Thursday, 10 January 2008

Change Page Types in EPiServer

I work for a company called Esendex where I help development and maintain their web projects. The main website uses a CMS called EPiServer, allowing non-technical people to create, edit and publish web pages. The system uses custom page types that are based on real *.aspx files known as templates. The templates specify the layout of the dynamic content stored in EPiServer's database which is editable in the CMS. When a page is loaded, the template requests the data and inserts each part into the relevant position.

Pages in EPiServer only exist virtually - there is no physical file for their existence. They are simply based on one of the page types and the database keeps a record of any respective data. A single template can be used to create several pages that will all look the same but contain different information. This is a nice feature but what happens if a page is created against template X and we want to use template Y in the future? We asked the same question to an EPiServer specialist who didn't really have an answer. The best he could come up was to update the database manually; in other words - there is no built-in functionality. Below is some SQL that can be run against the EPiServer database in order to modify an existing page's page type:
declare @PageID int
set @PageID = X

declare @PageTypeID int
set @PageTypeID = Y

declare @LinkURL nvarchar( 255 )

select @LinkURL = [Filename] from tblPageType where pkID = @PageTypeID

set @LinkURL = @LinkURL + '?id=' + cast( @PageID as nvarchar )

update tblPage set fkPageTypeID = @PageTypeID, LinkURL = @LinkURL where pkID = @PageID

update tblWorkPage set LinkURL = @LinkURL where fkPageID = @PageID

delete from tblWorkProperty
where fkWorkPageID in ( select pkID from tblWorkPage where fkPageID = @PageID )

Simply replace X with the page ID and Y with the page type ID.


Steve said...

What happens if the two pagetypes have different property definitions? :-)

Actually, I believe that this feature will be part of CMS 5 SP2, sometime later this year. It has been on the wishlist for a long time. Looking forward to it.

Andrew Gunn said...

I guess the page would lose all the old property values and you'd start from scratch again.

We recently did a batch update and had no such problems. The only issue we had was that we had to go through and manually re-publish all of the modified pages. If we didn't, you'd get an error when trying to view one of the pages.