Using Custom Page Manager

Overview

Custom Page Management, commonly referred to as CPM, is a built-in feature used to customize different parts of PowerSchool.  Customers hosted by PowerSchool need to use it for customizing PowerSchool, but if you're not hosted you can still use it or the custom web root approach.   If you want to add translation to your custom pages you have to use Custom Page Manager. 


Getting Started

You access CPM via the PS Administrator link on the left hand admin navigation menu.  Once you login to PS Administrator, you'll see a Custom Pages link.  From there you can enable the feature and migrate any custom pages from custom folders into the system or start from scratch.  Important: the current versions of PowerSchool will use any pages in the custom pages folder on the server itself even if the page is not customized in Custom Page Management, so be sure to remove all customizations from the data/custom/web_root folder on your server after the migration process. If you're hosted by PowerSchool, you will need to contact them to remove the custom pages from the folders.  If you're hosted by another company, contact them about cleaning out the custom web root.

For customizations to work you will also need to go to system, system settings, customization, and make sure enable customizations is checked.  (Do not click on the Synchronize Web Root link on that page as it will has no effect on Custom Page Management.)  Once customization is enabled and the Custom Page Management feature is enabled, you can start customizing pages, images, and wildcards.


Site Structure

Once you're logged in you'll see a Site Structure window.  The structure is based on the layout of the folders and files that are installed on the server with a PowerSchool installation.   For example, the admin folder is a replica of the admin folder on the server.  You can click on the plus signs to the left of a folder to expand it to see any subfolders or files within that folder.   Blue folders represent custom folders


Adding Folders

The following illustrates how to add a new folder in Custom Page Management.  The first thing to do is expand the folders in the Site Structure pane until you get to where you want to add the subfolder and then click on the Add button and choose Create Folder.  The screen shot below shows expanding the admin folder and then the reports folder.  Once the reports folder has been expanded, then Add, Create Folder is clicked on:

 Create Folder in CPM

After clicking on Create Folder, a small window will appear on the screen - this is where you will type in the name of the new folder:

Add New Folder in CPM 

Once you click on Submit, the folder will appear in the list with the other folders.  It will have a blue icon because it is a custom folder:

 Example of New Folder in CPM


Adding Files

To add a new file, expand the folders in the Site Structure pane until you get to where you want to add the file and then click on the Add button and choose Upload File.  In the following example, a new file is being added to the teacher, studentpages folder.  After you click on Upload File, a window will appear where you browse and find the file you want to add:

 Add New File to CPM

In the example above, the new file is named testlist.html.  Once the new file is found and the File Path is correct, you will click on Submit.  After the new file is added, it will appear in the list with the other files and will have a blue piece of paper icon:

 Example of New File in CPM

You can also add a new file by creating a new file.  Click on the folder where you want to add a file and then click Add and choose Create File.  You will be prompted to enter a file name - be sure to enter the extension.  For example, if you want to create a new page called mynewpage, then enter mynewpage.html for the file name.  Once you have a new file created, use the Customized Page window to add coding for the page and click Publish or Save when done.  See Editing Files below for more information.

If the new file is added to the admin/student/studentpages or teacher/studentpages folders, the changes for the file will not appear until you go to System, Special Operations, and choose Rebuild Custom Page Links.


Editing Files

To edit a regular html file, browse the folder structure until you find the file and then click on it.  Below is an example of finding and clicking on a file called modifydata.html that resides in the admin, students folder.  Once you click on the flie name, the html for the original page will appear in the Original Page pane.  If you haven't customized the file yet, a Customize Page button will appear in the Customized Page pane.  Once you click on it, the html for the page will appear in the pane and the icon for the page in the Site Structure pane will turn blue:

New Edit File in CPM 

To customize the page, find the html you want to change in the Customized Page pane and make your changes.

Editing a Page in CPM 

You can click on the blue double arrow to the right of the Customized Page tab heading to view the screen in the full width of the screen.  Once you've made your changes and you want them to take effect, click on the Publish button at the bottom of the Customized Page pane.  You can also click on the Save button to save your changes but not yet publish the new page. Saved changes will not take effect until you click on Publish.

In addition to editing regular html pages, you can edit custom pages that you've added.  However, those pages will only have html in the Customized Page pane and the Original Page screen will look like below since there is no Original Page:

 New Page in CPM


The Toolbar

When you're in the Customized Page area working on your html, you'll see a toolbar like the following:

CPM Toolbar

The toolbar has some helpful buttons.  The key icon (4th from the right) is used to extract the selected text to a key for a translation and clicking on the Preview icon (2nd from the right) will show you any keys that you created for translation on that page.  Keys are optional and used mainly for translation purposes and are explained in more detail on PowerSource.  Another helpful icon is the page template icon (5th from the right) which will give you an idea of the layout of pages in PowerSchool and is handy to use when creating new pages and you need basic coding for the page.


Deleting Custom Folders and Files

You can only delete a custom folder once all of the files within the folder have been deleted.  You can delete a file by clicking on the file name and then clicking on the Delete button at the bottom of the Site Structure pane.  You can only delete custom files - CPM will not let you delete the built-in pages.  If you've customized a built-in page and delete the page in CPM, it'll revert back to the built-in page after the deletion.  For example, if you made changes to the more2.html page but now want to go back to the built-in version, highlight the more2.html page and click on Delete.  The custom version of the page will be deleted and the icon for more2.html will change back to the default white one.  If you're deleting a page that you added, such as the testlist.html one above, then the page will be removed completely after clicking the Delete button.  In those cases, make sure you have a backup copy of the page in case you change your mind, or use Export feature to export your customizations first.

If you delete a page and it does not revert back to the original, be sure your custom page folders on the server itself are empty.  See the Getting Started section above for more information.


Import / Export

Clicking on the Import / Export button in CPM will take you to the Custom Pages Import / Export page in PowerSchool.  You can also access the page by clicking on a link to it on the Page and Data Managment page in PowerSchool.  Of the two options, the Export feature is the most used of the two, but both will be covered below.

The import feature is rarely used these days due to the introduction of plugins.  Prior to plugins, one would use the import feature to mass upload several files into CPM at once.   Unfortunately the files in the import would overwrite other custom pages with the same name in the same location, certain media files would not import, and there was no way to mass remove the files later on.  Most customizations that were in the import format have been converted over to plugins instead, but be sure to check before installing because they are both in zip format, but each has specific file structures that must be in place.

The export feature is something that you'll want to use often.  It will create a zip file containing all of the custom files in CPM, however, it will not export images (a workaround is to create a plugin file instead).  It will create the folder structure as needed and place any custom files in the folders as they appear in CPM.  It's a great way to make a backup copy of what you have in CPM before you do any upgrades or make major changes to any customizations.  Only custom files are exported.  For example, if you have a custom copy of the more2.html page in CPM, the custom copy will be exported.  If you have 100 custom files in CPM, then your export will only include those 100 files.


UI Examples

Another button in the top right is the UI Examples, or User Interface Examples page.  Clicking on the button will take you to a page that has a lot of examples of things you can add to your custom pages and the coding to use.

 

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