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Filtering dynamic items by taxonomies in the backend grid

by Stoimen Stoimenov

Based on Radoslav Georgiev blog post about adding custom widget to the sidebar here I am going to add some additional modification to enable filtering by taxonomies in the backend grid for modules built using the Module Builder.

First we need to extend the DynamicCommandWidget which I am going to bind to a collection of categories and display them in the sidebar. However this can be easily modified to work with any taxonomies, even custom ones.

To get started create a new folder in SitefinityBaseWebApp project named CategoriesDynamicCommandWidget. This folder will hold the server code and client scripts needed for the new widget. Here I am adding CategoriesDynamicCommandWidget.cs class that extends DynamicCommandWidget and register additional JavaScript reference:

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Web.UI;
using Telerik.Sitefinity.Web.UI.Backend.Elements.Widgets;
namespace SitefinityWebApp.CategoriesDynamicCommandWidget
    public class CategoriesDynamicCommandWidget : DynamicCommandWidget
        protected override Type ResourcesAssemblyInfo
                return typeof(DynamicCommandWidget);
        public override IEnumerable<System.Web.UI.ScriptReference> GetScriptReferences()
            var widgetInterfaceScript = new ScriptReference
                Assembly = typeof(IWidget).Assembly.FullName,
                Name = Scripts.IWidget
            var commandWidgetInterfaceScript = new ScriptReference
                Assembly = typeof(DynamicCommandWidget).Assembly.FullName,
                Name = Scripts.ICommandWidget
            var commandWidgetScript = new ScriptReference
                Assembly = typeof(DynamicCommandWidget).Assembly.FullName,
                Name = Scripts.DynamicCommandWidget
            //register the custom script
            var CategoriesCommandWidgetScript = new ScriptReference
                Assembly = typeof(CategoriesDynamicCommandWidget).Assembly.FullName,
                Name = Scripts.CategoriesDynamicCommandWidget
            return new ScriptReference[] { widgetInterfaceScript, commandWidgetInterfaceScript, commandWidgetScript, CategoriesCommandWidgetScript };
        internal struct Scripts
            public const string IWidget = "Telerik.Sitefinity.Web.SitefinityJS.UI.IWidget.js";
            public const string ICommandWidget = "Telerik.Sitefinity.Web.SitefinityJS.UI.ICommandWidget.js";
            public const string DynamicCommandWidget = "Telerik.Sitefinity.Web.UI.Backend.Elements.Widgets.Scripts.DynamicCommandWidget.js";
            public const string CategoriesDynamicCommandWidget = "SitefinityWebApp.CategoriesDynamicCommandWidget.Scripts.CategoriesDynamicCommandWidget.js";

Now we are going to add the client side code which will simply override a built in method that handles item commands – in our case filtering by categories. Add a folder named Scripts under CategoriesDynamicCommandWidget and create a new JavaScript file CategoriesDynamicCommandWidget.js and place the following code in  it:

/// <reference name="MicrosoftAjax.js"/>
/// <reference name="Telerik.Sitefinity.Resources.Scripts.jquery-1.4.2-vsdoc.js" assembly="Telerik.Sitefinity.Resources"/>
SitefinityWebApp.CategoriesDynamicCommandWidget.CategoriesDynamicCommandWidget = function (element) {
    SitefinityWebApp.CategoriesDynamicCommandWidget.CategoriesDynamicCommandWidget.initializeBase(this, [element]);
SitefinityWebApp.CategoriesDynamicCommandWidget.CategoriesDynamicCommandWidget.prototype =
    initialize: function () {
        SitefinityWebApp.CategoriesDynamicCommandWidget.CategoriesDynamicCommandWidget.callBaseMethod(this, "initialize");
    dispose: function () {
        SitefinityWebApp.CategoriesDynamicCommandWidget.CategoriesDynamicCommandWidget.callBaseMethod(this, "dispose");
    _binderCommandHandler: function (sender, args) {
        var commandEventArgs = new Telerik.Sitefinity.UI.CommandEventArgs(this._commandName, { 'filterExpression': this.getCategoriesFilterExpression() });
        //send a filtering command ot our grid view to filter by the selected checkboxes
        //if there are no selected checkboxes the filtering expression will be empty string showing all items
        var h = this.get_events().getHandler('command');
        if (h) h(this, commandEventArgs);
    getCategoriesFilterExpression: function () {
        var selectedItems = jQuery("input.sf_binderCommand_filterByCategory:checked");
        var expression = '';
        //get selected checkboxes and construct the filter expression
        if (selectedItems.length > 0) {
            for (var i = 0; i < selectedItems.length; i++) {
                if (i == 0)
                    expression = expression + 'Category.Contains((' + selectedItems[i].value + '))';
                    expression = expression + 'OR Category.Contains((' + selectedItems[i].value + '))';
        return expression;
SitefinityWebApp.CategoriesDynamicCommandWidget.CategoriesDynamicCommandWidget.registerClass("SitefinityWebApp.CategoriesDynamicCommandWidget.CategoriesDynamicCommandWidget", Telerik.Sitefinity.Web.UI.Backend.Elements.Widgets.DynamicCommandWidget, Telerik.Sitefinity.UI.ICommandWidget, Telerik.Sitefinity.UI.IWidget);

