Every so often, our Vice President of Product shares an email with the company that tells the background story on why Brightspot’s features are the way they are. Not one to keep secrets, we’re sharing her insights with you here, in a series called “Inside Brightspot.” From creating users and permissions to knowing the difference between different dashboard widgets, this series will answer the questions anyone who publishes digital content has likely pondered.
Let's talk about one of my favorite Brightspot features: our advanced actions, which are available throughout the system. For now, let's focus on the advanced actions on assets and pages.
How we have organized and presented the advanced actions has varied over the years. In previous versions of the Brightspot UI, these actions were grouped behind a wrench (you'll hear longtime Brightspot users refer to this toolkit as "the wrench" to this day). In the current version, these actions are available via an ellipsis, or our Advanced icon.
Regardless of the icon that leads to it, the advanced actions toolkit includes a treasure trove of features. If we take an Article as an example, here's a quick overview of what a user will see in the post-publish actions — note that these options will vary based on which Brightspot products and functionality a customer is using:
- Create New Article: Pretty self-explanatory! Click this option and you can start anew with a blank article.
- Copy This Article: Will copy the Article you're currently working on into a brand-new asset. Helpful if you want to reuse metadata or other Attributes.
- Create Assignment: Will allow you to create a brand new Assignment that this Article will be associated with (available as part of our Assignment Desk product).
- Create Content Template: Will allow you to create a content template, essentially a shortcut you can reuse again and again (more on content templates here).
- Translate: This option allows you to kick off the translation flow for a given asset. Available if you have translation enabled.
- Start Revision: For published Articles, this allows you to create a new Revision, which you can think of as a new draft — you can put a Revision back through a workflow.
- Archive: Will remove this asset from the live site, essentially putting it into Brightspot's trash can
- Tools: This is where a series of additional tools and settings are available for developers and editors.
The options you'll see in the advanced menu will vary by the type of asset you're looking at. Some other common ones users might see are:
- Edit in Full: You'll see Edit in Full if you have accessed an asset via an overlay, but you'd rather work in a full page, to make edits to it independently (think of it like opening a new tab, because that's ultimately what it does!).
- History: Available within Sites & Settings. History is located here because we wanted Sites to have a Revision History, however, these admin areas of Brightspot do not have a right rail the same way assets do — so we had to find History a home.
- Impersonate: Available on Users. This gives you the option to impersonate a given user, in order to experience Brightspot with that user's set of permissions.
A Deeper Look at the Advanced Tools
Let's go into more details on Tools specifically. Once you click on Tools, Brightspot will open an overlay, in which you'll see tabs labeled For Editors and For Developers.
Within the ‘For Editors’ tab, a user can access the following:
- 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 2020.
- 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 especially useful on homepages and section pages where many editors may play a part in curating content.
Within the ‘For Developers’ tab, a user can access the following:
- View Raw Data Link: Here you can see the JSON representation of this type; this comes in handy particularly during migrations — you can use the raw JSON to validate that an original value has been maintained as part of the raw asset, even if it is not used in a Brightspot field.
- Class: This tells you exactly what content type this called in the back end data model, in case you aren't sure. (You might not be sure if you are using content forms, for example.)
- ID: Here, you’ll find the unique database ID of this particular asset.
- URL: This is the direct URL to this asset. In previous versions of Brightspot, we appended a user's path onto the asset URL — it made them very long, which isn't the end of the world but wasn't the easiest on the eyes if you were pasting the URL into an email, Slack, or a Jira ticket.
The guiding idea behind the advanced actions is — what next steps might a user need to take from here? What tools can we provide to them to help them on their publishing journey?