Basic CMS config/best practice question

Posted on 2004-08-11
Last Modified: 2008-01-09

Can anyone recommend a basic CMS setup?  I was thinking something like:

Personal Dev machines:
Design templates: developers design the templates on their machines to be eventually stored on the Intranet.

Intranet server:
Runs the actual CMS containing the templates and DB
Add content : Different people access templates and add content from across enterprise
Content is stored in the CMS database on this machine.

Push the templates and the CMS database from Intranet to production to be accessed by the main webserver.  

Is this config overly simplistic or feasable?
Do I have the basic process down?
Would the CMS database be installed on the web servers themselves?  e.g., two loadbalanced web servers...

Also, any suggestions?  It's a Microsoft platform so I was considering Microsoft CMS, but I'm open..

Question by:ara99
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Expert Comment

ID: 11777093
I think this is a very difficult question to answer without more info.  Each CMS vendor uses a different setup, and offers a combination of pros and cons.  I think the whole project of selecting an architecture should begin with questions like:

What kind of content do I have to manage?
What types of people will be managing?
What formats should the content be in?
What security requirements apply?

Then, you can look at the major vendors to see which applies to your requirements.

It seems like you're talking about Web content?  If so, I think developers working on their own machines is OK as long as you have clear separation of responsibilities and maybe a good source code management system?

I think the ultimate architecture will depend on the software you choose.  Any other info you can povide?

Author Comment

ID: 11777295
Thanks for the comments:

What kind of content do I have to manage?
Web content.  The finished/tested content would be accessible via the production internet web site.

What types of people will be managing?
Management will be likely done by a developer.
Content will be added by non-techie business users

What formats should the content be in?
Sorry - not sure what you mean here.  There would be multiple language requirements so UTF-8 encoding would be good.   The platform would be Microsoft ASP.Net.  

What security requirements apply?
The system would need to have security - i.e., only an administrator can upload changes to production.   VSS (source safe) would be the repository.

I was thinking that the CMS would be installed on the intranet.  The intranet would be a mirror environment to the production (internet) site (web, file & DB server).



Expert Comment

ID: 11777375
Have you considered building an ASP app to allow the end users to add content in forms (like this site)?  It's probably easy and cost effective if the requirements aren't too outrageous.

Then, you'd have the Web app on the end user's intranet.  Developers would write ASP templates on the production IIS server to pull from the database and create the pages.  You could also put the admin tools right on the same server and just protect it with username/password.

Do you know how many people you expect to use the site and if it's critical to the business?  That would determine if you need failover and/or load balancing.

Author Comment

ID: 11777659
Nice idea - but I don't think we want to build something - rather buy/install an off-the-shelf product.

Is my desire to put the CMS on the intranet atypical - or impractical?  What do you think the config for an off-shelf product should be (given that we are trying to allow biz users to add/modify content for the prod internet site)?  There will likely be about 5-10  total people using the system.  

As far as failover/load bal - backup of the CMS makes sense - probably more like tape backup.

Accepted Solution

tenacium earned 500 total points
ID: 11777802
No - I think it makes perfect sense.  However, as I said, the architecture will vary for each product.  I think Microsoft's needs to sit on the Web Server itself, right?  I'm not sure about that.  But yes - users dp content management in an intranet area and content gets pulled from the internal DB for the prodction site.  Of course, you have to look at firewall issues, etc..

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