Q&A: Which Parameters are available for the Essence Portal

Question

When working in the Silver Essence Portal, the URL in the Browser's address bar are quite long. And they seem to contain instructions that influence the behavior of the Portal. Why is this and what can you do with them?

Answer

Indeed the URL as shown in the address bar contains some instructions for the Portal. These are called parameters. They typically are constructed in what is known as key-value pairs. Each Parameter has a key, followed by an equal-to sign after which the value is specified.

The first Parameter is always preceded by a question mark. The following Paramaters are each preceded by an ampersand. In theory you can add as many Parameters as you like. If the Page you are looking at does something with the instructions is determined in the Page itself. In other words, you need to know which instructions you can give to a Page using the right keys. Using a key that is not recognized by the Page will have no influence whatsoever.

Why we expose all the Parameters

Most web-applications don't show these instructions in the URL. Mainly because it looks better or because they don't want visitors to manually mess around by changing the values in the address bar. While these are valid reasons to hide the Parameters, we believe there are many reasons why exposing them is very useful.

  • Sharing the URL
    By copying the URL from the address bar you can send it to others. When they click the URL, the Page will then open at exactly the same point as where you copied the link from. 
  • Bookmarking the Page
    The same goes for bookmarking the Page. It just makes it easier to go back to the same Page that you have bookmarked.
  • Note-taking Apps
    With Apps like Evernote, Pocket or Google Keep you can "attach" notes to a webpage and save them for later reading. By exposing all the Parameters, you can make very specific notes, add reminders and such.

So which Parameters are available for the Essence Portal?

There many Parameters and from time to time we even add new ones to give you additional flexibility. We created a Google Doc that lists all the available Parameters and instructions on how to use them. And we even included detailed examples for each of them. Of course these are all examples and they might not work in your Essence Portal. But it will give you great insights and inspiration to go out and discover what you can do with them.

So go out and check that document here!