User Picker Field, the new user ID - This week in Orchard (06/12/2020)

Gábor Domonkos's avatar
Admin UI, Permissions, Localization, This week in Orchard, Content field, Role, Permission

This time we will do a little deep dive and check out some important changes in the code base of Orchard Core. But don't be scared, we promise you will like these changes, especially the demo about the new User Picker Field!

Orchard Core updates

Allow media width and height values without a token

You could see a demo a few weeks ago in this post about the new options for Media Field where you can set the alt text of your image and you can also crop your images using a nice media crop picker. The way it was working is it's putting different kinds of options to the query string that allows you to manipulate your image. Let's see the following URL for an example: https://localhost:44300/media/post-bg.jpg?width=1&height=600&rmode=crop&rxy=0.2,0.5. Here you can see we set the width and height of the image from the media library. We also set the resize mode for the processed image with other parameters as well.

A few days later the community introduced a new bool option added to the MediaOptions called UseTokenizedQueryString to encrypt the image processing query string to prevent disc filling, that is true by default.

And now here comes another great stuff that allows values for width and height to be provided via the query string even when tokens are enabled. What does it mean? Let's see an example of it! Set up your site using the Blog recipe then open the default banner image URL of the predefined blog post with the following query string parameters: https://localhost:44300/media/post-bg.jpg?width=1024&height=600. Note that the tokens are enabled by default, but you can still set the width and the height of the image now. Don't forget that this will only work if the height and width values match the supported sizes array values.

Using the width and height query string parameters when the tokens feature is enabled

Introduce Culture Scope

There is a new CultureScope class that you can use if you want to locally set the current culture (the current user interface culture and the culture used by the current thread).

The CultureScope class

You can find several unit tests to see how you can use it, but check out this one for now. Here you can see that the culture is set to French, but that setting only applies inside the using statement.

A unit test for the CultureScope class

Implement UserId

All the user profiles that you have locally, now have a new property called UserId, which is unique. We used to use a name, the user name as the way to identify a user. But now the community decided to use a unique ID such that you can't guess user ID or you can't recover another set or permission or ownership by mistake, because an account has been deleted and someone created a new account using the old name and somehow the logical references are still kept based on this name and you would inherit something from that. So, to prevent that, Orchard Core is using now a user ID.

The default user ID generator

If you take the latest version of the dev branch and just run your code there will be a migration that copies the user names of the existing users as the user ID. This way you don't have any change in your content, it will still work the same and be careful that your user ID equals a string like 4gq8jagmrtxrwvg21csa0b6y4y, which is safe, because the next time someone creates a new user, they can't impersonate anyone else like recovering an old account, because it will be a newly generated unique identifier that can't match something like that.

Migrating user names in the case of the existing sites

And how can you find the currently logged in user? Check out the code in the DefaultContentsAdminListFilter where you can see that now, instead of using the user.Identity.Name, you can use the FindFirstValue extension method from ASP.NET Core to return the value of the first instance of the specified claim type, or null if the claim is not present. And then you can set that value as the Owner of the content item.

The new way of getting the user name identifier in Orchard Core


User Picker Field

Let's say you would like to create a blog where multiple users can create blog posts and you want to connect the user account of the author user with the given blog post by showing the name of the user somewhere in the detail view of the post. It's easy because the users can log in to the admin UI of Orchard Core and publish their own posts. In this case, they will be the authors of the given content items. But let's say we don't want to give them access to the site. We just want them to send the content of the blog post to a given email address and the site editors will edit and publish the posts. Is there an easy way to connect content with user accounts in Orchard Core?

Set up your site using the Blog recipe. This recipe comes with a predefined blog where you can create new blog posts. The posts can have several properties: the title, the banner image, tags, the category, and so on. We will modify the content definition of the Blog Post to do some tricks. Navigate to the admin UI of Orchard Core and head to Content -> Content Definition -> Content Types and edit the Blog Post one. Click on the Add Field button and find the recently added one, called User Picker Field.

Setting up the User Picker Field

This field allows you to connect users with a content item. Here you can say that you want to allow multiple users to be selected, allow the picker to display users from all roles, and many more. If you put a tick on the Display All Users checkbox, every user will be in the list that you can choose from, if you remove the tick, the available roles in the system will be listed and you can choose from them. Now if you edit the predefined blog post, you will see the User Picker Field in action. In this case, we have two users in the system named admin and editor. The admin is the superuser with the Administrator role and the editor user has the Editor role. We can see both of them because we said we would like to allow the picker to display users from all roles.

Set the value of the Authors field of the Blog Post content type

If you save your content item, the field will show you the user names of the selected users seperated by a comma (if you selected multiple ones). And you will see a No users. message is you haven't selected any users.

The way of displaying the content of the user picker field

You can find some lines about the User Picker Field in the documentation of Orchard Core and a nice presentation of this feature on YouTube!

News from the community

Our full Orchard Core tutorial series, the Dojo Course 3 is here!

After a long wait, the new Orchard Core version of our legendary Dojo Course tutorial series is here, the Dojo Course 3!

Are you a newcomer and want to learn Orchard Core from the ground up, both from a user's and a developer's perspective? Are you somewhat familiar with Orchard Core but would like to get up to speed and become an Orchard pro? Look no further, check out Dojo Course 3! Dojo Course 3 guides you from the very basics of Orchard Core all up to be able to write your own themes and modules, utilizing various APIs of Orchard. We're publishing a tutorial video every day for 40 days starting on 1 December. So, this is your 40 days of Orchard :).

Dojo Course 3 announcement in Orchard Dojo

In the first few videos, we gave you an introduction to Orchard Core and showed you a way about how to set up your first Orchard Core website. After we started to talk about the content model of Orchard Core, checking out the basics of content management. We will stay in the admin UI for a little in the upcoming days and check out the other basic features of the CMS like how to add widgets with layers, managing the menus, and the media files. After we will see how can you search and index content items, and build forms using the Forms and Workflows feature. But we will not spoil the topics of the upcoming videos. :)

If you're looking for our previous Orchard 1.x tutorial series check out Dojo Course 2.

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If you are interested in more news around Orchard and the details of the topics above, don't forget to check out the recording of this week's Orchard meeting!

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