Conceptual and Functional Divisions in WCM
John James 270000424B Visits (2365)
Originally posted on the ADL4WCM Blog on Oct 5 2010
When WCM was originally developed (back in the pre-IBM days when the product was named "Aptrix") we used to talk about how the product worked by splitting content from presentation. While this is essentially still true, over the past 10 years both the design of the WCM product, and the way you develop websites, have both evolved beyond this simple concept. Now, the conceptual and functional divisions within WCM, and the wider WebSphere Portal product, works more like this:
When you are developing a website using Lotus Web Content Management and WebSphere Portal, you are splitting the elements of your website between content, context, layout and style.
There are two types of content:
The layout and structure of each page in your website are defined using the following:
The context of the content currently displayed is also important. The layout and design of the page that a content item is displayed on will be different depending on:
Each of these contextual variables allow you to display content or components in different ways depending on the current context.
Additionally, the profile of the current portlet, content item or current user can determine what is displayed on a page...as do any personalisation features used by your website.
While you can place stylistic elements directly within your HTML, it is becoming increasingly more-common to use CSS to store and manage all the stylistic elements of a website. In a WCM site, the CSS can be:
One good practice is to store your CSS mark-up within a HTML field stored in a content item. This allows you quick access to the CSS if you need to make a change. Plus you can use advanced features like workflows and in-line editing to help you maintain your CSS.
But the important thing is, that by storing all your stylistic elements in CSS, you can quickly make stylistic changes to your website simply by editing a CSS file instead of editing multiple WCM items.
When you are planning and building a website using Lotus Web Content Management and WebSphere Portal, you should keep reviewing your designs and make sure that you are separating your content from it's context, design and style. If done properly, you should be able to make changes to content, context, layout and design separately from each other. Then you will be able to much more successfully manage changes to your website.