Set up a custom remote source

Set up a custom remote source

Follow this guide to add 3rd party content to your web application using Prepr CMS.

Introduction

When creating content items for your web application, you may want to reference content stored in an external system such as another CMS, legacy system, or eCommerce platform. With Prepr, you can easily use any 3rd party system as a remote content source by following the steps below.

Check out the predefined remote sources doc if you want to integrate to Commercetools, Commerce Layer or Typeform.

To set up a custom remote source, Prepr CMS needs a connection to the external system through an API endpoint.

Step 1: Set up your custom API endpoint

The first step is to create the API endpoint for your external system. When you create the API endpoint, make sure that it matches the data format below so that Prepr can make calls to your external system.

Data format

  1. Make sure the API response contains the following fields with the specified format:
    • items — an array containing a list of items like products, for example. Each of these items have specific attributes to hold the details about each item.
    • total — an int field to hold the total number of items available. The total value also depends on the search parameters applied below.
    • filters (optional) - If you want to make it possible for content editors to filter groups of items when they add the remote items to a content item in Prepr CMS, include this array of filter criteria.

See the detailed list of attributes below which are expected in the items array.

AttributeTypeDescriptionRequired
idstringA unique item identifier. The identifier should not be reused when deleting an item.
bodystringThe title of the item. This value is visible in Prepr CMS when this item is searched or added to a content item.
descriptionstringThe item description. This value is visible in Prepr CMS when this item is searched or added to a content item.
image_urlstringAn image thumbnail URL. If this value is provided, the image of the item will be visible when this item is searched or added to a content item.
external_urlstringA URL to an external page, for example, to redirect an editor to the external system to manage the item directly.
dataobjectThis object contains a list of key-value pairs that holds additional details of the item that you want to render in the front end. The values can be a string, int, float or boolean. In Step 2, you will add these as fields in the Remote source.

See the detailed list of attributes below which are expected in the filters array.

AttributeTypeDescriptionRequired
bodystringThe title of the filter. This value is visible in Prepr CMS as the name of a filter.
paramstringThe unique identifier of the filter that correlates to one of the keys specified in the data object in the items array defined above. If the filter is a range, set two filter entries for the minimum and maximum values. In this case, set the param value to the key combined with [gt] and [lt], respectively. For example, price[gt] and price[lt]
display_typestringThis attribute tells the Prepr UI how to render the input for the filter value. This attribute should contain one of the following values: checkbox, dropdown, toggle, date, date_range.
default_valuestringSet this to the default value of the filter, if applicable.
valuesarrayThe list of available filter values, if applicable.

See an example response below of a list of products and related filters that are returned by a custom API endpoint for an external system.

