Archive for July, 2013

Preview of new upcoming Umbraco package, AJAX Store Locator for Umbraco 6 2

brandA while back I made the locator package (both for use with xslt and v4 razor )

Currently ‘I’m working on a version that runs on Umbraco 6 and makes a lot more use of ajax than the previous versions.

It uses the same core as the razor version but instead of writing the code inside razor macro it’s now done with the help of an UmbracoApiController that you can then use from js.

Also the locator will load with a location that it finds based on your ip address (and also plan to make it work based on the location of your phone / other mobile device)

So the Umbraco specific bit of this project is of course the custom Controller that currently looks like

public class LocatorApiController : UmbracoApiController
        public IEnumerable<ExpandoObject> GetNearest(string address, int parentId, string docTypeFilter, string locationPropAlias, int numberOfSearchResults)
            UmbracoHelper help = new UmbracoHelper(UmbracoContext);
            var nodesToSearchThrough = help.TypedContent(parentId)
                .Where(c => c.DocumentTypeAlias == docTypeFilter).Where("Visible");
            var distanceunit = DistanceUnits.Kilometers;
            var items = new List<GeoItem>();
            var searchLocation = new Location();
            var r = GoogleGeoCoder.CallGeoWS(address);
            searchLocation = new Location(r.Results[0].Geometry.Location.Lat, r.Results[0].Geometry.Location.Lng);
            foreach (var node in nodesToSearchThrough) {
              var itemLocation = new Location(
                    Convert.ToDouble(node.GetProperty(locationPropAlias).Value.ToString().Split(‘,’)[0], Utility.NumberFormatInfo),
                    Convert.ToDouble(node.GetProperty(locationPropAlias).Value.ToString().Split(‘,’)[1], Utility.NumberFormatInfo));  
              items.Add(new GeoItem(node,itemLocation,searchLocation.DistanceBetween(itemLocation,distanceunit)));                                                                           
            items.Sort(new GeoItemComparer());
            var retval = new List<ExpandoObject>();
            foreach (GeoItem geo in items.Take(numberOfSearchResults))
                IPublishedContent node = ((IPublishedContent)geo.Node);
                var obj = new ExpandoObject() as IDictionary<string, Object>;
                obj.Add("Distance", geo.Distance);
                obj.Add("Latitude", geo.Location.Latitude);
                obj.Add("Longitude", geo.Location.Longitude);
                obj.Add("Name", node.Name);
                obj.Add("Url", node.Url);
                foreach (var nodeProp in node.Properties)
                    obj.Add(nodeProp.Alias, nodeProp.Value);
            return retval;


Cool part here is that I’m returning an IEnumerable<ExpandoObject> (since I want to be able to include all property data of the nodes I’m returning, so it’s easy to access them in js).





Code is available on github

Extending the Umbraco Backend Using MVC 21

1 thing I wanted to do while creating Optimus for Umbraco was creating the page that is responsible for editing the bundle use the MVC framework instead of Webforms

The backoffice of Umbraco v4/v6 is still Webforms but it’s perfectly possible to plug in pages that use MVC.

The sourcecode for Optimus is available and you can use that to figure out how it’s done but I thought It would be even easier if I created a starter project for that Smile

Umbraco MVC Backoffice Pages

So I’ve just published a new project on github that does exactly that

You might have come accros this post by Bart de Meyer that also talks about this subject but there is a difference in the approach I’m using since I’m not making use of a SurfaceController (since those are for frontend use) and I’m also trying to keep things seperated by working in the /App_plugins folder (~\App_Plugins\UmbracoMVCBackofficePages\ folder in this case)

Solution setup


The vs solution consist of 2 projects, 1 test site that just contains Umbraco and the the project where we’ll add our code and push to the test site using post build events.

