BLOX Data Import & Export

This document provides information about how data must be formatted and provided for import from an external CMS into the BLOX CMS platform. It also covers how content is extracted and made available for re-use in external applications. This document will cover importing the following types …

Template Access

BLOX admins who have UTL experience can receive permission to access, modify and save templates within Design Templates for completing custom css and other design work by signing the attached agreement.

API & Webservices

Provides technical information on how to allow a 3rd party system to provide single sign-on (federated authentication) using the BLOX user system.

UTL Syntax

This document is provided as a quick guide to what programming is all about. Since UTL is effectively a light-weight programming language, you will need to learn a number of basic concepts in order to be productive with the language. This document is provided for individuals that have never programmed templates using a scripting language.

Language Description

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Array items are individually accessed and mutated using the dot notation of identifiers described above. Literal array values may be specified in the template by surrounding the array items in square brackets ([ and ]).

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Some code directives have the extra status of being block directives. Blocks have beginning and end statements and may contain a mixture of code and data chunks within themselves. An example block directive is a FOR loop:

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The echo directive is used to print data to the output stream.

A template file is a series of chunks, with a chunk being either basic content data or logical code. Code is separated from data by surrounding it with the delimiters [% and %].


Beginner Tasks

Most CSS changes, especially changing colors, you want to accomplish can be handled through the Page customizations in Design / Blocks. However, if you need to add custom CSS this doc will show you how.


Included with all BLOX sites is a separate hosted environment referred to as /app ("Slash app"). This is a LAMP environment allowing sites to do their own custom development without requiring additional 3rd-party vendors or resources.

This document will attempt to provide a very broad view of the system's architecture.

The ECHO directive is used to print data to the output stream.

Note: If you want fully custom messages you need to override the app Metering/macros/module.messages.utl file.If you just want to override a single message you just have to override that macro. (See below for the individual macros)A message with the 'data-count' attribute and a value containing a number will only be displayed at a particular count. A message without a 'data-count' attribute will, if it exists, display if there is no message for a specific count.A message with the 'data-registered' attribute set to true/false will only be displayed when a user is logged in/not logged in these messages are only available when also using a specific count.Elements with the 'count' class will have their content replaced with the current ascending count. Elements with the 'remaining' class will have their content replaced with the current descending count. Elements with the 'total' class will have their content replaced with the total count.Best Practice: The utl file can be named anything, although naming it the same as the existing file may be a good idea.

All BLOX sites should be set up for automatic template updates so that they stay on the current upgrade path. There is an option to receive a notification email daily with update information. To confirm that your site is set up to receive updates and request to receive update notifcation emails you can contact TownNews Customer Support at 800-293-9576 or submit a support ticket online.  Only TownNews staff have access to this setting.

Sender Policy Framework (SPF) is a way to fight email spam. It is essentially a text record that will be set up as part of a domain's DNS zone file which lists authorized host names or IP addresses that emails are allowed to use as their "from" address for that domain.

The TownNews platform is shared hosting environment. This means that your web site and several others are being serviced on the same computers. The largest concerns in our hosting environment with regards to PHP.