RSS Feeds

Overview

RSS feeds are containers for individual RSS items. In and of itself, a feed is simply an XML document that follows the RSS standards; the items within a feed are the articles that a user reads. Depending on the university's implementation, RSS feed files are usually found in the /_resources folder or in a separate /rss directory.

Feeds can be set up in OU Campus by a Level 10 administrator and then assigned to a directory or page using access settings. A list of feeds can be found by clicking Content > RSS in the Global Navigation Bar.

Access RSS Feed list

If applied to a directory, created pages will inherit the access settings for RSS. An RSS feed can also be configured to be built into a template control file (TCF) and the template can be chosen as a new page. New pages are then created within the designated directory using a news template, which is setup to look for the RSS feed and often includes fields to pre-populate the item’s details.

It is possible for a page to be designated as an item for a particular feed after is has been created by a Level 10 administrator. It is also possible to have a variable in the template that allows an RSS feed to be selected for the page on page creation. To learn more about RSS items, refer to the RSS Feed Items page.

Aggregate feeds can also be created. The creation of the feed is the same as that of an individual feed, but instead of items being assigned to it, the individual feeds are assigned to it, and their items appear in it. For more information about these aggregate feeds, refer to the RSS Feed Groups page.

RSS Feeds View

RSS Feeds

Here is a breakdown of the RSS Feeds screen:

  • Local Navigation: Allows users to navigate quickly between the RSS Feeds view and the RSS Groups view.
  • Filter: Allows users to filter the RSS Feeds list based on the feed's file path or title.
  • New Button: Allows users to create new RSS feeds.
  • RSS Feeds List View: Navigate among all existing RSS feeds for the site. The same functionalities (multi-select, hover options, sort by path or title, etc.) present in other list views in OU Campus are also available here.
  • The options available on hover include Edit, Items, Publish, and Delete.

Creating a New RSS Feed

By default, an implementation may already include RSS feeds that are within the /_resources/rss/ or /rss/ directory. Prior to creating a new feed, an RSS directory where the XML file for the feed will reside should be created.

To create a new RSS Feed:

1. Select Content > RSS from the global navigation bar. The RSS Feeds view is shown.

2. Click New.

3. Configure the File Properties.

4. Configure the Feed Properties.

5. Click Save.

New RSS Feed

The File Properties panel includes:

  • Path: Determines where the RSS XML file will be created and feed items stored. It must be absolute to the staging root (e.g., /rss/weather.xml). It must begin with a slash and must not end with a slash. The directories within the path must be configured for the feed to be created, but the XML file itself will be created by the addition of a feed item. RSS feed paths are not modifiable after creation. Take note of the file structure before creating the feed.
  • Template: Provides a choice of pre-defined XML structures to use. Provided are /generic-2_0.xml or /generic-mrss-2_0.xml type templates. The XML template for media is the mrss template. It should be used when adding media files (images and video) to the feed items. If the generic non-media template is used and users add media content to the feed, it will not be published. Please contact support for assistance if there are not any templates listed in the drop-down.

The Feed Properties panel includes:

  • Title: Provide a title for the feed. This will be visible to subscribers.
  • Description: Give the feed a description, which subscribers will be able to see.
  • Link: The Link field should contain an absolute URL to the website (e.g.: http://www.omniupdate.com). Include the link to which the Path defined above will be appended. This is often the HTTP Root from the site settings.
  • Publish Date: The date is auto-populated with a variable that provides the date the page is published. It can also be manually entered here, but it is recommended that it be left set to [auto] so that the OU Campus system can automatically fill it in with the feed′s publish date. If manually entered, the format for this field must conform with RFC 822 (e.g.: Sat, 07 Sep 2012 02:00:00 GMT).
  • Publish Time: The time is auto-populated with a variable that provides the time the page is published. 
  • Item Count: Define the number of items to be displayed by the feed. For RSS feeds, the item count can be anywhere between 1–9999. Once the number of items in an RSS feed reaches this number, any older RSS items are removed from the feed.

After creating the feed, items can be added to it. A page template can be configured to not only create a page, but to prepopulate and create the RSS item details during the page creation process. If a template is used that does not have RSS items configured to be created automatically, this will have to be done manually for that page after the fact. More information on how to create RSS items can be found on the RSS Feed Items page.

Editing RSS Feeds

Users are able to edit the properties of existing RSS feeds within OU Campus from the RSS Feeds view. The Edit RSS Feed view is very similar to the New Feed view in both interface and functionality.

Edit an RSS Feed

To edit an existing RSS feed:

  1. Select Content > RSS from the global navigation bar. The RSS Feeds view is shown.
  2. Click the linked path or hover over the row to display the options and select Edit.
  3. Make any necessary changes in the File Properties or Feed Properties panels and click Save.

Publish the feed for the changes to take effect.

Publishing RSS Feeds

RSS feeds can make use of publishing to different targets. When feeds and aggregate feeds are rebuilt, they are rebuilt onto production server and publish targets alike. When Multi-Target Publish is configured and in use, a publish target can be selected to rebuild a feed to, which overrides rebuilding the feed to the default production server. When pages are scheduled to publish or expire, RSS feeds assigned to that page are rebuilt. To publish an RSS Feed:

  1. Select Content > RSS from the global navigation bar. The RSS Feeds view is shown.
  2. Hover over the RSS feed to be published and select Publish.
  3. In the Publish Feed modal, select a target server from the drop-down to publish the feed to and click Publish.

Publish RSS Feed Modal

If the action was successful, a system message will appear at the bottom of the browser indicating success.

Deleting RSS Feeds

  1. Select Content > RSS from the global navigation bar. The RSS Feeds view is shown.
  2. Hover over the RSS feed to be deleted and select Delete.
  3. In the Delete RSS Feed modal, click Delete.

If the feed has been successfully deleted, a system message will appear at the bottom of the browser indicating success.

Apply an RSS Feed to a Page or Directory

Once the RSS feed is created, the feed can be associated with a page in two ways. The level 10 administrator can either assign RSS feed access to a page or it can be built into a template. A user selecting the RSS template during new page creation will be able to select the feed from a drop-down and then be able to add an RSS item to the page.

An RSS feed can be assigned to a directory using the access settings. If the feed is assigned to a directory, then any pages created in that directory will have the option to be associated with that particular feed.

To assign an RSS feed to a page:

  1. Navigate to the Pages list view by selecting Content or Content > Pages from the global navigation bar.
  2. Hover onto the page in question and from the Edit menu, select Access.
  3. In the RSS Feed field, select the feed with which the items should be associated.
  4. Click Save.

Assigning the feed to a directory or site requires involves the same process; simply navigate to the site or directory in question and edit the access settings as described above.

Once a feed has been associated, RSS can be selected from the Edit menu.

Edit RSS for a page

Final Notes

  • Feeds must be set up prior to them being available to be assigned to an aggregate feed group. 
  • The page that the feed is associated with must be published.
  • If you are creating a new section using a template designated for RSS use (e.g. a "News Section" template), you must go into its access settings after the section is created to assign the RSS feed.