Remove SDL Web distractions (Part 2): Schemas and Templates

Most of the Tridion implementations that I’ve worked on over the last 11 years have relied on a number of ‘system’ Schemas and Templates. Rather than being used to add and update content on the websites, these items are often used for configuration, data or functionality on the sites.

Some examples of this are:

  1. A Page Template that generates the website’s sitemap,
  2. A Schema that is just used for storing a fragment of XML for configuring a tool/widget on the site
  3. A Page Template allowing caching on the site to be cleared on demand

SDL Web Page Templates Dropdown

Thankfully, with the move to MVC based applications and speedier deployment times, the need for such system items has been reduced. However, sometimes it’s absolutely necessary to keep some of these system items within the CMS. In these situations, we need to be careful not to distract everyday editors with these items.

Similar to restricting the Publications that an editor sees, removing access to these system items is done using the Tridion Security configuration.

By putting the system items into their own folder and restricting the permissions on those folders, these items can be hidden from the site’s content editors.

For example, the screenshot below shows that the Editor Group doesn’t have any permissions (Read, Write, Localize or Delete) on the ‘System Schemas’ Folder:

SDL Web System Templates Folder Permissions Screen

This then prevents users in the Editor Group from seeing these System Templates when creating a new Component:

Screenshot showing a limited number of SDL Web Page Templates

This is not a new concept and has been used and promoted by experienced SDL Web consultants for years. However, with features and content (hopefully!) being added to your sites continually, it’s worth checking out whether this has been implemented correctly across all your Schemas and Templates.

The understanding and implementation of this concept should also be helped by the SDL DXA (Digital Experience Accelerator) using a similar mechanism for separating Schemas and Templates (both for the DXA Core and its Modules) by their users’ roles.

SDL DXA folder structure

It’s possible to get very granular with this configuration. However, to help the process and avoid confusion, I’d strongly recommend using a permissions matrix to clearly show which Schemas and Templates are needed by users in each Group.

SDL Web Template Permissions Matrix

Hopefully this simple change will improve your editors’ experience within SDL Web.

In the next and final post in this series, I’m going to look at further reducing distractions for content editors by optimising the fields that they use within the content, metadata and taxonomy.