Introduction to channels

Channels define a delivery format and its associated content. Take for example a typical news document which should be present on a web, in an app, an HBBTV application and the teletext. All these delivery formats use the same content but the format in which the content is presented is different. In this use case one channel may be used for each of the different delivery formats. The technical delivery format does not matter here it. Content might be delivered as HTML, XML, JSON or any other format.

Channels are defined by system documents and are managed in the administration view. A channel has a name and a label. The label is used within the deskclient to refer to channels. The name is used in the delivery to clearly reference to one channel. Therefore, the name of a channel should be unique across a sophora installation. It is configurable for which websites and document types a channel is potentially available. The channel document must be published as only the last published version is taken into account.

When a website is referenced by a channel, the default channel affiliation of documents within this combintation of website and channel is configured in the structure node document of the website. This is done on the "Configuration" tab of the site. If a channel is checked here, all documents of the document types which are referenced by the channel are by default enabled for this channel. The default affiliation may be overwritten in sub structure nodes. The inherited affiliation may be overwritten in documents.
Documents are only present on a channel if they are enabled for it directly of through structure interhitance.

The input field type for the channel settings is configured on the childnode sophora-nt:channelSettings and has the name "Settings for channels".

Channel configuration icons

Channels are configured in structure node documents with the help of three-state checkboxes that are explained below.

Content Description
When a checkbox is checked, the channel by default is enabled for documents which are located under the given structure node and for which its document type is registered by the channel.
An intermediate checkbox is depicted by a dash and defines that the channel settings are inherited from parent structure nodes.
An unchecked checkbox defines that the channel by default is disabled for relevant documents.

Definition of channel affiliation in documents

The channel affiliation of a document is by default inherited from the channel settings of its structure hierachy. But it can be overwritten in each document. For this purpose, the above mentioned input field type must be configured for the document's node type. This input field type provides the same three-state checkbox for each channel. The channel affiliation may be inherited, enabled or disabled. Additionally the channel affiliation may be scheduled in documents. This scheduling is only possible in documents and not for the inheritance of channel affiliation. To do so, the input field type must be configured accordingly. A timing configuration for one channel affiliation is only possible when the channel is enabled for a document. With the help of scheduled channel affiliation it is possible to publish one document in selected channels earlier than in others. In live deliveries the timed channel affiliation is taken into account on top of all other visibility rules. It is for example neccessary that a document is published to be presented within a live delivery. The activation in one channel is not sufficient for a document to be present in live deliveries.

Visibility of documents with timed channel affilations in the preview

Documents are only presented in the preview if they are enabled for the current channel. But if the preview date is not set the timed channel affiliation settings are not considered in the preview. This enables the editor to preview the document, regardless of the channel timing configuration. If a preview date is set the timing setting of an channel affiliation is taken into account.

Channel information in Solr

The indexing of channel information in solr is described in the solr documentation.

Channels in the Sophora delivery

The URL pattern used to access documents under different channels is described in the delivery documentation. The validity check if a document should be presented on a given channel is transparently implemented in the Sophora delivery.