{
    "filters": [
        {
            "body": "Category",
            "param": "category",
            "display_type": "dropdown",
            "values": [
                "Light",
                "Healthy",
                "Comfort food",
                "Keto"
            ]
        },
        {
            "body": "Meal type",
            "param": "type",
            "display_type": "checkbox",
            "values": [
                "Appetizer",
                "Starter",
                "Main",
                "Dessert"
            ]
        },
        {
            "body": "Price",
            "param": "price[gt]",
            "display_type": "checkbox",
            "default_value": "",
            "values": [
                0.00,
                6.00,
                10.00
            ]
        },
        {
            "body": "Price",
            "param": "price[lt]",
            "display_type": "checkbox",
            "values": [
                5.99,
                9.99,
                12.99
            ]
        },
        {
            "body": "Prep time",
            "param": "cooking_time",
            "display_type": "checkbox",
            "default_value": "",
            "values": [
                15,
                20,
                25,
                30,
                45
            ]
        },
        {
            "body": "Contains nuts",
            "param": "nuts",
            "display_type": "toggle",
            "default_value": true
        },
        {
            // The expected date format is YYYY-MM-DD, like 2024-02-28 
            "body": "Creation date",
            "param": "created_on",
            "display_type": "date"
        },
        {
            // The request will be made with an array containing a from and until value formatted YYYY-MM-DD
            "body": "Creation date",
            "param": "created_on",
            "display_type": "date_range"
        }
    ],
    "items": [
        {
            "id": "3177c1b8-a4e2-4a84-85e7-6a02cc0c5f98",
            "created_on": "2023-04-05T10:15:30+00:00",
            "changed_on": "2023-04-06T15:48:21+00:00",
            "body": "Ultimate Vegan Burger",
            "description": "A mouthwatering vegan burger packed with flavors and nutrients.",
            "image_url": "https://picsum.photos/200/300",
            "external_url": "https://veganburgerrecipes.com/ultimate-vegan-burger",
            "data": {
                "category": "Comfort food",
                "type": "Healthy",
                "ingredients": [
                    "black beans",
                    "quinoa",
                    "beetroot",
                    "breadcrumbs",
                    "spices"
                ],
                "cuisine": "International",
                "price": 8.99,
                "nuts": false,
                "cooking_time": 30,
                "created_on": "1974-12-18T10:37:49+00:00"
            }
        },
        {
            "id": "bd78aeff-1c4a-49da-9cdf-c5ed5bc9c1a2",
            "created_on": "2023-04-05T08:20:15+00:00",
            "changed_on": "2023-04-05T08:25:15+00:00",
            "body": "Green Goddess Buddha Bowl",
            "description": "A nourishing bowl filled with a variety of greens and plant proteins.",
            "image_url": "https://source.unsplash.com/featured/?salad",
            "external_url": "https://example.com/recipes/detail/vegan-goddess-bowl",
            "data": {
                "category": "Light",
                "type": "Main",
                "difficulty": "easy",
                "ingredients": [
                    "kale,quinoa",
                    "avocado",
                    "cucumber",
                    "chickpeas",
                    "pumpkin seeds"
                ],
                "cuisine": "International",
                "price": 9.5,
                "nuts": false,
                "cooking_time": 30,
                "created_on": "2004-09-18T22:45:56+00:00"
            }
        },
        {
            "id": "90870c84-d3a4-437b-a9b6-96388cabf0fa",
            "created_on": "2023-01-21T14:25:30+00:00",
            "changed_on": "2023-01-30T16:40:45+00:00",
            "body": "Hearty Vegan Stew",
            "description": "A delicious and warming stew that's perfect for cold weather and cozy nights in.",
            "image_url": "https://picsum.photos/id/169/200/300",
            "external_url": "https://vegancooking.example.com/recipes/341576",
            "data": {
                "category": "Comfort food",
                "type": "Main",
                "difficulty": "medium",
                "ingredients": [
                    "potatoes",
                    "carrots",
                    "lentils"
                ],
                "cuisine": "International",
                "price": 6.99,
                "nuts": false,
                "cooking_time": 45,
                "created_on": "2015-09-28T03:22:55+00:00"
            }
        },
        {
            "id": "e9a48d63-689a-4cf1-b5fa-307d7fae8910",
            "created_on": "2023-03-10T08:35:23+00:00",
            "changed_on": "2023-04-01T15:46:07+00:00",
            "body": "Vibrant Vegan Salad Bowl",
            "description": "A colorful array of fresh vegetables and quinoa, perfect for a nutritious lunch or dinner.",
            "image_url": "https://picsum.photos/200/300",
            "external_url": "https://example.com/recipes/vegan-salad-bowl",
            "data": {
                "category": "Keto",
                "type": "Main",
                "difficulty": "easy",
                "ingredients": [
                    "quinoa",
                    "kale",
                    "cherry tomatoes",
                    "cucumbers",
                    "red cabbage",
                    "avocado",
                    "lemon dressing"
                ],
                "cuisine": "International",
                "nuts": false,
                "price": 8.99,
                "cooking_time": 15,
                "created_on": "2013-11-13T21:00:00+00:00"
            }
        },
        {
            "id": "8ba2b831-960b-4cc3-baad-9b153c6d1295",
            "created_on": "2023-02-15T08:30:20+00:00",
            "changed_on": "2023-03-18T15:45:10+00:00",
            "body": "Vegan Lentil Soup",
            "description": "A hearty and nutritious lentil soup, perfect for any season.",
            "image_url": "https://images.unsplash.com/photo-1587502537745-84b86da1204f",
            "external_url": "https://example.com/recipes/vegan-lentil-soup",
            "data": {
                "category": "Comfort food",
                "type": "Starter",
                "difficulty": "easy",
                "ingredients": [
                    "lentils",
                    "carrots",
                    "onions",
                    "garlic",
                    "spinach"
                ],
                "cuisine": "International",
                "price": 5.99,
                "nuts": false,
                "cooking_time": 25,
                "created_on": "2015-09-01T00:00:00+00:00"
            }
        },
        {
            "id": "ee94e136-e8b6-456e-8dbd-d176bfcce8e7",
            "created_on": "2023-03-15T10:56:03+00:00",
            "changed_on": "2023-03-18T09:34:05+00:00",
            "body": "Sizzling Vegan Stir-Fry",
            "description": "A delightful vegan stir-fry packed with fresh vegetables and tofu.",
            "image_url": "https://source.unsplash.com/weekly?vegan",
            "external_url": "https://example.com/vegan-stir-fry/9923458294",
            "data": {
                "category": "Light",
                "type": "Appetizer",
                "difficulty": "easy",
                "ingredients": [
                    "Tofu",
                    "Bell Peppers",
                    "Soy Sauce",
                    "Ginger",
                    "Garlic",
                    "Broccoli",
                    "Carrots",
                    "Snow Peas",
                    "Sesame Oil"
                ],
                "cuisine": "Asian",
                "price": 8.99,
                "nuts": false,
                "cooking_time": 20,
                "created_on": "2013-06-25T23:45:00+00:00"
            }
        }
    ],
    ...
    "total": 43
}
  1. Define headers to add authentication or filters required by the API endpoint.

