to the interfaces IDataFactory, IStructureInfo and IPageMetaData.
Using these interfaces which EPiServer automatically injects concrete classes for us enables us to access data (IDataFactoryFacade), relate to some form of page structure (IStructureInfo) such as what my parent(s) is/are and finally information about the page itself (IPageMetaData) such as it’s Id, LinkUrl and whatnot.
And naturally, as long as you’ve told the IoC-container how to resolve them you can add additional dependencies to the constructor and EPiServer will make sure that the concrete implementations are injected.
These features makes it really easy to test EPiServer without having to setup a database, custom page providers or any other magic stuff.