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Decoupling content management
Decoupling content management
Decoupling content management
Decoupling content management
Decoupling content management
Decoupling content management
Decoupling content management
Decoupling content management
Decoupling content management
Decoupling content management
Decoupling content management
Decoupling content management
Decoupling content management
Decoupling content management
Decoupling content management
Decoupling content management
Decoupling content management
Decoupling content management
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Decoupling content management

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A short presentation on separating content from navigation to transform the way you manage your website. Delivered by Stephen Pope, Technical Architect, Eduserv at Internet World on 12th May 2011

A short presentation on separating content from navigation to transform the way you manage your website. Delivered by Stephen Pope, Technical Architect, Eduserv at Internet World on 12th May 2011

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  • Just to make your website editable you need to accept the web framework imposed by the system, the templating engine used by the system, and the editing tools used by the system. Want to have a better user interface? Be prepared to rewrite your whole website, and to the pain of having to migrate content between different storage systems.But none of this should be necessary. When web editing tools were more immature, it made sense for the same people to build the whole stack from database content models to web page generation and editing tools. But that was ten years ago, now we can do better.
  • There is a content repository that manages content models and how to store them.Then there is a web framework, responsible of matching URL requests to particular content and generating corresponding data.The view engine then decides how that data is transformed and presented to the user.Many CMS’s have tackled the first two, content is separate from presentation. They have decoupled the code and data elements from the view engine.This is good but we need to go one step further. Lets look at a typical site structure.
  • Content is traditionally held under the site structure nodes (landing pages etc.)What we did was take the content and truly separate it from the navigation by pulling all content into the content repository.Content type data structures ( what fields constitute a press notice etc ) are kept in the repository along with the instances of those types (the actual press notices).Editors work only with the content repository using the set content typesWeb administrators deal with the structure of the site, organising landing pages and promotional parts.So what brings these two elements together ?
  • Content editors once they have finished tag their articles with tags.Customer has a thesaurus so they can describe their universe. (exposing as SKOS RDF later on)(Automated in the future OpenCalais,TSO etc)
  • Syndicate and share your data any way you like.
  • Make them addressable: give them URLs. For example, if it’s a course, mint a URL which points to a unique resource representing that course.Using readable URLs: make the URL intelligible to an end user. If it’s a URL pointing to a course, then a URL which has the word ‘course’ in it will help.Using reliable URLs: manage the URLs you mint, and ensure that they are persistent.Using “hackable” URLs: make the URLs predictable and consistent, such that a developer can figure out the logical structure of the URLs and the underlying information architecture. As with ‘readable URLs’ above, do not be cryptic in URLs if this can be avoided
  • Transcript

    • 1. Decoupling Content Management
      Separating content from navigation
      Stephen Pope – Technical Architect
    • 2. Client Problem
      Lots of disparate content
      Multiple content types
      Multiple overlapping audiences
      Multiple domains and campaigns
      Consolidate sites yet retain content
      Offer the user greater connection with the data
      Site likely to change name or structure
    • 3. Tackling the monolith
      Content Management System
      Database
    • 4. Decoupled approach
      View / Presentation Engine
      Web Framework
      Pluggable Component Modules
      Content Repository
    • 5. One step further
      Web Administration
      Content Repository
    • 6. Tagging
      French
      Exams
      Other metadata
    • 7. Mapping (The glue!)
      Content Repository
      Exams
      French
      /Area1/Languages/
    • 8. Advantages of this approach
      Central store of content types
      Navigation nodes deal with structure not content
      Articles pulled into navigation using article metadata
      Navigation can be reworked at any point without large migration exercise.
    • 9. Advantages of this approach
      Articles can appear in multiple places
      Articles can appear across multiple domains
      Option to open the store via feeds and API’s
      Web Services
      Content Repository
    • 10. Considerations for a better web
      Identify the important entities
      Make them addressable
      Using readable URLs
      Using “hackable” URLs
      (http://blog.paulwalk.net/2010/09/21/institutions-and-the-web-done-better/)
    • 11. Multi-Surfacing
      Keep each section’s look and feel
      Maintain “Google Juice”
      Persistent URIs
      We had to take full control of the URLs in the system
    • 12. http://blah.gov.uk/area1/languages/articles/french_exam
      http://otherblah.gov.uk/languages/articles/french_exam
      http://blah.gov.uk/news/2009/08/articles/french_exam
      http://blah.gov.uk/articles/french_exam
    • 13. http://blah.gov.uk/area1/languages/articles/french_exam
      http://otherblah.gov.uk/languages/articles/french_exam
      http://blah.gov.uk/news/2009/08/articles/french_exam
      http://blah.gov.uk/articles/french_exam
    • 14. Keeping search engines happy
      Canonical Link
      <link rel="canonical" href="http://www.blah.gov.uk/articles/french_exams" />
      Add to <head> tag of pages that are derivatives
      Preserves “Google Juice” – Fully supported by Google / Bing / Yahoo! etc.
    • 15. Hackable URL’s (The website IS the API)
      http://blah.gov.uk/area1/languages/articles/french_exam.pdf
      http://blah.gov.uk/area1/languages/articles/french_exam.xml
      …/area1/languages.rss?p=1
      http://blah.gov.uk/area1/languages/articles/french_exam.rdf
      http://blah.gov.uk/area1/languages/articles/french_exam
    • 16. Difficulties
      Letting go – site is dynamic and evolving.
      Default context – when an item can exist anywhere where is its default home ?
      Editor education – writing content that is self contained.
      Strong taxonomy – enough depth and breadth to ensure good quality tagging.
    • 17. Successes
      True multi-surfacing.
      Already had its first restructuring test.
      Sitecore is our Swiss army knife.
      Multi-surfacing is only part of the solution.
      Leveraging open source the right way.
    • 18. Thank you
      Enjoy the remaining 15 minutes of Internet World.

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