October 09, 2014 by Charlie Turano

Changes to SPEAK apps on the Sitecore 8 Dashboard

I read this awesome blog today by NonLinear on “Adding new applications to the launch pad”. A great post on SPEAK apps in the Sitecore 8 LaunchPad, I definitely recommend for anyone wanting to add shortcuts to the LaunchPad.

After reading, I figured I’d expand on a few differences I’ve noticed when adding LaunchPad Shortcuts in Sitecore 8 compared to doing it with previous Sitecore versions. Let me know what you think and if you’ve spotted any changes yourself!

No More Shortcut Items

In the past, you used to need to create ‘Shortcut items’ in: Sitecore/client/Applications/Launch Pad/Page Settings/Shortcuts. It would look like this:

Screenshot of a Shortcut item in Sitecore

Now when creating a new shortcut, you need to create them under a new ‘Page Settings’ item. It has the same name and path as before, but has a different ID (so it’s therefore a new item).

OLD – Page Settings: {A2F9B8F1-CF23-4774-B862-4509EED6D8AC}

NEW – Page Settings: {AFE511E0-249F-47AF-8439-4E3641DAFAB8}

Create Launch Pad Groups

With Sitecore 8 you can also create groups of shortcuts. Now under /sitecore/client/Applications/Launch Pad/PageSettings/Buttons, you can create a LaunchPad-Group for the columns. Then under that group item you can create the LaunchPad-Button. These items link to your SPEAK Apps.

Screenshot of a Launch Pad Group in Sitecore

What’s up with this Link Field?

Another small difference is the way the ‘Link’ field operates for buttons you make. Previously, a ‘Shortcut’ item would link to your app via the ‘Starting Page ID’ field. This was just a Single Line Text field. You would just enter your app ID into that field.

Screenshot of Starting Page ID field of a Shortcut item in Sitecore

The field is now labelled a ‘Link’ field, it’s still a Single Line Text field (I expect this might change). Now you can enter the absolute path to the app item; making this a lot easier to implement.

Screenshot of the new Link field of the Shortcut items in Sitecore

It’s New but Not Too Different

Sitecore 8 is a revolutionary change that will make development so much better. It’s also full of these subtle changes that also advance development. Let me know if you have encountered some subtle differences!

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