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Content Management

CMS - Sitecore Training, Day 2

So here I am writing again, this time about the second day of the Sitecore Training. In my previous post I wrote about what a Content Management System is, the roles of the users and their different interfaces. However day two was about Website .NET development, and hopefully this will bring you to a better understanding of Sitecore and WCMS. During this session, it was the turn to take my role as a developer and focus on how to create the already mentioned content using the .NET environment. This second session highlight was - in my opinion - the different layers that are involved in the development of a Sitecore Website: Content, Presentation and the Binding of those two. Let’s see how it went...

Day 2

Understanding about Content, Presentation and Binding is not as easy as it sounds, even less it is to develop a website through the layers involved in the creation. But that’s what this training is about, isn’t it? To teach developers attending it into how to become an expert in the sitecore technology. To be fair I’ll have to admit that this is not my first encounter with a CMS as I’ve previously taken a training session in Adobe CQ5 (Another WCMS tool) and I’ve been in touch with Sitecore as well. Knowing about these and fully understanding the .NET environment is definitely an advantage during this training, and that has allowed me to explore a little bit further into the tools and possibilities and even the differences between the two mentioned systems.

Before deepening into the layers that allow Sitecore to translate into a successful content management system, I’d like to be clear, that this second day was fully made for the developer. As I said before, we developers are the ones with the responsibility of making great items that will allow the business users to create better websites in a feasible way. So this is what is all about, how can a developer make a functional system that allows a non-developer to “build” beautiful websites? Well that’s with the help of the Content, Presentation and Binding.

CONTENT: Items and Templates are the key concepts for the content. And item is a page on the site, which holds the information. A template is the structure of the content - the layout of the information it holds. Those two concepts are related through inheritance; this programming concept allows to create a single templates, that can be reused and combined in different ways to create or edit different sections of a website. A user could easily modify a template in one place and replicate that change through all the templates inheriting from it without much work.

PRESENTATION: A presentation is composed of Layouts and Components. The layout defines the appearance of the site or a portion of it - How the components holding the content will be arranged and displayed in the website. The components and the layouts can be either static or dynamic, this will allows the business user to have the required flexibility to edit the site. The layout would define placeholders, which will be as limited as the developer defines allowing them to hold text, images or anything that it is required, with the proper limitations.

BINDING: Once the content is created, it must be binded to the presentation. Meaning that a specific set of information (content) will be presented as a layout accordingly to the assigned components (presentation). This is one of the more important processes when building Sitecore website.

Of course there’s much more to it, but this must definitely give you a closer look and a better understanding on how a CMS system works internally, particularly Sitecore. To learn more, keep posted to read about Day 3 or feel free to ask any questions.
Gustavo C.