Documents can be created in the workspace and made accessible to app users.
This is done via the Documents module. Documents can include PDFs, spreadsheets, slides, audio and video files, as well as any online content that can be associated with the workspace via a URL.
Once a document is created in the workspace, it can be made accessible to app users via pages, sessions, feeds, the app menu, or a webcast, and configuration settings can be used to manage who can access the files and when.
To create a document in the workspace, Backstage users need to:
- Create the document shell in the workspace.
- Configure the document's settings in the workspace.
- Upload the file (or add the URL) that will be associated to the document in the workspace.
- Associate the uploaded file (or URL) to the created document.
In this section we will take you through the above steps in more detail, to allow you to of create documents in the workspace and make them available to app users.
You can access the Documents module through the Content category in the Backstage main menu.
More advanced information on the Documents module is also available in the following articles:
Creating a document in the workspace
Please follow the below steps to create a document in your workspace:
- Go to the Content category in the workspace main menu, and select Documents.
- Click on the New document button. Here you can enter the below information for the document you are creating:
- Enter the title of the document in the Name field.
- Upload and select the file associated to the document, using the File field.
If the file is already uploaded to the workspace, simply select it in the dropdown list.
If the file is not yet uploaded, simply click on UPLOAD, and select the file to be uploaded.
Once the file is uploaded, you can select it in the dropdown list to associate it to the document you are creating:
Using the Availability options, you can select whether the document will be available to the app user only when they have internet access, or all the time (offline included).
Using the Unique identifier field, you can enter an identifier for the document, which will become the file's name in Backstage. If you leave this field blank the identifier will be created automatically by the system, using the file name.
For more information on uploading document(s) please refer to the Uploading and downloading documents section below.
- Select the type of document you are creating, in the Document type field, based on the file the document will be associated to:
- If the file is a PDFs, select PDF.
- When associating the document to an external online source, select Website.
- For audio files, select Audio.
- For video files, select Video.
- For longer videos that require embedding, use Webcast, inserting the embed URL from Vimeo or YouTube, in the following format: https://player.youtube.com/emboded/xxxx
- For Excel files, Word files or PowerPoint presentations, select Other.
Important: Videos with embedded URLs such as youtube.com/emboded/xxxx will always play directly in the web app, however when played in the mobile app the video will not play directly in the app, but instead will play in the mobile device's browser. If the embed URL ends in .mp4 or .m3u8, then the video will play directly in the mobile app player and in the web app.
You can also use any of the below options for the document, depending on the type document you are creating and how you want it to be used:
Select an icon that will be displayed for the document, for example when the document is added as a button in the app menu.
Select this if you'd like the uploaded media to autoplay. This is applicable only for uploaded audio and video files. Webcast documents will only autoplay based on what the URL dictates (i.e. if an autoplay parameter is set-up).
Enable sharing (PDF only)
Select this to allow documents to be shared by app users externally. A share button appears when app users view the PDF.
Enter the description of the document, visible in Backstage only.
Block viewing until
Here you configure the time and a date at which the document can be viewed by app users.
Before this time and date, the document will not be available to be viewed, and the Error message (see below) will appear instead. The default message is "No content to show here".
This message will appear when app users try to view a blocked document, when using the Block viewing until option (see above) for the document.
For online documents or websites, paste the URL to the online content.
Open URL on devices default browser?
By default, documents are opened using the in-app browser. Here you can enable this option to open documents or websites in the app user's device's default browser.
Note: All websites or webpages (http or https) are always opened in the in-app browser, even if this option is selected for the document.
For web app users, when opening a PDF documents, the PDF will either be open directly in the app (if this option is not selected), or in a new page if the option is checked.
Select this to allow app users to make notes on documents. A button appears when app users view the document, allowing them to add notes.
Disable on device caching
By default, documents viewed in the app are stored in the cache, so that they are only downloaded once but can be viewed multiple times. Using this option will no longer save downloaded documents in the cache. It can be useful when referring to live documents that are updated in real-time, or larger files such as videos.
Selecting this allows the document to be bookmarked in the app. This adds the document to the Bookmarks section of the app for easy future reference
Enable landscape mode on phones
Select this to allow documents to be displayed in landscape on phones, when rotation is enabled on the device.
Once you have added all the necessary information and settings for the document, click on Save to finish creating the document in the workspace.
The document will now appear in the Documents tab, like in the example below:
By clicking on this document you can access the above entered information and make any changes needed, including changing the file associated to the document.
Giving app users access to the document in the app
Now that you have created the document following the steps above, you will need to make the document accessible to the app users.
This can be done by adding a button to the app menu that will take the user directly to the document when tapped, or by associating the document to another element in the app such as a user or speaker profile, a feed, a session, a page, etc.
Adding the document as a button in the app menu
Items, including links to documents, can be added to the app menu using the app menu editor.
- Go to the Design category in the workspace main menu, and select App menu.
- In the Add an item field, select Generic item launcher.
- In the Label field, click on the drop down list, and then click on Add a new shared translation.
- In the pop-up enter a label name. Here we have entered app_menu.my_document.
- Add the text for the app menu button. Here we have entered Welcome to our event!.
- Select an icon.
- In the Item to open field, select Document in the dropdown list, and then select the document to be linked to the app menu button. Here we have selected our Welcome to our event document, created above.
- Click on Save.
Once added, the new button for accessing the document is available in the list to the left, at the bottom where it can be moved to the appropriate position in the app menu:
Below you can see how the app menu will look in Backstage, and how it will look in the app:
|App menu in Backstage:||App menu in the app:|
For more information on managing the app menu, please refer to the next article in this Getting started series called Building the app menu.
Adding the document as a link in a page or a form
To link a document to a page or a form, simply go to the page or form display template, and add a link list or text component, where you can add a link to the document.
More information on adding content to a page or a form is available here.
Uploading and downloading documents
Files can be uploaded and associated to documents in Backstage directly when creating a document, as explained above in the Creating a document in the workspace, but you can also go to the Assets tab where other functionalities are available, such as:
- Uploading individual or multiple documents, using the Upload button.
- Downloading all documents from the workspace, using the Download button. The documents will be downloaded as part of a zip file.
- Downloading a list of the documents in the workspace, using the Export XLS file button.
- Uploading lists of documents in the workspace, using the Import XLS file button.
To perform the above actions, simply use the available buttons:
Uploading multiple documents simultaneously
To upload multiple documents, simply place the documents into a compressed (zip) file, and upload the zip file using the Upload button. The documents contained in the zip file will be uploaded individually and appear in the assets tab.
File sizes and recommendations
For more information on files sizes and recommendations, please refer to the File size recommendation article.
For the next steps in this Getting started series, please continue to the Building the app menu article.