The RSS Aggregator module displays external feed content on a Magnolia page (feed aggregation) and generates feeds from Magnolia content (feed syndication).

Planet feeds enhance standard aggregation feeds by collecting additional data and generating feed statics.

Creating an aggregate feed

A feed aggregator retrieves external feeds and displays the content on a Magnolia page.

Planet feeds have all the features of standard feeds but can generate additional data and statistics that is displayed in planet components. See Feed components and Generating planet data for more.

In this example we collect three individual RSS feeds into one aggregate feed:

These have a common topic – technology – so they are good candidates for aggregation. A reader interested in one feed is likely to be interested in the others too.

To create a RSS aggregator, in the Feeds app:

  1. Add a new feed.

    • Name: Technology. This is the internal name of the aggregator.

    • Title: Feed title.

    • Short description: Feed description.

    • Check Planet Feed to mark the feed as a planet feed.

  2. Add the feed URLs from above.

    • Title: Leave blank to get the title from the external feed title

    • URL: Feed URL.
      Image: Select an image from the DAM. 60x60 px works best. The image is displayed in the Planet Feeds component. Hackergotchi images are supported.

  3. Add filters to refine content.

    1. Condition: Select an AND, OR or NOT condition to include or exclude content.

    2. Property: Select from a pre-defined list of options, Author, Category, Description or Title, commonly found in feeds.

    3. Regex: Type a regex pattern to meet the condition and property in the first two boxes.

RSS Aggregators tab

Feeds can be marked as a planet feed at any time. When you change a standard feed to a planet feed, re-import the feed data before generating planet data

Importing feed data

To import data:

  • All feeds: Click Import all feeds now.

  • A single feed: Click Import feed now.

Feed components

The module includes components that display external feeds and generate feeds from internal content.

Content will only display in the feed components after it has been imported. To display feed content on the public instance publish the feed in the Feeds app. This will also publish the feed data.

The feed components are configured in /modules/rssaggregator/templates/components.

Feed components configuration

  • combinedFeedsParagraph: Combines all feeds in a channel and displays them sequentially. Editors can set the number, sort order and character limit of the entries. Use with standard or planet feeds.
    Combined feeds paragraph

  • feedListParagraph: Displays a defined number of entries for each feed in the channel. The external feed title is used if no internal title is set. Editors can set the number, sort order and character limit of the entries. Use with standard or planet feeds.

  • planetFeeds: Displays the entries of all feeds in a channel with the latest appearing first. Uses the HTML of the source entry. This means that images and links are preserved and displayed. Allows pagination. Use with planet feeds only.

  • feedSyndication: Uses planet statistics data to display a list of authors with feed subscription icons and links to the external website. Author list is ordered by post frequency with top contributors appearing first. Editors can set a title and subtitle, define the number of authors to include, and whether links and the post count should be included. Use with planet feeds only.

  • feedStatistics: Displays Atom and RSS subscription icons and links that allow users to subscribe to the feed on your site. Editors can add a title and select a planet feed. Use with planet feeds only.

Creating a custom component

The model class and template script are the important properties that determine content in the different components. All RSS model classes extend AbstractFeedModel, which provides the business logic to retrieve a defined feed and its data from the rss workspace and supports:

  • Entry sorting by title or publication data.

  • Ascending and descending entry sorting.

  • Maximum results property. Default is `20`.

  • Search capabilities

Any custom model class should extend AbstractFeedModel.

Adding components to templates

You can add the feed components to any template.

Example: Template definition with all feed components in main area.


templateScript: /my-module/templates/pages/my-script.ftl
renderType: freemarker
visible: true
title: My template
        id: rssaggregator:components/combinedFeedsParagraph
        id: rssaggregator:components/feedListParagraph
        id: rssaggregator:components/planetFeeds
        id: rssaggregator:components/feedStatistics
        id: rssaggregator:components/feedSyndication

Scheduling automated feed imports

Importing feed data manually is not a long-term solution. You should configure an automated import schedule. Choose the update frequency depending on how often feeds have new content. For example, if a blog gets one post a day then importing once a day at 6 a.m. is enough.

