This Getting Started Guide has been created for intranet administrators. It's aim is to explain the core concepts and help you understand the functionality of GreenOrbit.
Understanding the architecture of GreenOrbit
- The Frontend
- The Admin
Manage the permission your Frontend users will have across the Intranet
- Frontend Security levels
- Subsite Security
Layout and Content
How you manage and control the content on your Intranet
- Layout Manager
- Nav Editor
- ...and more
Structure: Your Intranet Building Blocks
The Frontend & The Admin
The intranet is comprised of two working areas; the Front End & the Admin.
- The Frontend is where users view and as well as add/edit/delete content.
- The Admin is where administrators control subsite structures, set subsite level security, manage some applications, manage user accounts (Frontend (Website) User and Admin Users) as well as configure the overall application settings.
The majority of the Intranet end users will only require a Frontend (Website) user account, even those that will be managing content. An Admin account is only required for a select few "Administrators" as they will be the ones setting up Subsites, managing User accounts and configuring the application settings (if required).
In the Admin, Administrators create what users will see on the Front End
Subsites are independent areas of your intranet, storing content for key business areas. Every GreenOrbit Intranet will have a "Home" subsite. From there the individual requirements of each implementation will determine whether additional Subsites are required.
For example, you may create subsites for departments, core services, or groups of users. The benefit of separating content into subsites is that it can more easily be administered by different staffs, locked-down with unique security settings and maintained in a manner that suits user requirements.
Each subsite also contains its own copy of applications, such as Layout Manager, CMS, Navigation, News, Calendar, etc. Although content is managed within each of the subsites it can be shared across subsites if you wish.
Each subsite will have a unique name, which is appended to the main Intranet URL, i.e:
- The Home subsite will always be accessible via: https://intranet/ and also https://intranet/home
- An additional subsite setup for Sales & Marketing, for example, could be named "marketing" and will use https://intranet/marketing
Below is a graphical representation of an example subsite structure within GreenOrbit:
In the above intranet structure example, there is the Home site and three subsites. Note: that each subsite has it's own URL, layout and applications. Despite utilizing different content applications, all subsites must use the same base applications; Layout Manager and CMS.
Security: Control access to content and who can manage it
The Frontend security levels available in GreenOrbit are here:
These security levels can be applied to a Frontend User (or a group they belong to) and they can be applied at many granular levels throughout the Intranet. The top most level that security is applied is at the Subsite level.
Learn here how to apply security to a Frontend user at the subsite level
Once security has been applied at the subsite level it will be inherited down to all other applications, categories, folders, pages, and file within the subsite.
Security can be also be applied at any of these levels in order to change the default, inherited security level for a user (or group).
Layout: How to add content to your Intranet
The full suite of GreenOrbit applications is available within each subsite. Administrators can then select the applications they require to create the structure and maintain the content of their subsite.
An application is where the content is stored and also where it is managed by Content Owners, or in the case of some applications, by an Administration within the Admin (for example Quick Links, Quick Polls, Nav Editor are all Admin managed applications).
Each Frontend application can be accessed by appending the name of the application to the URL of a subsite. For example:
These live within the Layout Manager or CMS application. Components that live within the "Application" category are used to surface information from within an application.
For example; the News application stores a number of news "Categories" and each of these Categories contain news "Articles". If you want to display all articles from a particular category on your Layout (homepage) or a content Page then you use the "News Component".
Simply drag the news component onto your Layout or Page and then select the Category you wish to display. You can then further customize the way your articles are displayed within the component settings.
The layout determines how content is presented to users. You will create the layout using the Layout Manager application on the Frontend, allowing you to setup the content that is displayed on the home page. It is also how you determine which content is displayed throughout all other applications and pages of your intranet, by using the 'main content area' (see diagram below).
Creating a subsite template
Before you can create a layout, you will need to create a template to base the layout upon. You can either create a template from scratch, or you can select and modify one of the existing subsite templates available within Layout Manager.
The template defines the number of rows and columns available as well as where the 'main content area' will be. You can add, delete and merge rows and columns.
Although the Layout is generally where the components will be added, components such as Site Header, Search, Navigation, and the Breadcrumb Bar are often placed into the template to help get you started when creating a new Layout based from the Template.
Using a template to create a layout
Now that there is a template, the layout for the intranet home page can be created. By selecting the template, you can then customize the layout add and organize the components according to how you wish you home page to look. A layout can also be copied for use in other subsites across the intranet.
Layouts are used to structure and present application content. They can be created via the Front End of the intranet by users who have been granted a Front End Security level of 'Creator' or higher.
In order for a layout to be displayed on the front end of your intranet, you first need to apply it in the applicable subsite by selecting the Applied option within the edit toolbar. Note: you can have multiple layouts available in a particular subsite, but only ONE can be applied at any time.
Visual: Templates and Layouts
Below we see (left) the structure defined within the Template and underneath it the Layout which is where the content can be added within that structure.
On the right we can see how CMS pages follow the same structure, a template defines the structure and the page is where the content is managed.
The final piece of the puzzle is understanding that a CMS page will be displayed within the 'main content area' defined by the current layout. Therefore, when you are viewing a page of content you are actually seeing that page sitting inside the layout.
The Nav Editor: Defining the global navigation
Consistent, clear navigation ensures intranet users are quickly finding content. The Nav Editor is used to add and edit the horizontal and vertical navigation items across the intranet.
The Nav Editor is an Admin managed application, therefore a user with an Admin User account will need to manage the Navigation. Once a navigation has been created within the Admin it is able to be placed within a Layout by using the 'Navigation' Component.
Generally there will be one global navigation that is added to the Layout of the Home and all other subsites. Additionally, other, mainly vertical Navigations, can be created for each subsite and displayed there. Although best practice commonly dictates that only one Vertical Navigation and one Horizontal Navigation should be visible at any time.
The Nav Editor is used to create links to intranet content. The Nav Editor creates both horizontal and vertical navigation.
Creating a Horizontal navigation within the Admin:
Adding the navigation to the layout using the Navigation component:
CMS: Publishing content
Publishing content is easy with the CMS which allows Frontend drag-and-drop creation and editing of files and pages using an easy to use, interface. In order to start publishing content, you need to setup the templates and folders, as well as apply security settings to govern who can or cannot create, edit and delete pages and files.
Publish articles and announcements on the intranet using News to keep your users up to date with latest information and updates from across the company. By publishing news articles regularly, you ensure that content is kept fresh and up to date which encourages your users to visit the intranet more often as their "sources for information". You can also publish RSS Feeds from external sites - this also assists in keep your intranet fresh with the latest industry news. In order to publish articles, you must first setup News categories within the applicable subsite.
Watch: how to publish news articles
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