The Release Notes section is built using the Database feature in Pages, so the first step is simply to create the database we'll be using.
What are Databases?
The Databases feature in Pages gives you the tools you need to create your own custom data-driven sections of your community. You define the settings and fields in the database, and Pages gives you support for categories, comments, reviews, ratings and more - just like full IPS Community Suite applications. Since you have full control over the templates for each database (and even each category within the database). it's possible to create some advanced pages.
Creating the database
Let's set up the database first. In the AdminCP, go to Pages -> Content -> Databases and click Create New. You'll see a tabbed form that configures how this database will work.
Start with the basics: enter Release Notes for the name (this is how the suite will refer to your new section in menus etc.), and enter a description if you wish.
The next two options configure how the database uses categories. For our purposes, we don't need categories at all - recall that we simply show a table of releases. Upon selecting that option, you'll see another option to show a record list, which is precisely what we want here.
Below these, you'll see settings for templates. We don't need to worry about these for now - we'll be creating our own templates later.
The final step on this tab is to set a database key. This is just a way for pages in the suite to find the correct database later - it isn't shown to users. Entering release-notes is fine.
The languages tab is where we configure how the database will refer to our records. It means it can show things like "1 new release" instead of the generic "1 new record". We'll set them to (in this order):
On the options tab we'll configure some settings for the database. We're going to keep the default settings with the following exceptions:
We won't be allowing comments at all in our Release Notes section, so we'll disable this functionality from the outset
Disable "enable record image upload"
We won't be attaching images to release notes, so we can disable this feature too
Note that later we'll be sorting by a field we've yet to create, but for now the default choice is fine.
We aren't going to be making use of the Forums integration here, so we can safely ignore this tab.
Our database needs to live on a page within our website in order to be shown to users. You can create a page separately in the AdminCP and insert the database into it, but since we're creating the database now, we can do it in one go to save time. We're going to configure our page like so:
The key details here are:
- We're creating a new page for the database
- We've set the name to "Release Notes". This is how the page is referred to in links and menus, and will also be the browser title on this page.
- We've set the filename to "release-notes". This forms the URL to the page; in this case, it'll end up being <your community url>/release-notes/.
- We've chosen to create the page using Manual HTML, which means we will write the HTML to display the page. The alternative is to use the easy Page Builder, which enables you to drag and drop blocks into the page. You can use whichever you are more comfortable with.
- We're using the suite HTML wrapper. This is the header and footer of your site that our page will use. With this disabled, we'd be responsible for writing the entire page from scratch, which we don't want to do in this case.
When you save the database, you'll see the permissions matrix to configure what each can do. We want to allow all groups to see the database and records, but we're only going to allow staff to add and edit records (and remember, comments & reviews are disabled anyway):
That's it - you can save the form, and your database will be created. Next we'll move on to creating our fields.