Nintex for the Win – Wiki Page Templating

If you know me at all, by now you’ll know I’m a big fan of SharePoint and Nintex. I’m also a fan of leveraging existing investments in technology and tools and repurposing them. For me, Nintex remains the ITTT (if this, then that) of the SharePoint World.

The other day, a customer came to me with a requirement that has come up a few times. And it occurred to me that with Nintex already in the ole quiver, I could use it to solve this particular problem in a matter of minutes.

What

Often folks want to build up a stable of Wiki Page Templates. If a SharePoint Wiki is being used to build a knowledge base or Kiosk and the Wiki makes the most sense for simplicity in starting content off and maintaining it easily and organically, then why not use it?

So What

The problem is, having and reusing Wiki page template pages is not a point and click type of thing. Explorer view is disabled in Wiki libraries (for good reason) so we can’t simply copy and paste new Wiki pages in, so that’s no good. And maintaining a notepad file somewhere with common sections that I would repeatedly cut and paste is no fun either – particularly if I want Wiki Pages with several layout zones (meaning several cut and pastes just to produce a single Wiki Page with a given style.

Now What

Enter Nintex … Again. Sigh. When you’re good, you’re good.

My solution was pretty simple and elegant and Nintex made it even more so as a point and click operation. Here’s the Short and Sweet Recipe…

 

  • You want to have a destination Wiki Library. The main one, the one that users will be using. Often this might even be the Team Site default “Site Pages” library. In this case, #1 is the Source library of master wiki pages I want to replicate and #2 (Site Pages) is the Destination library. Heck, I suppose I could even have lots of different destination Wiki libraries if I wanted…

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And here’s a sample Wiki Template page all gussied up and ready to be reused (okay, it ain’t that special yours should be hot! 😉

 

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  • Have a “source” Wiki Library and build up a series of Wiki Pages with the styling and layout (and content and web parts and so on) that you will want to replicate.
  • Create a manually initiated workflow (seriously one action, unless you want to get “fancy”) that when you right click on a Source Wiki Page of a desired design, it will create a “copy” of that Wiki Page in the destination Wiki Library.

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And then…

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And then…

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  • Create a page to try it out…

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And Bam! Sweet new Wiki page waiting for me in Site Pages! Wiki Template repeat-o-rama.

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  • Simply rename that destination Wiki Page to its desired “real name” and starting tweaking away

 

That’s it. Sweet.  Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best.

I suppose I could have done this without Nintex and simply used SPD. But what is the fun in that? 😉

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