In this blog series we will try to cover the News Scheduling for modern intranets. if you haven't come across this problem yet, then you might be wondering why? Let's have a look.
Why News Scheduling?
News is an important feature for organisations whether it is meant for staff or public. Sometimes news is based on the decisions or company-related updates that are decided early but meant to release on specific dates.
This feature is currently not available out of the box, but it is possible to build it using the following available out of the box features:
- SharePoint site or a SharePoint List
A site is recommended as it will make the management of scheduled news easier.
- Custom column for the Site Page content type
Create a custom column name Publishing Date in a Site Page content type
If you haven’t heard about it before then don’t worry, Power Automate is the new name for MS Flow.
In order to build this feature, you need at least some basic knowledge about:
- Creating and managing the SharePoint sites.
- Creating and managing the SharePoint lists.
- Creating and managing flows.
Let’s start with an overview of what we are setting up, first I will set up a SharePoint site to store the scheduled news in a centralized location. Then we will take one site as an example to illustrate, how to enable a SharePoint site for news scheduling. While enabling the news scheduling in a site we won’t be writing an article as a news post, we will be creating a site page and later promote it as a news article on the scheduled date using custom column named Publishing Date and Power Automate.
Interesting bit: If we create our scheduling news article as a news post, it will start appearing in the news webparts which will be incorrect as you want your news post to be available on the scheduled date. So, we will first create it as a site page and later with the help of our flows we will promote the site page to a news article on the scheduled date.
The high-level flows in the diagram below will help you elaborate on the process behind the story.
Now let's move onto the actual implementation of the news scheduling feature.
Part 1 - Setting up a SharePoint site
- Let’s start with creating a new SharePoint site. I have named it News Scheduling, but you can change it.
- Now create a custom SharePoint list named News with the following columns:
- The usage of the custom columns are as below:
News link will store the direct link to the scheduled news post.
News Id will store the SharePoint generated ID of the scheduled news post.
Publishing Date will store the scheduling date, on which the news post is supposed to be published.
Site Link will store the direct link to the site of the scheduled news post.
Published column is used to track and report on the scheduled news, before publishing the value is No and after publishing the value is Yes.
- For reporting and audit trail create the following views in the News list:
All Scheduled News - This is a default list view, automatically created without any filters to show all the items in a list.
News Scheduled By Me – This view will be created with the following filters:
Pending News – This view will be created with the following filters:
If you only want to restrict it to the news scheduled by you and still pending to be published, then add the following filter:
Published News – This view will be created with the following filters:
If you only want to restrict it to the news scheduled by you and are already published, then add the following filter:
In this post we have created a central repository for all the scheduled news by setting a SharePoint site. The configuration varies from organization to organization but to manage all the scheduled news under one known roof will make your life easier.
In Part 2 we will see how to enable the news scheduling on a specific site.