Inside Brightspot: How to use the CMS wrench

Each week, our Vice President of Product shares an email with the company that’s filled with the background story on why Brightspot’s features are the way they are. It’s not just how Brightspot works but why its features were engineered the way they were. Not one to keep secrets, we’re sharing her insights with you here, in a weekly column called “The Whys.” From creating vanity URLs to knowing the difference between a document and an attachment, these posts answer the questions anyone who publishes digital content has likely pondered.

Let's talk about one of my favorite Brightspot features: the wrench.

In our v3 UI, the wrench was located in the top right of the Publish widget, and there's a treasure trove of features inside it. In the v4 UI, the wrench got relocated into the gear, and we renamed it Tools. We’ve called it the wrench for so long that it's important that everyone knows it by that name. We taught clients to call it that, and everyone should be prepared for a customer to panic during a v4 demo and ask, "But where is the wrench?" Now you'll know exactly what they’re referring to.

The Wrench

OK, so let's talk about the awesome features that are in the wrench and Tools. If you open it, you'll see tabs called For Editors and For Developers.

‘For Editors’ Tab

  • Published: You’ll see the date and time when the asset was first published, plus the user who took the publish action.
  • Last Updated: This lists the date and time when this asset was last updated, plus the user who took the update action.(Both of these are awesome because you have historical data on this individual asset; i.e., "Who changed this?")
  • Advanced Edits: New Publish Date: This allows you to change the Publish Date on this asset. There are scenarios where this setting could be your best friend. A good example: You're manually migrating content today, but you want it to appear as though it was published on its original publish date back in 2011. You can do that here! Let's say you’re trying to illustrate some search/date functions in the CMS. Simply change the publish date on a few assets so they are within the range you want to demonstrate. Just remember to click "Save" in this overlay and publish for best results.
  • Settings: Return to Dashboard on Save: This does exactly what it sounds like: When you click Save, it closes whatever asset you've set this on, sending you back to the dashboard. This prevents editors from accidentally locking an asset and preventing anyone else from editing it. This is useful on homepages and section pages, not so much on assets.

‘For Developers’ Tab

  • View Raw Data Link: Want to see the JSON representation of this type for some reason? Sometimes you might. I used to find it helpful when validating migration. Let's say there was data in the original migrated data that you wanted to make sure got into the Brightspot fields properly. You could check it here.
  • Class: This tells you exactly what content type this is "under the covers" in case you aren't sure (you might have renamed the content type via a content form or some other fancy developer method, directly in a project).
  • ID: Here you’ll find the unique database ID of this particular asset.
  • URL: This is the pretty, clean URL directly to this asset. I love this URL. If you've ever navigated your way around the CMS, say from a Page to a specific asset, you might notice that the URL is very, very long and hard on the eyes, because the CMS URL keeps track of the path you took to get to that asset. If you want a nice, clean URL direct to the asset, you can always get it from the wrench or Tools.
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