  2. Make sure that your endpoint supports pagination with the parameters defined below.

Supported parameters

To learn more about how Prepr interacts with the API endpoint, consider the following:

  • Automatic synchronization. To keep your remote content constantly updated in Prepr, your custom API must support filtering on the last changed items. In this case, Prepr will call the API with a changed_since param to refresh your items every 15 minutes. For example, website.com/prepr/feed?changed_since=1583414373 (UTC timestamp).

  • Pagination. The API must work with the skip and limit params to paginate params, and the API response should contain a maximum of 50 items. For example,

    • Page 1: website.com/prepr/feed?skip=0&limit=50
    • Page 2: website.com/prepr/feed?skip=50&limit=50
    • Page 3: website.com/prepr/feed?skip=100&limit=50, etc
  • Search. To help editors search for a remote content item, Prepr calls the external system URL with the q param containing the editor's input, for example, website.com/prepr/feed?q=Looking%20for%20an%20item. In this case, the total response will be updated with the filtered number of matching items.

  • Locale. To help editors search for a remote content item, Prepr calls the external system URL with the Prepr-Locale header. This header, which is based on ISO 639-1 standards (e.g., en-US), reflects the editor's current viewing language. This feature enables you to customize your feed according to the viewing language. (This is necessary only if your feed supports multiple languages).

  • Filter. To help editors filter remote content items, Prepr calls the external system URL with one or more parameters that match the param values in the filters array in the API endpoint, for example, website.com/prepr/feed?category=Comfort%food&type=Main. In this case, the total response will be updated with the filtered number of matching items.

Step 2: Add the custom remote source in Prepr

Now that you’ve set up your custom API endpoint, proceed with the configuration in Prepr. You’ll need to connect Prepr to your external system using the API credentials. To add a custom remote source, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Schema tab to open the Schema Editor.
  2. On the Schema Editor page, navigate to the Remote content section and click Add source.
  3. In the opened dialog window, choose to add a custom source.

Custom remote source

  1. In the next screen, name and describe the source as follows, then click Add.
FieldDescription
NameA unique name to identify this source in Prepr.
Type nameA name used for accessing this source through the API. The value is generated automatically and matches the Display name you specified.
Text in buttonThe text in the button that will add the items to the content item.
IconAn icon to identify this source in a content item.
Endpoint URLThe endpoint URL that is used to make the API calls. Refer to your external system API specification.
Image domain(s)An image domain to be allowed in Prepr. It guarantees Prepr will use only domains approved for authorized access to images.
HeaderAdd the key-value pair to pass additional information about your API request such as the authorization token. This key-value array will be sent in the header of the API request.

Add custom source

  1. Add fields to your remote source in Prepr and map them to the corresponding fields in the external system as defined in the data object above. You can then fetch these fields using the GraphQL API to deliver remote content in your front end.
    a. To add fields to the remote source, drag and drop the desired field type from the list on the right into your source. You add a Text, Boolean or Number field.

    Select a field

    b. Then, set the Display name to the Prepr field name and set the Source API ID to the corresponding field name from your external system:

    Fill in a field

Once you set up the custom remote source in Prepr, an access token will be generated automatically. You can find it under Settings → Access tokens. Prepr will use the token as a credential when making API requests.

Step 3: Add remote content to your content item

Once you’ve connected to the external system and added the Remote content field to your model, you can add the remote content to a content item using the following steps:

  1. Navigate to the Content tab and click on the desired content item from the list.
  2. In the remote content section, click the button to add new items (in our example – Add product), search through the catalog or use a filter to find and add the desired items to the content item.
  3. Save and publish this content item to complete the setup.

Add remote content to a content item

All done

That’s it. Now your web page includes 3rd party content. Prepr will synchronize your remote content automatically to keep it up to date.

Next steps

Now that you’ve added products from your external system to the content item, you can retrieve the corresponding data using the API. Check out the following docs:

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