The Problem (note: this is not a character on MTV's Jersey Shore).
Content Author: "Why do I have to create [page-related item] in some obscure location before adding it to a page?"
Developer: "Because, [page-related item] is not actually "part" of the page, it's simply referenced by a field in your page item and rendered at runtime according to the presentation settings we've established for your page item."
Content Author (eyes glazed over): "What? So I always have to remember to go to this other place in the content tree to create [page-related item] before I can add it to the page? I thought Sitecore was supposed to make my life easier as a content author? Grumble grumble..."
Developer: "Sorry, that's just how the Sitecore authoring tools work."
Does that conversation sound familiar? If so, you're in luck, there is now a way to change the conversation or avoid it altogether! The Inline Item List field aims to empower content authors with the ability to create/edit/delete related items without leaving the item they're currently editing.
Inline Item List field to the rescue
Surely, this field must involve some sort of voodoo magic? Actually, no, the Inline Item List field simply extends (and modifies) the Sitecore Multilist field type with a few extra controls:
You can Add a new item
Content tree before adding a new item via the Inline Item List field
Using the Add Item command
Content tree after adding a new item via the Inline Item List field
Or Edit an existing item
Using the Edit Item command
Or Remove an existing item
Using the Remove Item command
Content tree after removing an item via the Inline Item List
Where do I get it?
Version 1.0 of the Inline Item List field is available for download from Sitecore's Shared Source area: http://trac.sitecore.net/InlineItemListField
Documentation for installation, configuration and usage is also available from the Shared Source project area.
Where do we go from here? A few key areas for improvement have already been noted and will be available in upcoming releases.
- Allow authors to choose a template for new items. Currently, developers can only pre-define one template for new items. (This feature is already complete, it just needs to be merged with the code in Sitecore Trac)
- Page Editor support.
- Sitecore query support for field data source parameter.
If you have any questions or would like more information about the Inline Item List field and how it works, please leave a comment.