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BC Reference Component

aem help pages

bc reference component entry in sidekick floating palette

Overview

The BC Reference Component is useful when you have some content on one page that you would like to show on additional pages and want to avoid the burden of maintaining it twice when changes are needed.

The BC Reference Component pulls in and displays the content held by one component on some other AEM page. It can pull in images as well as text.

The BC Reference component is found on the Components tab (stack of 3 blocks) in the Advance section on the Sidekick floating palette.

Steps

  1. To use this component efficiently you should first be familiar with the original content on the page. Be sure that what you want to pull into your page is contained in a single component. (TIP: if you own the page where the original content resides, you may decide to rework that content first so that the pieces you want are in one or more discrete compontents. For example, if your original is some text that begins with a section head followed by one or more paragraphs and you don't want the section head to be brought into the second page by the reference component, you could move the section headd into a separate BC Header component first.)
  2. In AEM open the page that will contain the copy of the content.
  3. Locate the BC Reference Component in the sidekick floating palette (Advanced section of Components tab) and drag it onto your page in the location where you want the content to appear.
screenshot of selecting a component block in a page
  1. Open the component and use the navigation menu to go through the BC AEM hierarchy of pages to the find the page that contains the content you want to reference. Click once to select that page. Then click once on the small square that represents the component holding the content you want to include in this page. Click the Select button. (screenshot at right)
  2. Back in the main dialog box of the reference component click the OK button to close the component. Your referenced content should now be showing on your page.

Tips

  • You can have more than one reference component on a page.
  • You can reference content from more that one page, allowing you to build up a consolidated page from several different pages.
  • Be careful NOT TO DELETE the original page or the original component that your page now depends on for content. AEM will try to warn you about dependencies so take any warnings seriously before you delete pages and components.
  • If you have a lot of "boilerplate" elements that you plan to use multiple times around your website, you may want to make a special "boilerplate" page that holds all of this referenced content and mark it "DO NOT DELETE". You'll have to activate this page for your content to show on your other pages so mark it to be hidden in the navigation so visitors to your site won't stumble upon it (use the "Hide in Navigation" checkbox in Page Properties).
  • When you make changes to the original page with the referenced content you need to activate that page to have the content appear on your published page. Once you do that it should immediately appear on any pages that reference it. You do NOT have to reactivate the pages that contain the references -- they update automatically.
     

Sample Uses

  • A list of useful links that needs to appear in two places. We maintain a list of the Centers and Institutes on this page of the A to Z site:
    /a-z/centers.html
    but because we need the same list on the page "above" all the centers, we use a reference component here:
    /centers/   Note that other content on these pages is different so the pages themselves are not duplicates.
  • A school might want to have a list of its faculty by department in a central location.  If each department section of this page uses a separate component to list the faculty of one department, then each department can pull in that piece of the list to show in the department's faculty page and they'll always match and only need to be maintained once.
  • If you show address, phone, email, or other contact information on the bottom of many pages of your site, you may want to store it once and then reference it on all the pages where it should appear.