The post build events (moving the assembly and the views/icons used)

xcopy "$(ProjectDir)bin\UmbracoMVCBackofficePages.*" "$(ProjectDir)..\TestSite\bin\" /Y
xcopy "$(ProjectDir)Icons\*.*" "$(ProjectDir)..\TestSite\App_Plugins\UmbracoMVCBackofficePages\Icons\" /Y   
xcopy "$(ProjectDir)Views\*.*" "$(ProjectDir)..\TestSite\App_Plugins\UmbracoMVCBackofficePages\Views\" /Y 

Step 1: Data

So first step it to create some data that we’ll be working with as this is an example I just creates a very simple Person class and another class that will return some sample data

Person class:

 public class Person
        public Person(int id, string firstName, string lastName)
            Id = id;
            FirstName = firstName;
            LastName = lastName;
        public int Id { get; set; }
        public string FirstName { get; set; }
        public string LastName { get; set; }
        public override string ToString()
            return FirstName + " " + LastName;


Data class:

 public class Data
        public static IEnumerable<Person> GetAll()
            var data = new List<Person>();
            data.Add(new Person(1, "Jeff", "Trent"));
            data.Add(new Person(2, "Paula", "Trent"));
            data.Add(new Person(3, "Lieutenant", "Harper"));
            data.Add(new Person(4, "Colonel", "Edwards"));
            data.Add(new Person(5, "Patrolman", "Larry"));
            return data;
        public static Person GetById(int id)
            return GetAll().Where(p => p.Id == id).FirstOrDefault();

So imagine that this interacts with your datasource….

Step 2: The Tree

Next I’ll add a tree to the settings section that will list my data

 [Tree("settings", "exampleTree", "Example")]
    public class ExampleTree : BaseTree
        public ExampleTree(string application)
            : base(application)
        protected override void CreateRootNode(ref XmlTreeNode rootNode)
            rootNode.NodeType   = "example";
            rootNode.NodeID     = "init";
            rootNode.Menu =  new List<IAction> { ActionRefresh.Instance };
        public override void Render(ref XmlTree tree)
            foreach (var person in Data.GetAll())
                var node = XmlTreeNode.Create(this);
                node.NodeID = person.Id.ToString();
                node.NodeType = "person";
                node.Text = person.ToString();
                node.Action = string.Format("javascript:openExamplePage({0});",
                node.Icon = "../../../App_Plugins/UmbracoMVCBackofficePages/Icons/example-icon.png";
                node.OpenIcon = "../../../App_Plugins/UmbracoMVCBackofficePages/Icons/example-icon.png";
                node.HasChildren = false;
                node.Menu = new List<IAction>();
                OnBeforeNodeRender(ref tree, ref node, EventArgs.Empty);
                if (node != null)
                    OnAfterNodeRender(ref tree, ref node, EventArgs.Empty);
        public override void RenderJS(ref System.Text.StringBuilder Javascript)
               @"function openExamplePage(id) {


Important part here is the js function that will open the edit page and pass it the id (check the node action)


Of course we’ll need to make sure ../App_Plugins/UmbracoMVCBackofficePages/Index get’s routed correctly (more in the next steps)

Step 3: Routing

Since I’m not making use of an Umbraco SurfaceController I need to take care of the routing

So my route config looks like

 public class RouteConfig
        public static void RegisterRoutes(RouteCollection routes)
               name: "ExampleMVCBackofficePages",
               url: "App_Plugins/UmbracoMVCBackofficePages/{action}/{id}",
               defaults: new { controller = "Example", action = "Index", id = UrlParameter.Optional }

And to make sure that is done when the application is started I have an Umbraco ApplicationEventHandler (since I’m using 6.1 +) in place

public class StartUpHandlers : ApplicationEventHandler
        protected override void ApplicationStarted(UmbracoApplicationBase umbracoApplication, ApplicationContext applicationContext)


Step 4: VIew model

Pretty simple model making use of data annotations

public class PersonViewModel
        public int Id { get; set; }
        [Display(Name = "First name:")]
        public string FirstName { get; set; }
        [Display(Name = "Last name:")]
        public string LastName { get; set; }