Since we are building a custom type widget we need to explicitly tell the grid view in our backend items list to bind the widget with our datasource. We need to get the sidebar, find our widget and then bind it. Add a CategoriesDynamicCommandWidgetExtensionScript.js file to the Scripts folder and place the following code in it:

function OnMasterViewLoaded(sender, args) {
    if (sender.get_sidebar()) {
        var widgetsInSidebar = sender.get_sidebar()._widgets;
        if (widgetsInSidebar) {
            for (var i = 0; i < widgetsInSidebar.length; i++) {
                if (Object.getTypeName(widgetsInSidebar[i]) == "SitefinityWebApp.CategoriesDynamicCommandWidget") {

We also need to register the .js files in the assembly info. Don’t forget to set the Build Action for them to Embedded Resource.

[assembly: WebResource("SitefinityWebApp.CategoriesDynamicCommandWidget.Scripts.CategoriesDynamicCommandWidget.js", "text/javascript")]
[assembly: WebResource("SitefinityWebApp.CategoriesDynamicCommandWidget.Scripts.CategoriesDynamicCommandWidgetExtensionScript.js", "text/javascript")]

Build the project and open Sitefinity administration to add some additional settings. First make sure that you have added a custom module with a categories field. Then navigate to Administration -> Settings -> Advanced -> DynamicModules -> Controls -> Telerik.Sitefinity.DynamicTypes.Model.MyModule.MyContentTypeBackendDefinition -> Views -> MyContentTypeBackendList -> Sidebar -> Sections. Create a new section. Populate the fields as follow:

Name: Category
Title: ItemsByCategory
WrapperTagId: categoryFilterSection
CssClass: sfFilterBy sfSeparator
Visible: True

In the items section create a new DynamicCommandWidgetElement. Enter the following values:

Web service Url: ~/Sitefinity/Services/Taxonomies/HierarchicalTaxon.svc/e5cd6d69-1543-427b-ad62-688a99f5e7d4/ 
Child items service URL: ~/Sitefinity/Services/Taxonomies/HierarchicalTaxon.svc/subtaxa/
Predecessor service URL: ~/Sitefinity/Services/Taxonomies/HierarchicalTaxon.svc/predecessor/
Bind to: HierarchicalData
Client item template: <input type='checkbox' class='sf_binderCommand_filterByCategory' sys:value='{{ Id }}'>{{ Title }}</input> <span class='sfCount'>({{ItemsCount}})</span>
Command name: filter
Name: CategoryFilter
Type: SitefinityWebApp.CategoriesDynamicCommandWidget.CategoriesDynamicCommandWidget

Note that the id of the end of the web service Url is the id of the categories taxonomy and it is unique for every application. The easiest way to find that guid is to add categories widget to a page, edit the widget, delete the value in TaxonomyId field and save then the guids of all of the taxonomies in your application will show up.

There is one last thing left to be done. We need to register our extension script. Go back to MyContentTypeBackendList and expand the Scripts section. Create new one and for Script location set the path to your extension file and the namespace. In our case its value is:

SitefinityWebApp.CategoriesDynamicCommandWidget.Scripts.CategoriesDynamicCommandWidgetExtensionScript.js, SitefinityWebApp

For Name of the load method enter OnMasterViewLoaded and save. 

Restart your application and navigate to your content type items grid. In the sidebar you should see the categories and when you select some of the the grid will be updated.

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