Powerful content organization and classification
The System 7 content management system stores content in format that is simultaneously natural
to use and extremely powerful. Publishers are provided with two primary methods of
content organisation. Using the first method publishers override the primary unit of content,
the article, to create new types of content such as news articles, features, resource articles,
case studies or product pages. Using the second method publishers create categorial trees
- such as categories that contain subjects, that contain articles - into which their content
can be inserted.
Cutting and Dicing Information
This elegant method of organising content, while apparently simple, makes it possible for publications
powered by System 7 to include and re-purpose content for end-users in a wide variety of ways.
For example, an editor might create a channel in a publication by including different categories
and subjects from the content store. A filter might be configured on the new channel so that only articles
of certain types, such as "resource articles", are automatically displayed to end-users. However, the editor can
then setup the system so that special "see also" links are displayed that provide access to the
hidden article types - for example, in a channel on "Health and Safety", which contained a subject
"Legal Issues", links might be automatically provided to retrieve articles of type "news" related to "Health and Safety Legal Issues",
or articles of type "case study" related to "Health and Safety".
Organising content in this manner is extremely powerful and enables users to cut and dice
content to find the information that they want, delivering on the promise of interactivity that
online publishing provides. Furthermore, because this organisational methodology encourages end-users
to move from one set of content to another, overall site traffic is increased providing a means to
increase revenues on commercial publications.
The Abstract Article
Intelligent content organisation extends to the various article types that publishers create
by derivation. Rather than create a concrete
representation of an article, publishers can compose abstract representations of articles from
numerous different components.
A publisher starts by creating a new "empty" article. They then proceed to add different components to the article,
starting with the meta information, which includes information such as the article type, the date
it is published (which can be in the future), focus codes and descriptive sentence. The publisher
then add pages to the article. Each page consists of copy with abstract formatting such as "leader
sentence" and "heading 1". Rather than add images, quote boxes, text boxes, boxes of "see also" links
and other items directly to the copy, these are associated with page objects as completely separate items.
Because articles are stored in completely abstract form, they can be processed and re-purposed in
any number of ways. The appearance of the body of article pages, and the final appearance of abstract
formatting such as "leader sentence" is determined by the skin of the System 7 publications in which they appear.
Depending upon whether or not the functionality is turned on, the System 7 software intelligently
inserts the images, text boxes and other items associated with an article page into the body text at runtime.
While the separation of article elements into distinct components makes content creation
more efficient because editors do not have to manually place elements within the body text of pages, it is also essential for a number
of other reasons. Firstly, because the actual placement of these elements is determined at runtime
by the System 7 software, it is possible to arbitrarily insert additional elements that
do not belong to the article, such as inline advertising images, just before it is displayed. Secondly, it makes
the creation of XML feeds that extract only one type of content entity from articles
- such as the body text - much easier.
By storing content in System 7, publishers can be sure that its format and organisation will never become obselete.