Step 5: Controller

An  MVC controller inheriting from UmbracoAuthorizedController that takes care of the authentication (so you can’t access App_Plugins/UmbracoMVCBackofficePages/Index if you aren’t logged into the backoffice)

public class ExampleController : UmbracoAuthorizedController
        public ActionResult Index(int id)
            var p = Data.GetById(id);
            PersonViewModel model = new PersonViewModel();
            model.Id = p.Id;
            model.FirstName = p.FirstName;
            model.LastName = p.LastName;
            return View("~/App_Plugins/UmbracoMVCBackofficePages/Views/Index.cshtml", model);
        public ActionResult Edit(PersonViewModel person)
            if (ModelState.IsValid) { }
                //do something
            TempData["success"] = true;
            return View("~/App_Plugins/UmbracoMVCBackofficePages/Views/Index.cshtml",person);

But notice that I do specify the view path since it won’t look in that directory by default

Step 6: View

Strongly typed view that uses the same js/css/markup as the backoffice webforms pages so it also has the same look Smile (and also shows the speech bubble when the form was submitted successfully)

@model UmbracoMVCBackofficePages.Models.PersonViewModel
<!doctype html>
    <title>Example editor</title>
    <script src="~/umbraco_client/ui/jquery.js" type="text/javascript"></script>
    <script src="~/umbraco_client/Application/NamespaceManager.js" type="text/javascript"></script>
    <script src="~/umbraco_client/Application/UmbracoApplicationActions.js" type="text/javascript"></script>
    <script src="~/umbraco_client/Application/UmbracoUtils.js" type="text/javascript"></script>
    <script src="~/umbraco_client/Application/UmbracoClientManager.js" type="text/javascript"></script>
    <script src="~/umbraco_client/ui/default.js" type="text/javascript"></script>
    <link href="~/umbraco_client/ui/default.css" rel="stylesheet" />
    <link href="~/umbraco_client/menuicon/style.css" rel="stylesheet" />
    <link href="~/umbraco_client/panel/style.css" rel="stylesheet" />
    <link href="~/umbraco_client/propertypane/style.css" rel="stylesheet" />
    <link href="~/umbraco_client/scrollingmenu/style.css" rel="stylesheet" />
        #save {
            height: 26px;
            margin: 0;
            padding: 0;
        #save img {
            padding: 0;
            margin: 0;
    @if (TempData["success"] != null)
            UmbClientMgr.mainWindow().UmbSpeechBubble.ShowMessage(’save’, ‘Saved’, ’successfully saved’);
        @using (Html.BeginForm("Edit", "Example"))
        <div id="body_UmbracoPanel" class="panel" style="width:100%;">
            <div class="boxhead">
                <h2 id="body_UmbracoPanelLabel">Example Editor</h2>
            <div class="boxbody">
                <div id="body_UmbracoPanel_menubackground" class="menubar_panel">
                    <span id="body_UmbracoPanel_menu">
                        <table id="body_UmbracoPanel_menu_tableContainer">
                                <tr id="body_UmbracoPanel_menu_tableContainerRow">
                                    <td id="body_UmbracoPanel_menu_tableContainerButtons">
                                        <button type="submit" id="save">
                                            <img src="~/umbraco/images/editor/save.gif" alt="Save Bundle" class="editorIcon"/>
                <div id="body_UmbracoPanel_content" class="content">
                    <div class="innerContent" id="body_UmbracoPanel_innerContent">
                        <h2 class="propertypaneTitel">Details</h2>
                        @Html.HiddenFor( m => m.Id)
                        <div class="propertypane">
                                <div class="propertyItem">
                                    <div class="propertyItemheader">@Html.LabelFor(m => m.FirstName)</div>
                                    <div class="propertyItemContent">
                                        @Html.EditorFor(m => m.FirstName)
                                        @Html.ValidationMessageFor(m => m.FirstName)
                                <div class="propertyItem">
                                    <div class="propertyItemheader">@Html.LabelFor(m => m.LastName)</div>
                                    <div class="propertyItemContent">
                                        @Html.EditorFor(m => m.LastName)
                                         @Html.ValidationMessageFor(m => m.LastName)
                                <div class="propertyPaneFooter">-</div>
            <div class="boxfooter">
                <div class="statusBar">


