Saturday, April 25, 2009

Creating and Deploying Templates Using API and DQL Scripts

Recently I thought I was finished working on a project that had some templates in the design and deployment. We were “done” which meant the budget was depleted and the customer wanted us gone; no more billable time. I’m not sure what happened to the “customer is always right”, but this statement and sentiment is coming back in popularity. In this economy it makes more sense to bend over backwards to please a client, than bicker over getting paid for our own mistakes.

The issue with the templates eluded my developer and me. My developer had created an API script (see below) to load in the templates. The script created the doc objects, set the content, and set the i_folder_id of the doc to the “/Templates” cabinet object id. The templates were “linked” into the cabinet and seemed to function as desired.

However, as the in-house developer at the client site found out later, the templates were not truly linked to the “/Templates” cabinet. The in-house developer had the advantage of sorting this out over a much longer period of time than we as consultants had. That being said, I should have figured this out, but I was confident that my developer’s script was correct, plus a dump of the template object looked okay.

Here’s the one attribute of the template object that we missed: “i_reference_cnt”. It was “0” instead of “1”. The “i_folder_id” was correct, but the “i_reference_cnt” was not set correctly. The script was setting the i_folder_id value when it didn’t have to. The object gets linked to the home cabinet of the session account be default. A follow up DQL can be run to move the object from the home cabinet to the ‘/Templates’ folder.

There’s a support note on Powerlink which describes how to create custom templates from using DQL and copying using DA. You can also try the following API and DQL script that was modified to work correctly for deploying template files.

API Script


Test template



Test Template



DQL Script

update dm_document objects move to '/Templates' where object_name = 'Test template'