Some time ago I built an add-on that allowed users to edit the Views/CSS/JS that are used to deliver an Episerver site called Virtual Template System. This has now been updated to be compatible with Episerver 11.
Why would we wish to let users edit templates in the UI?
Clients are in a rush, editors are continually getting smarter and are more demanding too. People hate waiting for the dev team or a deployment to happen particularly when the issue can be solved with a simple template change. In short people just don't want to wait and with the right power/skills users should be given the power to make changes themselves as long as they have a full understanding of the consequences.
I personally think as much power and control should be given to end users as they are comfortable with and if they are happy to edit/see template syntax online, why not let them edit it and save a support ticket? Of course tools must also be available to ensure source code can be kept in sync too and that source code changes do not have a detrimental effect on production sites (more on this coming in a future post soon).
Virtual Template System in action
In the example below the additional content area is moved from the left hand side of the page to the right in an Alloy site:
This is an open source project and the full source code for Virtual Template System is available at Github. The tool can also be found as Virtual Template System on the Episerver Nuget feed.
Changes that were added in the Episerver 11 compatible version:
- Compatible with Episerver 11
- Abiltiy to search templates (thanks to Validis for some inspiration from DBLocalisationProvider)
- Code highlighting when viewing and editing thanks to Ace Editor
- Moved the templates link under the CMS menu
- Some wording changed to be more editor friendly
I'm always happy to hear feedback/suggestions/ideas @davidknipe or in the comments below.