So that are the different bits and the end result should look like


Again source code for this project is available at

(I’ll also do a follow up post to show you how to get create/delete working)

Introducing Optimus Lite, instantly make any Umbraco website faster! 0

OptimusLiteLogoIf you’ve been following the latest blog posts you know I’ve been working on Optimus (bundling and minification for Umbraco built on top of the web optimization framework). In the comments Dima Stefantsov pointed out that there is another nice framework out there called  Request reduce.

Request reduce

Compared to the web optimization framework request reduce creates bundles automaticity, this means it’s just a matter of installing and your site performance is immediately improved.

For full overview please check out 

Of course all credits for this package goes to the Request reduce creator Matt Wrock

The only change I made was to make sure it ignores the umbraco backoffice since that had some side effects.


To see it in action check out this screenr



Package is available on

Optimus 1.0 release 0

We are done with the finishing touches to the Optimus package for Umbraco and are glad to announce that the 1.0 release is available today!

If you haven’t seen it in action yet, be sure to check out this quick overview


What’s new?

web optimization framework 1.1.0

The web optimization framework has been updated to the latest version (1.1.0), so you can make use of the Element template strings if you want full control over the link/script tag that will be inserted (this one’s for you James South)

@Scripts.RenderFormat(“<script src=’{0}’ async></script>”,”~/bundles/jquery”)

No empty trees

You’ll only get the dynamic scripts/stylesheet tree if you have at least 1 of the providers installed


Possible to disable minification on a bundle with the bundle editor UI


Bundle dynamic stylesheets/scripts directly

As requested by Jeavon Leopold it’s now possible to include less/sass/typescript/coffeescript files directly in a bundle (needs to be enabled in the \App_Plugins\Optimus\config\bundles.config file)


Some code refactor has been done to speed up several parts of the core


And finally the installer now handles the necessary files updates (thanks to the package action contrib team for the helpful snippets)


The package is available at

If you are interested in the sourcecode that can be found at

Optimus, the trailer 1

Hitting Umbraco installations 12/07/2013, want to know more about Optimus check out

Introducing Optimus: Resource bundling, minification and transformation for Umbraco 11

In collab with Mr Warren Buckley we are glad to announce the beta release of a new Umbraco package.

Meet Optimus

In essence Optimus is a UI layer on top of  the Web Optimization framework for Umbraco, making it possible to create script and style bundles from within the backoffice.

Why should you bundles those resources? Well in short: bundling and minification improves request load time by reducing the number of requests to the server and reducing the size of requested assets (such as CSS and JavaScript), for a good intro check

After installing Optimus you’ll end up with some new bits in the Settings section that allow you to create both script and style bundles by simply selecting the available files in the /css or /scripts folder


In addition to manually creating these bundles you’ll also find a new option in the edit template toolbar (for both views and masterpages) that allows you to simply select script/link tags and auto create a bundle from those (can’t get any easier).


more than meets the eye

Besides being able to bundle your resources Optimus also features a provider model for dynamic stylesheet and script languages.

The providers available today are:

As a final step of the installation you’ll be able to choose the providers you want to include (thanks to Matt Brailsford for letting us lend some code from the Universal Media Picker project).


Depending on the ones you installed you’ll be able create files of that type

In the new dynamic scripts tree


And dynamic stylesheets tree


Once created you can start writing code in the editor, the editor will check for errors and highlight the linenumber in case of an error.


If the transformation is successful you’ll end up with a plain js/css file that you can then use (also in bundles)


For a quick demo check out this screencast

It’s a beta

So today the beta is available on

In addition to installing the package you’ll need to do some manual web.config updates outlined here: course this will be done automatically by the final release)

It’s only been tested on Umbraco v6 but for the final release we’ll try to include the latest v4 (eta next friday).