Feeds

Overview

Use feeds and notifications to publish frequently updated information. You can publish an RSS feed for a blog, news, or events on the website and the users can subscribe to this feed. This way they will receive updates of the blog, news, or events without having to visit the website.You can also publish content you create in Sitefinity CMS as tweets via a Twitter account.

NOTE: Feeds are shared across different sites. If you are using multiple sites, changing a feed on one site will change the feed on every other site that uses it.

Included content

You can publish as feed one of the following types of content:

  • Sitefinity CMS content
    For example, you can publish a news or a blog post as RSS feed or as a tweet in Twitter.
  • External RSS feed
    For example, you can use an external RSS feed and publish it as news in Sitefinity.
  • Mail content
    For example, you can use the email messages of a particular mail account and publish them as an RSS feed on your website.
  • Forum
    For example, you can publish forum threads as RSS feed.

Published content

You can publish the included content in one of the following types:

  • Sitefinity CMS content
  • RSS feed
  • Twitter feed

You manage feeds on Feeds & Notifications page.

To open the page in the main menu at the top, click Administration » Alternative Publishing.
You display the RSS feed in your website using the Feed widget. For more information, see Feed widget.

For more information about caching the feed output, see Administration: Cache settings » Output caching for RSS.

Create feeds

  1. In the backend, click Administration » Alternative Publishing
  2. On Feeds & Notifications page, click Create a feed.
    The Create a feed page appears.
  3. Enter the following information for the new page:
    Title  In this input field, enter a title for the feed.

    The title is publicly visible and will be the title for the whole feed in the RSS reader.

    Description In this input field, enter description for the feed.

    The description is not publically visible.

    Active checkbox Select or deselect the Active checkbox to make the feed active or inactive.

    When a feed is active, new items that are created, such as events or news, are published in the feed.
    When you make a feed inactive, the newly published items do not become part of the feed.

    Change Data structure… button
    Expand Advanced options section.
    Click this button if you want to change the way fields are recorded in the database or if you want to create a new field that you will map to an existing field of the content you want to publish and to a field form the content type in which you want to publish.
    Feed type
    dropdown box

    Expand Advanced options section.
    Select one of the following publishing types:

    • Pass trough
      This type of publishing gets the content from the inbound pipe and publishes it directly to the outbound pipe.
    • Persistent
      This type of publishing gets the content from the inbound pipe, then persists it in the database. From the database, content is send to one or more outbound pipes.
    Content to include section In this section, you can choose the content that will serve as source content for the feed.
    By default the content that is selected to be included in the feed is Posts from all blogs.
    • You can delete the automatically selected content or other selected content by clicking  (Remove).
    • You can change the settings of the selected content by clicking Change… button.
    • You can add more content by clicking Add another content type… button.
      The Select content source window appears. Select one of the following radio buttons:

    Sitefinity CMS content

    In this section, choose which Sitefinity CMS items to include in the feed.
    By default the new feed includes blog posts from all blogs.
    1. In Content type dropdown box, select the type of content include in the feed.
      If you have selected Blogs, in Which blog posts to display? radio button group, select one of the following:
      • From all blogs
        All published posts are included in the feed.
      • From selected blogs only…
        Click Select a blog. From the list that appears, select the blog whose posts you want to include in the feed and click Done selecting.
    2. Select the page where the content is published, by clicking Select a page button.
    3. To change the mapping of data fields, click Mapping Settings button.
      In the window that appears, you have a list of the data fields of the feed you are creating. To these fields, you can map existing fields of the content type you have selected.

      If you have created a new data field in the previous section, using the Change Data structure… button, you can map a field from the content type to that newly created field. The content type fields, which can be mapped, can be both predefined and custom fields. For more information, see Overview: Custom fields.

      When you are finished with the mapping of fields, click Accept changes.

      NOTE: If you are using a dynamic module, the mappings are not predefined and you must explicitly set them.

    4. Click Done.

    NOTE: Only published content is included in the feed.

