What is a CMS? Why Drupal
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What is a CMS? Why Drupal



What is a Content Management System? And why Western Washington University chose Drupal.

What is a Content Management System? And why Western Washington University chose Drupal.



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What is a CMS? Why Drupal Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Who am I? Director of Web Technologies, ATUS; Webmaster for Western Washington 1980s: programming operating systems for military flight simulators; Project Engineer for F/A-18 program 1990s: Design school at U of O; CAD programming for Energy Studies Lab in the Architecture department 1994: First web design projects when pictures came to web 2005: Started at Western; 2011: Launched wwu.edu on Drupal. 2013: Currently converting academic sites to Drupal.
  • 2. Web History 1990s – isn’t the web cool – look what I can do! (web as we know it is invented) 2000s – We need to put everything on the web. (Major business functions transition to websites) 2010s – This is too hard. How do we put content control back into the hands of non-techical content experts? (CMS required in most sites)
  • 3. Now: types of Web Pain User: Can’t find anything (usability due to extent and organization of information) Owner: can’t keep everything updated (capability / maintainability of content) Admin: can’ keep it running with new features needed frequently (maintainability)
  • 4. What I’m going to say: A CMS is…
  • 5. Example: find something • Easy to find a product when there are a dozen or two – how do you do it when there are tens of thousands? • A multitude of ways: menus, filtering, search, related objects, popular items… most of these require a database
  • 6. What Can a CMS do? . An example: Amazon.com associates buying and browsing history with a user:
  • 7. CMS: Database Records Name of Item Category Status Cast-Iron 2-Quart Cooking viewed 22 Britannia Road Novel Wish list Ethernet Cable Electronics bought In order to create that page, Amazon might have a database table for each user that looks something like this:
  • 8. Another example of CMS? . Western’s Academic Calendar has Events, each defined with FIELDS: Calendar Event Date: June 11 - 18 Name: Summer Break Type: Term Break
  • 9. DB gives CMS power Static Web has pages The page is smallest unit you can link to it you can link to it again the page has no values – just text CMS has DB fields Content is made of fields which have a value: a number a link a date You can perform operations on content with values e.g. List all the holidays > TODAY
  • 10. Editor Usability WHAT EDITOR NEEDS No Coding Required! WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) Simplicity – only see what can change HOW CMS CAN DO IT Web Forms for point-click Apply CSS to editor OR edit in page WorkBenchs, permissions, etc
  • 11. So, Define “CMS”? A web application that facilitates the production and re-use of modern web content by non-technical content providers.
  • 12. What does that mean? A web application that facilitates the production and re-use of modern web content by non-technical content providers. • Web application = no download required, edit in browser • Production = user interface for all facets of website creation • Re-use = there’s a database to hold and classify content • Modern = Server-side capability to do the interactive stuff • Non-technical = web forms allow point-&-click so no coding
  • 13. An example? Academic calendar on WWU.edu: http://www.wwu.edu/academic_calendar Look at behind-the-scenes editing screens – user is updating the database without coding
  • 14. What can a CMS do?
  • 15. Some CMS Products Wordpress, blogger, etc Drupal, Joomla ModX, TextPattern, Concrete5, DotNetNuke CascadeServer, SiteCore, CampusSuite
  • 16. Maintenance Nightmares Security: Virus, Spam, Hacking etc – these threats morph and proliferate – how do you keep up? New Functionality: how to add capability over time without breaking existing installations? New Languages? Responsive Design? HTML 5? HTML xxx? New Designs, Looks, Styles: Can the style be easily updated over time? Growth: Does it work for 20 users? 20,000? Can I add sites for new groups?
  • 17. Why Drupal: Capability – Usability - Maintainability Drupal is a stable and mature open source product with one of the most active communities in the open source world. It has a fabulous security team and over 15000 modules contributed by thousands of developers. Let’s look at: 1. Architecture 2. Development Process 3. Security 4. Community
  • 18. Drupal: Good Architecture Some common problems with poor architecture: • Code upgrade breaks previous customizations • Code becomes slow, unmanageable as time goes on • Can add functionality, but error modes, initialization, translation, status reporting have to be re-invented • Custom code introduces security problems Architecture is destiny. And more so for open source code.
  • 19. Drupal: Good Architecture Based on clear Principles http://drupal.org/principles Core and User code (= Drupal “Module”) completely separate; Great API http://api.drupal.org/api/drupal/7 Content and Design (= Drupal “Theme”) completely separate Next version (D8) will be based on Symfony PHP framework
  • 20. Drupal: Good Process GIT Repository for code / documentation issue control Translation, documentation, core code, module code, theme code, testing, all have processes so anyone can contribute in manageable, traceable way Testing Framework: SimpleTest
  • 21. Drupal: Good Security QUALITY. Great security team: 40 people currently on official team to approve changes but 100s have contributed OPENESS. Anyone can subscribe to advisories; all sites automatically email the admin when a security update is available Resources: http://drupalsecurityreport.org/ Security Fixes By Year Year Core Contributed 2013 (YTD) 2 33 2012 4 174
  • 22. Drupal: Great Community 9000 unique people filed issues in 12 months 1800 unique people filed patches in 12 months Strong central development team; 4 people make final commits to core 20000+ published modules by users like us!
  • 23. Drupal Architecture Various setup possibilities allows for many sites to be run off of same code base and either same databases or separate databases.