Introducing Network-wide Page and File Types

One of the long-standing features of PBworks is the ability to create page (and file) templates simply by tagging .  These templates allow you to standardize the content on a workspace.  For example, you can create a “Meeting Note” template that you can use whenever you set up a new meeting, rather than having to start with a blank page.

As we’ve added more capabilities, like page and file properties, we’ve extended the template system to incorporate them as well.  For example, if a file template includes the property “Status,” with the possible choices “Active” and “Inactive,” uploading a new file with that template lets you specify the status at upload, and to change it later.

But despite these additions, the fact that templates were attached to individual workspaces rather than network-wide had a number of drawbacks.  For example, any time you wanted to use a template on a new workspace, you would have to set it up manually.  And even if you took advantage of our workspace types and templates to include a “Meeting Note” template on each new workspace, if you wanted to make any changes to that template, you would have to circle back and change every single workspace that had been created.

Nor could you search all meeting notes across all workspaces–the pages that were created from a template didn’t maintain any relationship with that template.

That’s why we just introduced Network-wide Page and File Types.  These new types, which can be created by going to the new “Types” menu within the “Admin” panel, address the drawbacks of the old workspace-level templates.  Creating a single network-wide “Meeting Note” type now allows you to create new meeting notes on any workspace.  And the single network-wide type allows you to change the parameters of any future meeting notes in one place, rather than requiring you to make changes workspace by workspace.

Finally, Network-wide Page and File Types are first class elements of the product; they are labeled on screen, and you can even use the search box to search a single type.  An advertising agency, for example, can create a network-wide “Case Study” file type, then search just case studies to find a match more quickly and easily.

If you’ve been a heavy user of the old workspace page and file templates, don’t worry, they’re not going away immediately.  For the next two months, until Saturday, June 7, your existing workspace page and file templates will continue to work just like they always have.  This should give you plenty of time to experiment with the new Network-wide Page and File Types, and to replace your existing templates.

To help you get up to speed on this new feature, we’re offering a free “Network-wide Types How-to Webinar” on Tuesday, April 15:

PBworks: Network-wide Types How-to Webinar
10 AM Pacific/1 PM Eastern/17:00 UTC/18:00 BST

We’ll walk you, step-by-step, through the process of using these types, and give you a chance to ask your own questions.

Published by Chris Yeh

Chris has been building Internet businesses since 1995. He has been a founder, founding employee, or seed investor in almost a dozen startups, including PBworks, and advises a wide array of startups ranging from network equipment makers to vertical search engines. He liked his investment in PBworks so much, he decided to join the company. Chris earned two degrees from Stanford University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

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