    External RSS/Atom feed

    You can use as source content an external RSS feed.
    1. Enter the URL of the external RSS or Atom feed.
    2. Choose how many items to include by selecting one of the following radio buttons:
      • Include the newest <number> items
        In the input field, enter how many of the external RSS or Atom items you want to display.
      • Include all published items
        The feed displays all items from the external RSS or Atom feed.
    3. To change the mapping of data fields, click Mapping Settings button.
      In the window that appears, you have a list of the data fields of the feed you are creating. To these fields, you can map existing fields of the RSS or Atom feed you have selected.

      If you have created a new data field in the previous section, using the Change Data structure… button, you can map a field from the RSS or Atom feed to that newly created field

      When you are finished with the mapping of fields, click Accept changes.

    4. Click Done.

    Mail content

    1. Enter the name of the POP3 server.
    2. Enter the port used by the server.
    3. Select if you want Sitefinity CMS to use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) to encrypt the connection.
    4. Enter the user name of the account that you use to connect to the mail server.
    5. Enter the password of the account that you use to connect to the mail server.
    6. To change the mapping of data fields, click Mapping Settings button.
      In the window that appears, you have a list of the data fields of the feed you are creating. To these fields, you can map existing fields of the mail you have selected.

      If you have created a new data field in the previous section, using the Change Data structure… button, you can map a field from the mail to that newly created field.

      When you are finished with the mapping of fields, click Accept changes.

    7. Click Done.

    NOTE: Any attachments are disregarded and are not published.

    IMPORTANT: Every mail that is successfully retrieved is deleted from the POP3 server.

    Twitter feed

    IMPORTANT: With Twitter feed, you must use Persistent publishing point. For more information, see above.

    1. In Which Twitter application to use? select an application via which you want to publish your tweets.
      The list contains all Twitter applications which you have registered in Twitter and in Sitefinity.

      For more information, see Administration: Configure Twitter in Sitefinity.

      When you select an application, in Select Twitter user for publishing, a list of all Twitter users registered for this application appear.

    2. Select the Twitter user from whose account the tweets will be published.
      For example, you can register an application MyNews, but you can associate two accounts with that application – sports and weather. Some people may follow only thesports other may follow only the weather.

      For more information about associating Twitter users accounts with an application, see Administration: Configure Twitter in Sitefinity.

    3. To change the mapping of data fields, click Mapping Settings button.
      In the window that appears, you have a list of the data fields of the Twitter feed you are creating. To these fields, you can map fields of the feed you are creating.

      If you have created a new data field in the previous section, using the Change Data structure… button, you can map this newly created field to one of the Twitter fields.

      When you are finished with the mapping of fields, click Accept changes.

    4. In the dropdown box, select the Twitter feed update intervals.

    5. If you want, you can narrow the tweets displayed in the feed by entering a search pattern.
      For more information, see Searching Twitter.

    6. Enter the number of items that you want to display in the feed.

    7. Click Done.

    To display the created Twitter feed on your pages, you can use the Twitter Feed widget.

    Forum

    1. Select which forum posts to publish by choosing one of the following:
      • From all forums
        All forum posts are published.
      • From selected forums
        Select posts from which forum to publish, by clicking Select forums button, selecting one or more forums, and clicking Done.
      • From selected threads
        Select posts from which threads to publish, by clicking Select thread button, selecting one or more threads, and clicking Done.
    2. Filter which posts are displayed according to their publication date.
      To do this expand Narrow selection and perform the following:
      1. Select Selection of posts: radio button.
      2. Select by Dates… and click Select button.
      3. Choose one of the predefined intervals or enter a custom time interval using the From and To fields.
      4. Click Done.
    3. Select the page where the content is published, by clicking Select a page button.
    4. To change the mapping of data fields, click Mapping Settings button.
      In the window that appears, you have a list of the data fields of the feed you are creating. To these fields, you can map existing fields of the forum that you have selected.

      If you have created a new data field in the previous section, using the Change Data structure… button, you can map a field from the mail to that newly created field.

      When you are finished with the mapping of fields, click Accept changes.

