Manage Items in a myTrailhead Release

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Identify the data that’s required to add content to a release.
  • Create and add items to a release.
  • Explain the release operations.

Gather Your Content

Marisol, a release manager at Pure Aloe, has created a release, but so far there’s no content associated with that release. Now Marisol is ready to add specific modules or trails to the release list. 

First, let’s look more closely at the relationship between modules, trails, and a release. To publish content in a release, it needs two pieces of data.

  • The manifest, which is a list of the trails and modules to process in the release. Each trail or module is a manifest item. A manifest item references the trail or module by the content’s API name.
  • The backpacks that contain the actual content to publish in the release.

Trailmaker provides a couple of options for establishing the relationship between the manifest and the backpack’s content.

  • In Trailmaker Content, you can add a module or trail to a release directly. This action provides both the manifest item and the backpack.
  • In Trailmaker Release, you can add one or more modules or trails to a release. This action provides only the manifest item for the trail or module. The backpack for the content is still missing. The release page reports an error until the backpack is provided. The only way to add the backpack is to return to Trailmaker Content and add the content to the release.

Each option supports a different workflow for publishing content. Some companies want to maintain strict boundaries between roles: they want content creators to write, and release managers to, well, manage releases.

Think of it like this. When you plan to go grocery shopping, you can make a list of items that you want to purchase ahead of time. Maybe you give the list to someone else, like a caring and responsible partner, who fulfills the actual shopping. When you’re at the store, you add those items to your cart, and then check out. 

What does grocery shopping have to do with myTrailhead releases?

  • In Trailmaker Content, adding items to a release is like adding groceries to your cart without a list. By adding groceries to your cart, you’re making the list as you go along. In Trailmaker Content, you’re adding both your manifest items and your content backpacks in the same action, but you didn’t have a list of manifest items to fulfill when you started.
  • In Trailmaker Release, adding items to a release is like making your grocery list ahead of time. You have a list of planned items, but the actual groceries aren’t in your cart yet. Likewise, you can have your list of manifest items, but the actual backpacks aren’t in the release yet. The person making the release list isn’t necessarily the person adding the content.

A release manager like Marisol often makes a list of the items she wants to include in a release ahead of time. She can make that list any time, even before the content is ready, and Trailmaker Release reports an error, and prevents her from publishing, until the content is also added.

If there’s a long list of items to add, Marisol can add multiple items at one time by uploading a CSV file that contains the API names and content types. 

Let’s look at how these ideas work when Marisol actually tries to add items to a release.

Add an Individual Item to a Release

Let’s say that Marisol wants to add only a single module to a release, and she’s already in Trailmaker Release. Here’s how she does it.

  1. In Trailmaker Release, navigate to the created release.
  2. On the release page, click Add Content.
  3. On the Add to Release page, enter this information:

Add to Release page in Trailmaker Release, showing the options for adding an individual item to the release.

  • The API name for the module or trail to add (1). For example, to add the Pure Aloe Sales Strategies module that Cindy created, Marisol enters pure-aloe-sales-strategies.
  • The type of content to add (2), such as Module or Trail.
  • The operation to perform on the content (3): Archive, Restore, or Upsert. To add new content to a subdomain, Marisol selects Upsert. To learn more about the available operations, keep reading!

Let’s pause for a moment and talk about API names. Every piece of content that you publish on myTrailhead has a unique API name, and every content collection and release has a unique API name, too. All of these values work together to create a URL to the content after it’s been published. Recall that when you add content to a release from Trailmaker Release, you add a manifest item, which references the API name of the content that you want to add. 

Marisol saves her changes, and the content is included in the list of items on the release page. But is Marisol finished? Remember that a release requires both a content’s manifest item and backpack in order to publish the content. So far, Marisol has only added a module’s manifest item. To add the content’s backpack, she (or another user with the myTrailhead Release Management permission) must return to Trailmaker Content, import the backpack to her workspace, and add the content to the release. For a refresher on this workflow, revisit the Trailmaker Content Basics module.

This workflow gets the job done, but requires some extra clicks to get everything in place. To keep things simple, we recommend that you use Trailmaker Content any time that you want to add an individual item to a release. That way, you add all the data that a release requires in order to publish the content.

Add Multiple Items to a Release Simultaneously

To add multiple items to a release at once, Marisol creates a CSV file where each row specifies the API name, content type, and operation to perform for each item that she wants to modify in the release. For example, maybe Marisol wants to modify these modules and trails in this release:

api_name,type,operation
pure-aloe-sales-goals,module,upsert
sell-well-at-pure-aloe,trail,upsert
navigate-your-pure-aloe-career,trail,upsert
pure-aloe-sales-challenges,module,archive
pure-aloe-annual-meeting-prep,module,restore
Note

To successfully import data from a CSV file, the first row of the CSV file must include the column labels api_name, type, and operation.

Marisol starts from the release page in Trailmaker Release.

  1. On the release page, click Add Content.
  2. On the Add to Release page, click Import.
  3. Select the CSV file with the content to be changed.

The Add to Release page populates with the content from her CSV file.

Add to Release page in Trailmaker Release, showing the imported items from a CSV file.

After Marisol saves her changes, all these items appear on the release page in Trailmaker Release. But, just like when adding an individual item, each item in the list represents only the content’s manifest item. For items that have the Archive and Restore operation, Marisol doesn’t need to take any extra steps. For the items that have the Upsert operation, Marisol must still return to Trailmaker Content, import the backpack for each trail or module into her workspace, and then add each trail or module to the release.

Select a Release Operation

When a release manager adds a manifest item to the release list, they must select an operation for the content. The operation specifies how the release processes the specific item.

Operation
Description

Upsert

Adds content to your subdomain, or updates content that’s already been published. 


Remember: When you add to a release from Trailmaker Release, selecting this operation requires that you also add the new or updated content to the release from Trailmaker Content, so that the content’s backpack is processed with the release.


Note: When you add to a release from Trailmaker Content, this operation is selected by default.


Archive

Hides content that’s already been published to your subdomain. This operation doesn’t require any work in Trailmaker Content.

Restore

Brings archived content back out of hiding. This operation doesn’t require any work in Trailmaker Content.

The selected operation for each release item appears on the release page.

Release page in Trailmaker Release, showing the selected operation for each item in the release

Most often, Marisol is publishing new content or corrections to existing content. So usually, she selects the Upsert operation. 

Sometimes content becomes obsolete, such as when a company’s processes or tools change. To remove outdated content from myTrailhead, Marisol selects Archive. And to resurrect archived content, she selects Restore.

Note

The Archive operation isn’t destructive, meaning that it doesn’t remove the points or badges from any learner who earned them before the content was archived.

Sometimes archived content becomes relevant again—for example, the modules that prepare Pure Aloe sales reps for their annual meeting. Marisol archives the modules after each year’s meeting. In the weeks before the next annual meeting, she resurrects them by selecting Restore.

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