Setting automated imports for all feeds

You can schedule automated imports for all feeds in the Configuration app. The global settings can be overridden for single feeds.

  1. Periodic import:

    1. Disabled: Automated imports are disabled by default. You can switch off them off at any time.

    2. Import every: Quick option to set imports for a specified number of minutes, hours or days.

    3. Use cron time/date defintion: Define a Quartz Cron Pattern to create a suitable import schedule. For example, the pattern 0 0 6 * * * imports data daily at 6 a.m. See Cron Maker for help.

  2. Fetcher: Substitute the default feed fetcher class if necessary. See Properties table below for options.

Feed configuration

The imports are stored in /modules/rssaggregator/config.

Feeds in the Configuration app

Property Description



Module configuration node.


required, default is false

Enables and disables automated imports.



The cron pattern for scheduled imports.



FastRSSFeedFetcher retrieves RSS feed content over HTTP. Fetches all feed channels defined in an aggregate feed. You can use SimpleRSSFeedFetcher as an alternative. This is a simple, single-threaded fetcher that reduces server load and is suitable when you don’t have many feed channels and you don’t import often.



Utility used to build the cron expression.

Setting automated imports for single feeds

You can configure automated import settings for each feed in the Import Settings tab of the edit dialog. These setting override the global settings.

  1. Periodic import:

    1. Select This feed has different import settings to override the global settings.

    2. Disabled: Stops any scheduled automated imports for the individual feed and the global settings take over.

    3. Import every: Quick option to set imports for a specified number of minutes, hours or days.

    4. Use cron time/date defintion: Define a Quartz Cron Pattern to create a suitable import schedule. For example, the pattern 0 0 6 * * * imports data daily at 6 a.m. See Cron Maker for help.

  2. Fetcher: Substitute the default feed fetcher class if necessary. See Properties table above for options.

Automated imports in Feeds

Feed data storage

Feed data is stored in the rss workspace.

Name Description

<RSS aggregator name>


Data retrieved from the Internet.

The content of this folder is that same for standard and planet feeds. This content is used for standard feed components (combinedFeedsParagraph and feedListParagraph) but not by the planetFeed component. See Generating planet data for more.


A channel is created for each RSS feed.


One entry in the feed such as one blog post.






Feed properties retrieved from the internet.




Internal feed properties.



Generating planet data

Planet commands

The module includes two custom commands to generate planet data.

The commands are configured in /modules/rssaggregator/commands/planet/.

Feed Planet data in the Configuration app

Property Description



Planet commands node.



Generate planet data command node.



  • Generates data for a planet feed.

  • Processes all feeds in the channel and creates an archive of feed items if the feed is marked as a planet feed.

  • Stores individual feed items in the planet archive and assigns author, channelTitle, title, content and description properties. Posts without these properties are not stored in the archive

  • Builds checksums to eliminate duplicates. New items are only added if they don’t already exist in the archive.

  • Ensures that the maximum nodes allowed under a single node is not exceeded.

  • Respects any filters set.



Collect planet statistics command node.



  • Collects and generates statistics from feeds in a Planetdatastorage.

  • Stores the collected statistics in the JCR tree.

Scheduling planet updates

Use the Scheduler module to execute the planet commands to generate planet data and schedule regular updates.

Two jobs are preconfigured in /modules/scheduler/config/jobs:

Scheduling updates seen in Configuration app

Property Description



Node for scheduled jobs

     <job name>


Name of job.



Parameters passed to the command.



Workspace where the content item resides.



Enables and disables the job. Set to true to run.



Name of the catalog where the command resides



Name of the command.



CRON expression that sets the scheduled execution time. You can use the pattern 0 0/5 * 1/1 * ? * to generate the initial data five minutes after changing the settings. Cronmaker is a useful tool for building expressions



Description of the job.

Planet data storage

Planet data is used in planet components. The data is stored in the planetData folder in the rss workspace. View the data in your custom JCR.


