by July 21st, 2014on
Eric Morentin and Nick Baldwin spoke about WCM Patterns that should be used in content management development in IBM Digital Experience. Patterns of course are a “canned” way or even best practice for implementing solutions. There are four themes of patterns they talked about:
- Better content / component model
- There are different types of content and Content Manager build a content page by pulling various types of content. Types can include things like slide shows, lists, blocks, highlights, teasers, etc.
- A good first pattern is the List Content Component. Use a WCM Component to build the list. The end user only has to select what list to display and perhaps customize the query to define the list. Within content manager, lists are composed of Navigators and Presentations. The navigator component is the query tool to select items for the list and the presentation component is how you display the results.
- In general, then a good content/component model will let you create special purpose components and then combine them into business level tools that the content authors can easily incorporate onto a page. Special purpose components such as lists, blocks, carousel are higher-level components than what come out of the box with WCM, but are built-up using those out of the box components.
- More reuse
- Build a library of standard components that can be reused. In IBM’s Content Template Catalog, they have many reusable components built on component elements like field design, fragments, inline editing controls, etc.
- You could have reusable component headers, designs and footers that get referenced by the higher-level components like the Slideshow mentioned above.
- As an example, in the header, you could have common tools like the inline edit code. This same header can then be used on all your components so you can manage or change the inline edit code in one place.
- There are also good patterns and tools available like SASS – Syntactically Awesome Style Sheets to help you with creating reusable CSS.
- Better site model
- Sites connect pages and content. Pages provide the navigation model in portal.
- The Page Content Structure pattern shows how you structure a site. The content site contains just content. There is a content item created for each “component”. Teasers live in their site. All these sites can roll into a common site based on the page.
- This results in a lot of site areas.
- Split content, design, navigation, configuration and code or separation of concerns.
- The component model pattern helps with this concept.
- You should split design libraries from content libraries.
- They suggest a Design library, a Content Library and a Process Library. The process library and design libraries can be referenced from the various sites.
Other best practices/patterns:
- Workflows can also benefit from good patterns. One pattern is to use custom workflow actions to perform dynamic tasks such as picking the appropriate approvers based on an author’s business unit.
- For Access Control, don’t explicitly define all access rights; instead use inheritance whenever possible. In 8.5, reviewer and draft creator (replacing Approver) can be inherited. Explicit access control also impacts performance.
- Don’t have content items with 40+ fields. Look for the ability to use custom fields to merge
- In place edits in non-projects – consider using a plugin to hide in line editing if no project is selected.
- Multi Language – enable this upfront rather than wait. Even with just two languages, use the MLS plug-in
Eric and Nick used the IBM Content Template Catalog as examples of patterns that you can implement. They made the point over and over again that CTC is set of examples, so there are probably more components in there than you may actually every need. You should take the ideas in CTC and make your own components based on the patterns. You should not really expect to install and use CTC right out of the box.