Most of the time we talk about content management systems that either come in a box to be installed and configured or that are hosted by the content management provider and need to be configured. Rarely do we talk about one that is custom built for each website or web application via a code generator tool. Today we will.
What is Logical CMS ?
It's called Logical CMS for ASP.NET and it's not exactly a content management system as you would think of one. It's more like a content item administration tool and a content code generator.
They call it a web-based content management developer tool. It's based on Microsoft's ASP.NET technology and is AJAX enabled. Basically it enables you to define content to be displayed within your website or web application and then generates the code that would display that content. You take that generated code and place it inside your web application project (built in Visual Studio) in the appropriate areas.
You can create content in several different languages including:
- Chinese (traditional)
Sounds a bit intriguing doesn't it?
How Does Content Get Created?
Logical CMS has an administration interface that is used to define the content items to be managed and who will manage them. It is this same interface that is used by content contributors to create and edit their content.
A content item -- or content unit -- can be a single item or a list of items. Content units are grouped into content sections and these sections are assigned to a content contributor.
Logical CMS - Content Creation
A Content Section is a web page where the content will he displayed. On each web page you can have one or more content units to be managed. This enables you to put one or more types of content on a single page. You do have to know what your pages are named when setting up the content sections.
Keep in mind that your project should already be created and the shell for each of your content-based pages be defined.
Updating Your Code Project
Once you have a section and its content units defined, you generate the code that will be placed on the pages inside your code project. The code generator create several different pieces of code and tells you where they need to be pasted in your project.
Logical CMS - Generated Code for a Content Section
When you have all your content sections and units defined, content contributors can then go into the Logical CMS interface and add or edit content. There is a preview button that let's you preview how the content will look.
What Logical CMS Does Not Do
While it's a good start, there are a couple of things you immediately don't see that are required elements of a good web content management system:
- Multi-user content entry on a single content section/unit
- Save as Draft
- Workflow Approval
- Task Lists
- SEO - metadata creation, tagging, etc.
Logical Uses for Logical CMS
Logical CMS could be a good tool to use when you don't need a full featured web content management system. For example, maybe you have a web application that has a couple of sections of content that need to be updated on a regular basis.
In this case you could use Logical CMS to generate the code to display the content in the appropriate sections of your application and have administrators use the Logical CMS interface to add and modify that content as required.
However, if you need advanced content management capabilities which include workflow, multi-user content entry and serious editorial capabilities (like SEO), this may not be the approach you want to take.