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Area: Episerver CMS

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Extending the navigation

OnlineCenter is equipped with extendable navigation that lets editor access Episerver CMS and other products from the top menu.

  • The [MenuItem] attribute adds an interface to the menu.
  • You also can configure and implement a custom menu provider.

Attributes and menu providers must reside in an assembly configured as a shell module.

[MenuItem] attribute

Use MenuItem on ASP.NET MVC controllers and WebForm pages. MenuItem adds links to the top menu (and requires the module to be registered; see Shell Modules). The required menuPath parameter is a logical path of the menu element in the menu. Use the Url parameter to add a linked URL to the interface.

The following example adds a menu item to the CMS menu section with the text Edit and the URL /[PublicOrProtected]/[ModuleName]/Path/To/Default.aspx. For example (WebForm page):


[MenuItem("/global/cms/edit", Text = "Edit", Url = 
  public partial class DefaultPage : SystemPageBase

The following example adds a menu item to the top menu bar with the text Start and the URL is inferred from the ASP.NET MVC route table. For example (MVC action):


public class DashboardController : Controller
  [MenuItem("/global/dashboard", Text = "Start")]
  public ActionResult Index()

Localizing menu items with the MenuItem attibute

You can localize menu items defined with attributes with a static property of a resource class. ResourceType references a class with a static property. TextResourceKey is the name of the static property that returns the localized text.


[MenuItem("/global/dashboard", TextResourceKey = "Start", ResourceType = typeof(MenuResources))]

Organizing menu items

To organize menu items in a tree structure the menu path is used. All menu items in the top menu are in the /global bucket. The next segment is the name of menu section, for example, /global/cms. The last segment represents the actual user interface, for example, /global/cms/edit.

Creating a link in a menu

Some menu items have an URL. This creates a link in the menu. The page at the end of this URL should render a menu where the corresponding menu path is selected.

Permissions with the MenuItem attibute

You can restrict who sees a certain menu item by using the [Authorize] attribute. For example:


public class DashboardController : Controller
  [Authorize(Roles = "NoOne")]
  public ActionResult Index()

Using menu providers

The building blocks of the navigation are menu providers and menu items. A menu provider provides an enumeration of menu items which are organized in a tree according to their menu path. Episerver CMS contains a menu provider that looks at [MenuItem] attributes and provides them as menu items.


You can extend the standard menu by implementing a menu provider as an alternative to attributes. The menu provider returns menu items that are correctly localized. To use a menu provider, implement the IMenuProvider interface, decorate it with the [MenuProvider] attribute, and make it part of a registered shell module.

Adding menu items

You can add menu sections and sub-menu items such as menu sections, drop-downs, URLs and pop-up menu items. Each menu item defines a path which determines its location in the menu hierarchy. For example, a URL menu item with path /global/cms/myMenu is placed in the CMS section of the menu (which has the path /global/cms).


  • URL Menu Item are links; a click navigates to specified URL.
  • Popup Menu Item are links opened in a popup window (javascript window.open).
  • Section Menu Item are top menu sections which open an underlying menu.
  • Drop-Down Menu Item are drop-down style menu items designed for the utility menu area (right).



/// <summary>
  /// Provides menu items for the CMS product.
  /// </summary>
  public class CmsMenuProvider : IMenuProvider
  /// <summary>
  /// Provides the CMS menu section and the CMS settings section.
  /// </summary>
  /// <returns>
  /// A list of <see cref="MenuItem"/>s that the provider exposes.
  /// </returns>
  public IEnumerable<MenuItem> GetMenuItems()
    // Create the top menu section
    var section = new SectionMenuItem("CMS", // Title

      "/global/cms"); // Logical path
    // Visible to CMS editors
    section.IsAvailable = (request) => 

    // Create the edit menu item below the top 
      var cmsEdit = new UrlMenuItem("Edit", // Title

      "/global/cms/edit", // Logical path

      "/path/to/edit/default.aspx"); // URL
    // Visible to CMS editors
      cmsEdit.IsAvailable = (request) => 
      return new MenuItem[] { section, cmsEdit };

Localizing menu items with a menu provider

A menu provider returns localized menu items.

Permissions with the menu provider

The menu provider can defer permission filtering to the menu item by setting the IsAvailable delegate to a method that checks access for the user provided with the RequestContext parameter.


var cmsEdit = new UrlMenuItem("Edit", "/global/cms/edit" "/path/to/edit/default.aspx");
 // Make menu item visible to CMS editors
 cmsEdit.IsAvailable = (request) => PrincipalInfo.HasEditAccess;

Flow of menu Items

Menu items flow from the providers to into a hierarchical model which is rendered into HTML.

Configuring web.config

To extend the menu you can, for example, configure web.config as follows:


    <add text="Intranet" menuPath="/global/intra" 
      url="http://intra" sortIndex="100" />
    <add text="My section" menuPath="/global/my" 
      menuItemType="Section" sortIndex="300" />
    <add text="Edit" menuPath="/global/my/edit" 
      url="/my/edit.aspx" sortIndex="100" />
    <add text="Admin" menuPath="/global/my/admin" 
      url="/my/admin.aspx" sortIndex="200" />
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Last updated: Sep 21, 2015

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