System Notifications: A Quick Review

We did a podcast about the System Notifications in which we talked about the usefulness of this feature. Here is a written breakdown of that podcast for this specific ACS Adobe Experience Manager Commons feature.

What is it?
From the ACS Adobe Experience Manager Commons GitHub page: “ACS AEM Commons System Notifications provide a means to deliver on-platform notifications to Authors using the system. This is a great way to communicate when system activities will occur, are occurring, and have ended.” This is one of the few ACS AEM Commons features that are set up to work in both Classic and Touch UI.

How it works
It allows you to author a page using a scaffolding-like UI to populate and schedule messages that will show to anyone logged into an author instance. You have a few simple controls, such as basic styling, “On” and “Off” times, a title and body, and the ability to disable a notification so it can be reused in the future without annoying the authors in the interim. Other customizations can be done, but you will have to code them in yourself (such as color/branding changes, size, etc.). You can make notifications “not dismissable” so that the message stays up. We have only seen System Notifications implemented for all users. You are not able to customize it to a specific user group.

Since we posted our podcast about this, we were lucky to have a brief email exchange with David Gonzalez, Solution Architect at Adobe and co-project lead of ACS AEM Commons and ACS AEM Tools, giving us a bit more information about styling and the nature of the dismissable. Here are his comments:
“It’s not that straightforward to style the Adobe Experience Manager Notifications; the ‘easiest’ way would be to overlay the CSS classes and change the ‘color’ styles. IIRC the style options are hardcoded into the JSP and not pulled off some configurable list.

* If Dismissable is UNCHECKED, then on EVERY page load the notification will display. You can click ‘Dismiss’ on it to hide it on THAT page, but it keeps showing up. I found that making it totally not-dismissible made it hard to navigate the UI (ex. to turn off the notification).

* If Dismissable is CHECKED, then the dismiss state for THAT notification is stored in a cookie. The key for checking if a notification is dismissed is the path to the notification + the lastModified time of that node—so if anything is changed on that notification, it will show up again.”

Audience impact (authors, admins)

  • admins – A great way for admins to set expectations around, and communicate with, the authors about a variety of things.
  • authors – It notifies them!

Example application
If you have a content freeze for a migration or other system event, you can warn authors before they get involved in a new content project. Or, you can inform users of an issue that is affecting the site or of a software upgrade, etc.