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"Buddy" Release Notes

This quarterly release focuses on new features requested by our customers

The Buddy release was deployed to Sites@Duke Pro during the week of December 19, 2022. This 2nd Quarter release of Fiscal Year 2023 honors the fleece-loving, puppy-faced, senior pet of Sites Pro project manager Jillian Warren Brown.

Buddy adds a number of user-requested features, as well as accessibility and quality assurance enhancements.

Project Content Type

The new Project content type offers a flexible template to showcase the many sizes and shapes of projects happening across Duke.

Individual project page, with headline and image at the top, followed by descriptive text

Users must have the Project Creator and Project Reviewer roles, and then they can access this feature by going to Content > Add Content in the Drupal admin menu. A list page of Project will be available by default at /projects.

Sites@Duke Pro Projects List page – a filterable list of project abstracts


Publication List content block

This new content block displays publications pulled from Scholars@Duke. You simply enter your unit's Organization ID (or multiple IDs!), select a timeframe, and choose the number of publications to display per page.

List of publication excerpts, including author, title, and date


Page List content block enhancements

Small brown dog smiling at the camera with his eyes closed and tongue out

This release rethinks the existing Page List content block, with a number of small changes to make it more usable:

  • Category is now a required field, to better align with this block's purpose of displaying a list of Pages by Category.
  • Each item displays a Title and Summary – pulled from a new Summary field added to the Page content type. The Page's publish date no longer appears.
  • The current Page will be excluded from the Page List – i.e., the About page will not appear in the Page List on the About page.


NETID protection of Blog Posts, News, Resources, and Stories

By user request, Buddy increases the number of protected content types, adding the option for NetID protection to Blog Posts, News, Resources, and Stories. Selecting the "NetID Required" checkbox (previously labeled "Shibboleth Access") will require end users to log in with their Duke NetID to view the protected content item, denoted by a lock icon on the front end.

NetID Required checkbox on the Sites@Duke Pro admin interface

Protected content will also be excluded from the sitemap, News RSS feed, and publicly visible search results summaries.

As a reminder, files are not able to be NetID-protected at this time. If you add a file to a NetID-protected Resource, for example, non-Duke users will be restricted from viewing the Resource item but will still be able to access the file other ways.


Google Calendar integration

The Sites Pro base build offers integrations with a number of enterprise systems and third-party services. In response to feature requests from our users, Buddy adds the ability for site editors to embed content from Google Calendar into Pages and Stories using an iFrame content block.

A two-column row with a dog on the left and an embedded Google Calendar on the right


Metadata updates for improved search performance

Metadata is data that describes other data, and it is used by search engines to inventory content and accurately display it in search results. The Buddy release includes various small changes to improve metadata – particularly on Scholars Profiles, among other content types. While we cannot control how search engines, such as Google, crawl your site and interpret your metadata, we hope these changes will improve your site's performance in search results over time.


Other Notable Buddy Updates

A brown Carolina Dog curled up in a ball to take a nap

This release contains a number of usability improves to the admin interface and front-end display, as well as accessibility and security enhancements. Other significant changes include:

  1. Removal of the Document content type
  2. Content Type List Pages are now deactivated by default for all new Sites Pro sites, and we encourage current users to deactivate their unused list pages to avoid search engine penalties
  3. Summaries changes to improve user experience and consistency across different content types and front-end displays; review our detailed list of what has and has not changed 
  4. Improved display of the People page in the admin interface, making the page shorter and more easy to skim when searching for a specific user
  5. The ability to link images entered in a WYSIWYG editor
  6. External links in the utility menu now display an "external link" icon


A small brown dog sitting on a recliner and looking directly into the camera

User documentation will be made available on shortly. If you have a question about a specific update, please contact us!

Also, you can review our current feature Roadmap in Microsoft Teams or submit new feature ideas suggestions through our New Feature Request process.

Editor's Note: After a good, long life, our best Buddy crossed the Rainbow Bridge just days before his namesake release was deployed. The Sites Pro team is proud to honor his memory, and we imagine he is happily sunbathing in a warm, sunny spot, far from this winter weather. Rest in peace, dear friend!