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Configuration Made Easy – New Aras TOC Editor

By December 15, 2021July 16th, 2023No Comments

With new major releases of Innovator, comes new functionality. One of the most exciting additions to Release 14 is the new Table of Contents editor. Built on the Configurable User Interface data model that Aras began working on during the lifespans of Innovator 11 and 12, the TOC Editor is an easy one-stop-shop for configuring the Table of Contents.

Background on the Configurable User Interface (CUI)

According to Aras, “The Configurable User Interface, or CUI, is a modeling mechanism in Aras Innovator that allows administrators to define the layout and behavior of a client application.” While this functionality first came to fruition in the early stages of Innovator 11, where it was used for modifying toolbars, menus, and keyboard shortcuts, Innovator 12 expanded this to the next level. Innovator 12 began modeling major features such as the TOC, toolbars, context menus, and more using CUI.

Configuring the Table of Contents

As mentioned before, the Table of Contents in Aras has been modeled using CUI since Innovator 12; however, adding additional items to the TOC or modifying where ItemTypes are listed in the TOC has usually been determined within ItemType definition. Adding and organizing items on the Table of Contents was extremely decentralized, with access permissions being in ItemType definition, and TOC categories being within a List Item. With the introduction of Innovator 14, Aras has taken all these functionalities and moved them to one location within Aras administration.

The New Process

The new TOC Editor is located under Administration>Configuration>TOC Editor. Upon selecting the TOC Editor, the user interface will be loaded onto your screen.

Once opened you will be greeted with a visual representation of the TOC available in the left sidebar. Through this interface you can open TOC folders and view all ItemTypes pre-configured to have TOC access.

You will also see a command bar above this, with multiple options to select. Save and discard are fairly self-explanatory, as they save or discard modifications made to the Table of Contents. However, the other 4 functions within this command bar could use some further explanation.

  1. Add New Folder
    1. This is where new categories for your Table of Contents can be created. This is similar to modifying the category list item from prior versions of Innovator. Folders will not appear in a user’s TOC unless there is an ItemType that the user has view access to residing within the folder. This option can be used to create subcategories within the TOC definition. An example of a subcategory would be Administration>Configuration
  2. Add New ItemType
    1. Use this option to add more ItemTypes to the TOC definition. This could be OOTB ItemTypes or ones that you have configured yourself. Upon adding the new ItemType to the TOC, you will be prompted to configure view access, labels, and logos. All things that will be addressed later in this document.
  3. Remove Item
    1. This option comes into play when ItemTypes or Categories need to be removed from the TOC definition. Removing a top-level category does not remove everything within the category, requiring all levels and ItemTypes be removed individually.
  4. TOC Reordering
    1. This is used to move an Item on the TOC up or down within the order of the TOC definition. An alternative to using these buttons is dragging and dropping items to your preferred destination.

Upon selecting or adding a new ItemType, the TOC editor will be updated to show the ItemType that is currently in context. In the provided screen grab, you’ll see that Simple ECO is the ItemType in context here. At the very top of the menu is where the current ItemType is declared, you could swap in a different ItemType by accessing the “blue bar” search from this menu, or you can use this to ensure you have the right ItemType selected.

Another option is the ability to change the Icon for the ItemType within the TOC editor, removing the need to return to the original ItemType definition. This change does not affect the entire ItemType, just the icon in the context of the TOC editor. Along with Icon modification, label modification is also available here. The same principle applies to the label as the icon. At the bottom of the form is the ability to modify TOC access. In previous versions of Innovator, this was done within the TOC Access tab within the ItemType definition. Now, the ability to adjust TOC Access is done within the central TOC editor.

Once you feel you have everything set up correctly, the TOC editor provides the user the ability to view how the TOC would appear for prespecified identities. Upon verification, simply click save and the Table of Contents in the sidebar will be updated.

In Conclusion

Thanks to the Configurable User Interface model that Aras has introduced in the past few major releases of Innovator, we have a powerful new configuration tool that allows for greater ease of use, faster configuration, and easier maintenance of your security structure within Innovator. The new TOC editor will save System Administrators valuable time as they go about meeting their company’s business needs.

If you have any questions or issues, our experienced Aras team at Razorleaf is ready to help you through the process, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us!

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