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Minimal Display Template

We want to use our own Display Templates on Non-publishing sites – our team sites. Without the Publishing Feature activated you have to create an own javascript file. Here is short and concise instructions how to install it: Display Templates on Non-publishing Sites.

As described on that blog, you can make copy of an existing Item_Default.js and adjust to your needs.

I also asked Elio Struyf and I got the same tip. I did create my starter template. Here I want to share this very minimal javascript based Display Template. The real Minimal Display Template is in the SPCSR github repository: Item_Minimal.js It has been improved by Elio Stuyf himself 🙂

(function () {
  // Config contains variables that are defined in one place
  var config = {
    propertyMappings: { 'Path':null, 'Title':['Title'] }
  };
  var templateUrl;

  var register = function () {
      if ("undefined" !== typeof (Srch) && "undefined" !== typeof (Srch.U) && typeof (Srch.U.registerRenderTemplateByName) === "function") {
              Srch.U.registerRenderTemplateByName(templateUrl, render);
          }
    };
    render = function (ctx) {
      // Display template data
      var cachePreviousTemplateData = ctx.DisplayTemplateData;
        ctx.DisplayTemplateData = {
        'TemplateUrl': templateUrl,
        'TemplateType': 'Item',
        'TargetControlType': ['SearchResults', 'Content Web Parts'],
        'ManagedPropertyMapping': config.propertyMappings
        };
        var cachePreviousItemValuesFunction = ctx.ItemValues;
        ctx.ItemValues = function(slotOrPropName) {
                return Srch.ValueInfo.getCachedCtxItemValue(ctx, slotOrPropName);
        };

      // Retrieve managed property data
      var path = $getItemValue(ctx, 'Path');
      var title = $getItemValue(ctx, 'Title');

      // HTML markup for an item
      var htmlMarkup = String.format( '<div>' +
                        '<a href="{0}" title="{1}">{1}</a>' +
                                        '</div>', path, title);

        // Caching
        ctx.ItemValues = cachePreviousItemValuesFunction;
        ctx.DisplayTemplateData = cachePreviousTemplateData;

        // Return the HTML markup
        return htmlMarkup;
    };

  // Retrieve all the loaded scripts
  var allScripts = document.getElementsByTagName("script");
  // Get the last script file (this is the current DT file)
    var scriptUrl = allScripts[allScripts.length - 1].src;
    if (scriptUrl.indexOf('/_catalogs/') > 0) {
      // Remove the query string 
      if (scriptUrl.indexOf('?') > 0) {
        scriptUrl = scriptUrl.split("?")[0];
      }
      // Insert the site collection token
      templateUrl = '~sitecollection' + scriptUrl.substr(scriptUrl.indexOf('/_catalogs/'))
    // Register the template to load
    register();
      if (typeof (RegisterModuleInit) === "function" && typeof(Srch.U.replaceUrlTokens) === "function") {
          RegisterModuleInit(Srch.U.replaceUrlTokens(templateUrl), register);
      }
  }
})();

Benefits of js approach

If you choose to directly upload and mantain a javascript file you’ll get following benefits:

  • You can use the same display templates on Non-publishing sites and they work directly in SharePoint Foundation
  • You’ll get intellisense
  • You can run static code analysis agains your javascript code and you can create unit tests
  • It is more readable understandable from developer to developer
  • It is easier to follow best practices for javascript
  • It encourages reusing javascript components for Display Templates, CSR (JSLink) Templates.
  • You like TypeScript? Well, then it is best to skip the “grey” code in html comments.

Findings

  • You cannot use ‘use strict’ in your js file.

How to create a Display Template

Rename the Item_Minimal.js file to your name, update some properties.

Upload it to _catalogs/masterpage/Display Templates/Search/<your-folder>

Use ContentType: Display Template Code

displaytemplate-002

Template Level: Item and Managed Property Mappingsdisplaytemplate-003

Create a new Result Type. Every time you update the Display Template (item properties) you have to update the Result Type.

displaytemplate-001

Moving from Minimal to Better

Of course the minimal display template is not enough. There is a whole lot of things we can do, I prepared some tips (my own “best practices”):

  1. Learn the Search Display Template Syntax: Corey Roth – Useful js for Display Templates
  2. Follow Elio Struyf’s 10 tips for working with Display Templates (except the first one – javascript is better 🙂 )
  3. Prefer JavaScript Display Templates if you are a developer and you want to  have a better control
  4. Never update the built-in Display Templates.
  5. Centralize reused parts of Display Templates – utilities, common parts, css. Use a CDN site for that.
  6. Check out the SPCSR github repo, there are many Display Templates that you can use or be inspired from.
  7. Create your own folder in _catalogs/masterpage/Display Template/Search to have all your Display Templates within a site collection.

 

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