<aggregator name>


The GeneratePlanetData command reads feed data and stores it here.


All posts from all feeds. First all entries from the first feed, newest entry first. Then all posts from the second feed, and so on.


One entry in the feed such as one blog post.





The module uses checksums to handle duplicate entries. Because feed data is deleted and recreated on every run, there is a high probability that a subsequent run will include entries that were contained in a previous run. Some entries may only have changed slightly, for example a different publication date. To avoid duplicates, the PlanetDataGenerator command uses checksums for each entry. Two checksum properties are generated. If an archive node with one of the checksums exists, no data is stored for the new item and an INFO level entry is written in the logs.







Planet statistics storage

Planet statistics are generated from planet data and stored in the statistics folder in the rss workspace. View the data in your custom JCR.


<aggregator name>


The CollectPlanetStatistics command extracts statistics from the /planetData node. This node is deleted and recreated on every run of the command.


All authors from all feeds.


Each author is allocated a number.


Each child node is a reference to a post in the feed.

                     <post UUID>






Number of posts by this author in the aggregate feed.

Configuring how long to keep planet data

Planet data is generated and stored for the last 3 months by default. You can configure the time period for which the data is retained in /modules/rssaggregator/config/planetOptions.

Configuring how long to keep planet data

Property Description



Planet options


required, default is `3`

Number of months.

Feed generators

Feed generators generate RSS feeds from Magnolia content and imported content stored in the rss workspace.

Four feed generators are registered in /modules/rssaggregator/config/feedGenerators.

Feed generators in Configuration app

Property Description



Feed generators node.

     <generator name>


Generator name.



Generator class:

Custom generators should extend the convenience base class AbstractSyndFeedGenerator. Subclasses need to implement the template methods loadFeedEntries() and setFeedInfo(SyndFeed).

Feed syndication servlet

The feed syndication servlet writes an XML feed to the response.

The servlet is registered in /server/filters/servlets/FeedSyndicationServlet.

Feed syndication servlet in Configuration app

Property Description



Feed syndication servlet node.


required FeedSyndicationServlet writes an XML feed to the response. Based on the request parameters, the feedGenerators configuration is resolved and used to generate the XML feed. The content of the feed is written to the response with the appropriate character encoding.

Virtual URI mapping

Syndication components use virtual URI mappings to redirect generated feeds. The mappings use regular expressions and are called by the feed generator classes to render appropriate content in the XML feed.

Mappings are configured in /modules/rssaggregator/virtualURIMappings.

Virtual URI mappings in Configuration app

Property Description



Virtual URI mapping node

     <mapping name>


Name of mapping.



RegexpVirtualURIMapping allows you to specify a regular expression pattern that matches a sequence of characters.



Pattern to match in the requested URI.



Concrete URI where the request is mapped to.


Public users

The anonymous role does not have permissions to the rss workspace on the author or public instance. Public users cannot see the feed content by default.

The RSS Aggregator module installs the rss-aggregator-base role that provides read permissions to the rss workspace.






Read only

Selected and sub nodes


To provide public access to feed content, assign the rss-aggregator-base role to the anonymous systems user on the public instance.

App access

By default only superuser can access the Feeds app and work with feeds because the superuser role includes read/write permissions to the rss and config workspaces.

Here’s how to grant permissions for various feed tasks:.

  • App launcher access: The Feeds app is in the Setup group and editors typically cannot access this group. Move the app to the Edit group to grant access in the app launcher. See App launcher layout for more. This allows the user to open the app but not view the content.

  • Read only access: Assign the rss-aggregator-base role to give read only access to feed content. This allows the user to view the list of feeds in the app, select feeds in components and view feed content on pages.

  • Read/write access: Create a new role granting read/write access to the rss workspace and assign it to the user. This allows the user to create new feeds in the Feeds app, but they cannot access the Configuration subapp.

  • Configuration app access: Create a new role granting read/write access in the config workspace to /modules/rssaggregator to allow the user to schedule automated feed imports in the Configuration subapp.