    Publish as… section In this section, you can choose how to publish the content you have selected in the previous step. By default the content is published as RSS feed.
    • You can delete the automatically generated RSS feed or other publishing method by clicking  (Remove).
    • You can change the settings of the publishing method by clicking Settings… button.
    • You can add another method of export by clicking Add more… button. The Select content export method window appears. Select one of the following radio buttons:

    Sitefinity CMS content

    To publish the selected content as content in Sitefinity CMS, for example, publish blog posts as news items, perform the following procedure:
    1. In Import data as dropdown box, select whether to publish the selected content as Blogs, News, or Events.
    2. If you select Automatically publish imported data, the items will be imported in status Published, otherwise, the will be imported as Draft.
    3. To change the mapping of data fields, click Mapping Settings button.
      In the window that appears, you have a list of the existing data fields of the Sitefinity CMS content types. To these fields, you can map fields of the feed you are creating.

      If you have created a new data field in the previous section, using the Change Data structure… button, you can map this newly created field to a field of the content type. The content type fields, which can be mapped, can be both predefined and custom fields. For more information, see Overview: Custom fields.

      When you are finished with the mapping of fields, click Accept changes.

    4. Click Done.

    RSS feed

    To publish the selected content as RSS feed, perform the following procedure:
    1. In RSS or Atom to generate? radio button group, select the format for the feed.
    2. In URL name, enter a URL of the feed.
    3. Choose how many items to include in the feed by selecting one of the following radio buttons:
      • Include the newest <number> items
        In the input field, enter how many of the published items you want to display.
      • Include all published items
        The feed displays all items that are published.
    4. Choose how to display the items in the feeds by selecting one of the following:
      • Title and content.
      • Title and first <number> characters.
      • Title only.
    5. To change the mapping of data fields, click Mapping Settings button.
      In the window that appears, you have a list of the data fields of the feed you are creating. To these fields, you can map fields of the RSS or Atom feed you.

      If you have created a new data field in the previous section, using the Change Data structure… button, you can map a field from the RSS or Atom feed to that newly created field.

      When you are finished with the mapping of fields, click Accept changes.

    6. Click Done.

    Twitter feed

    To publish the selected content as a Twitter feed, for example, publish your blog posts as tweets, perform the following procedure:
    1. In Which Twitter application to use? select an application via which you want to publish your tweets.
      The list contains all Twitter applications which you have registered in Twitter and in Sitefinity.

      For more information, see Administration: Configure Twitter in Sitefinity.

      When you select an application, in Select Twitter user for publishing, a list of all Twitter users registered for this application appear.

    2. Select the Twitter user from whose account the tweets will be published.
      For example, you can register an application MyNews, but you can associate two accounts with that application – sports and weather. Some people may follow only the sports other may follow only the weather.

      For more information about associating Twitter users accounts with an application, see Administration: Configure Twitter in Sitefinity.

    3. To change the mapping of data fields, click Mapping Settings button.
      In the window that appears, you have a list of the data fields of the Twitter feed you are creating. To these fields, you can map fields of the feed you are creating.

      If you have created a new data field in the previous section, using the Change Data structure… button, you can map this newly created field to one of the Twitter fields.

      When you are finished with the mapping of fields, click Accept changes.

    4. Click Done.
  4. When you are finished, click Save changes.
    The system saves the feed and returns you to Feeds & Notifications page.

Edit a feed

  1. To edit a feed, on Feeds & Notifications page, click the feed you want to edit.
    The Edit a feed page appears.
  2. Perform procedure Create feeds.

Delete feeds

To delete one or more feeds, on Feeds & Notifications page, perform one of the following:
  • Select one or more feeds and click Delete button in the toolbar of the page.
  • Click the Actions link of the respective feed and click Delete.

A dialog box appears where you must confirm the deletion.

Filter feeds

You can filter feeds, using one of the following options in the right side of Feeds & Notifications page:
  • To filter feeds created by you, under Filter feeds click My feeds.
  • To filter feeds according to their status, under Filter feeds click Active feeds or Inactive feeds.
  • To filter feeds according to the date of their last update, under Filter feeds click By last publication.
    The Display feeds last updated in... pane appears.
    • When you click a time interval, the system displays all the feeds updated during this time interval.
    • To display feeds updated during some custom period of time, click Custom range… link.
      Use the From and To input fields.
    • To go back to all filtering options, click Close dates link.
      The system displays all filtering options, but displays the last filtering you have chosen until you choose something else.
  • To filter feeds according to the content type they are displaying, under Feeds by content type click Blogs, News, or Events.

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