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Extending Kentico’s Capabilities

16 December, 2016

A Little Bit About Pixelbuilders

We are an award winning digital agency based in Leeds, and we have been working with Kentico for over 8 years and are now recognised as Kentico Gold Partners. Of our five ASP.NET developers, all are Kentico certified and highly experienced, churning out over 80 completed projects in recent years.

So all in all, we think it’s safe to say we’re pretty savvy when it comes to what Kentico can do and how we can help improve it. One of the best things about this content management platform is its incredible extensibility and one way this is continually improved upon, is through the Kentico Marketplace. Which leads us on nicely, to our latest mini project…

Our Marketplace Contribution

Our development team decided it was high time we had a go at contributing to the flexibility and power of the Kentico content management system, by creating a new extension, which integrates with the Kentico administration interface, to enable the ability to dynamically and easily create Kentico pages and objects from a single comma separated values (CSV) file.

It was developed using the section of Kentico which allows the creation of custom modules, and we built it to match standard Kentico appearances, ensuring a consistent look a feel which creates a sense of familiarity for the end user.

Our utility uses a simple three step process which enables a CSV to be uploaded and imported to a Kentico website quickly and easily.

Step 1

Step 1 requires the import of the CSV file itself. It can be uploaded under test mode or directly to live depending on requirements. Date formatting can be selected by country, to match geographical conventions. If the site or page is under workflow, you can opt to publish documents straight to live, without needing to undergo an approval step.

Step 2

In step 2 the data columns in the CSV are paired with existing fields relevant to the chosen object type on the website. For example, a user can choose to upload a CSV file to a particular custom table or a particular page type.

Once the object type is selected, the user can then choose from a drop down menu of related site structures. These structures are column names in the case of custom tables and object fields in the case of page types.
Essentially what this step achieves, is matching the fields in the CSV to existing object fields in Kentico.

Step 3

In step three a test mode feature allows the upload and pairing process to be simulated prior to the data in the CSV being published to the website, to ensure the upload is valid and error free. During this process, CSV data inputted as “yes/no” is automatically converted to “true/false” using expectation logic.
System Requirements: Kentico Version 9
Useful Applications

This simple but effective module delivers a fast and effective way to handle mass content uploads to Kentico sites, while limiting the risk of invalid data entry and human error.

This is particularly useful for uploading vital business information such as contact and address details for multiple office locations or branches, as the validation process reduces the likelihood of errors and avoids incorrect information being published to live.

Other use cases include mass content uploads for things such as blogs, testimonials and case studies.