April 17, 2024

This year, Jatin Prajapati, Arvind Gehlot and I – we got together to call ourselves Team Expendables for the Sitecore Hackathon 2021, which happened a couple of weeks back on 6th/7th March 2021 as per India time. We were super excited this year, as we came together over our tea break in the office, where all of us shared the same interest, “I want to take a part in this year’s Sitecore Hackathon”.

When the Sitecore Hackathon started, we chose the category: The best enhancement to the Sitecore Admin (XP) for Content Editors & Marketers.

Our Module name is: The Realtime Notifier.

So what does it do?

The Realtime Notifier uses SignalR to send push notifications to all active Sitecore “Content Editor” users to update them about the latest changes that other users might have done. To achieve this, we have used SignalR. What is SignalR: As per Wikipedia, SignalR is a free and open-source software library for Microsoft ASP.NET that allows server code to send asynchronous notifications to client-side web applications. The library includes server-side and client-side JavaScript components.

  • The purpose of this module to keep content author up to the date and informed about what is happening on the items.
  • Currently content author doesn’t get any real time notification about what is going on to the items and if there are some items that need their attention to either approve or reject those changes without going into Workbox.
    • Content Author will get the real time notification in content editor itself where he/she spend most of the time and he/she will now get all the updates.
    • The notification will be shown in the Notification center – as a Bell icon besides the Workbox as well as a flyout on the bottom right of the screen. If the item’s parent root is expanded, the item that was updated by another user will also have an indication in its Gutter area.
  • As a part of the current Module, we have considered the following content author operations for processing sending the notifications:
    • Item Activities
      • When an Item is Created
      • When an Item is Saved
      • When an Item is Renamed
      • When an Item is Deleted
      • When one or more Items are Published
    • User Activities
      • When the Content Editor is being accessed
    • Workflow Activities
      • When an Item is Submitted to the Workflow
      • When an Item in Workflow is Approved
      • When an Item in Workflow is Rejected

A couple of screenshots to show you a quick look:

Here is our Video Demo:

Here is the package available, in case you want to download and try it on your own: https://github.com/Sitecore-Hackathon/2021-Expendables/blob/main/blob/main/package/SCHackathon2021-Team-Expendables-1.0.zip

After the hackathon was over, we forked the repo and still kept adding small changes to the forked repo. We plan to make it a module which can be utilized for a bigger purpose someday!

In case you are interested in contributing to the module, feel free to Fork the repo: https://github.com/varunvns/2021-Expendables and submit the Pull Request once you add your changes.

Overall, this was my 3rd Sitecore Hackathon – but the first one with Jatin and Arvind, and I thoroughly enjoyed.

I also want to shoutout Akshay Sura and other Community members who worked on making Sitecore Hackathon 2021 a successful event. Also, how can I forget Pieter, Mark and Tamas – who supported the Hackathon from Sitecore’s standpoint.

Last but not the least, I also wanted to thank Horizontal Digital – who provided us with all the support required during the Hackathon duration – food and beverages – and helping us focus on Hackathon.

Further Enhancements:

We did a lot of brainstorming during the initial hour and came up with a lot of ideas. We have implemented a number of functionalities but there are others which we are very much interested to add to the module, to make it even more useful. Here are few which we can plan to add in near future.

  • Content management of the Messages through Sitecore
  • Notification settings – of enabling and disabling the notifications – through Sitecore
  • Persistent Notifications
  • Live Chat between Authors

Happy Sitecoring!

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