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Applications are the basic building blocks of the Smart Application Model that define the way specific Content are presented and processed when addressed. Smart Pages are the most common applications but there are also special Application types that do not appear in the form of pages and return with custom response. Applications can be invoked via Actions.

Presenting Content with Applications

The features described in this section (displaying content with Pages) are available only if you have the sensenet ECM WebPages component installed, but the underlying philosophy of arranging applications, security and url generation applies even if you only have the core Services layer.

The simplest way to present a Content is done by placing portlets on individual pages that utilize Content presentational functionality (eg. Content viewer Portlet. However, Content can also be presented by addressing the Content itself and chosing an Application to present it. The selected Application is usually a simple page that uses Context bound Portlets to handle the addressed Content. These Applications are also referred to as Smart Pages and a single Smart Page in itself is capable of presenting many different Content of the same type. To create a Smart Page create a new Portlet Page under an (apps)/[Content Type name] folder in the Content Repository and use Context bound Portlets for Content handling.

Application model

Path of the created Application bears special importance as it defines the range of Content it is applicable to. The path of an Application can be given in the form:



  • custompath defines the path under which the Application will handle Content. The application is not accessible outside of this subtree.
  • contenttypename defines the type of Content that are handled by the Application.
  • applicationname is the name of the Application.

Application inheritance

Applications can be overridden in a subtree by placing an Application of the same name under an (apps) folder that is placed at a deeper level in the Content Repository and also by using the This keyword as contenttypename. See examples and refer to Smart Application Model for a details.

Applications and Actions

To connect Content and Application - besides properly setting up the Application Model in the Content Repository - so called Actions can be used. An Action in this case is a link that addresses the Content and specifies the name of the Application, for example:

The Application is resolved then using Smart Application Model mechanisms.

Application types

Altough an Application for a Content Type is usually defined as a Smart Page to present the Content, there are several other Application types defined in the system. An RssApplication for example will return the Rss feed corresponding to the addressed Content in the response. The base Content Type for Application types can be found under /Root/System/Schema/ContentTypes/GenericContent/Application. Here is a few examples of pre-defined Application types:

  • Page: defines a page layout to be rendered - when used with Context bound Portlets it is referred to as a Smart Page.
  • ApplicationOverride: it can be used to override Fields of an existing Application (Smart Page), without modifying the page layout
  • HttpStatusApplication: returns with the specified status code.
  • ImgResizeApplication: resizes and caches the requested image according to set parameters and returns with the cached image in the response.
  • RssApplication: returns the Rss feed for the requested Content in the response.
  • XsltApplication: transforms the xml representation of the addressed Content with the specified XSLT and puts the output to the response.

OData applications

There is a special type of application that is a placeholder for defining an OData REST API endpoint. This is the GenericODataApplication that points to a method that will be executed when the api endpoint is called. These methods are very similar to ASP.NET web api methods, and this is how you customize and extend the REST api of sensenet ECM.

Application configuration

Since an Application itself is a Content in the Content Repository, it has got Fields that describe its behavior. These Fields include the following (only listing the most important Fields):

  • Scenario: the list of scenario 'keywords' that define the places where action links referring the Application will appear. For example an Application with ListItem scenario can be initiated from the dropdown menu in various lists; an Application with ExploreActions scenario appears in the Actions menu of Explore. You can read more about this at the Action reference wiki page.
  • ActionTypeName: the .Net type of action (a class name) that is created when the Application is referred via an Action. A few example for built-in types:
    • UrlAction (default): a simple link is created with ?action url parameter that points to the Application name.
    • UploadAction: a UrlAction for containers with a custom evaluation: the upload link becomes disabled if the context folder does not allow File types to be added as child Content.
    • CopyToAction: a simple link is created that brings up a Content Picker where destination Folder can be selected. Context Content is then copied using the CopyToTarget Application.
  • Disabled: setting it to true makes the Application 'disappear' and cannot be invoked through an action link. Applications on higher levels with the same name (those that were overridden by this specific instance) remain functional and take part in the Application path resolution logic.
  • Clear: similar to Disabled, except that it hides higher level, overrided Applications of the same name as well. This is useful for disabling an Application for a subtree when the Application has been defined on a higher level (eg. in /Root/(apps)) and is available for Content in several subtrees - but it should not appear for Content that are under a specific subtree.
  • Icon: name of the Icon for the Application. This icon appears next to action links if it is enabled by the control that renders the link. Icons reside in the /Root/Global/images/icons folder.
  • StyleHint: an optional string property that can be interpreted by a custom renderer. Built-in renderers do not use this property.
  • RequiredPermissions: multiselect list that defines the permissions that are required on the tartget Content for the Application to be applicable to it. For example for an Edit Application one could specify the Edit permission to be required on the Content, so that for users that don't possess sufficient rights the Edit link will be disabled and thus cannot navigate to a Content's Edit Application. Besides the permissions specified here there are some necessary basic permission settings for a Content to be presented with an Application.
  • DeepPermissionCheck: if set to true the required permissions specified above are checked for the entire subtree under the context Content. This can be a useful setting for Applications that operate on whole subtrees, not only specific Content (a subtree move or update Application for example).
  • IncludeBackUrl: setting it to false will guide the action presenter logic not to include a back url in the action url. Default value for the portal is True except for Browse actions. For more info see the Action page.
  • CacheControl: the response is generated with the selected Cache-control headers. Its value can be one of the standard .NET values (NoCache, Private, Public, Server, ServerAndNoCache, ServerAndPrivate) or Nondefined (see Proxy Cache Configuration).
  • MaxAge: it is an integer value in seconds for Cache-control: max-age=x header to be sent out (see Proxy Cache Configuration).
  • CustomUrlParameters: this is a string value containing custom parameters that will be added to the action url that belongs to this application. E.g. 'type=visible;mode=m1'