How to Integrate Web Publications with the PMS
to visit the matrix of supported features, click here
Full and Partial Integration
Two levels of integration with the System 7 PMS (Publication Management System) are possible:
full integration, which is when a site has been built from scratch to run inside the PMS framework,
and partial integration, which is when a normal static or dynamic site is running inside the framework, either
with or without modification. Partially integrated publications are possible because the Web publication framework
associated with the PMS management application includes Microsoft Internet Information Server extensions
and Microsoft .NET HTTP modules, which form a processing layer between the Web and the pages being served.
This means that the framework can bond some functionalities to Web publications, such as premium content
access control and sophisticated user tracking, without their pages being customized.
||System 7 PMS Framework Architecture
Full PMS Integration
To leverage the complete range of services and functionalities provided by the PMS, a publication
must be fully integrated. A publication is fully integrated if it is based upon a special set of Microsoft
ASPX Web templates pages, known in System 7 circles as a skin. The template pages are used to directly
render a virtual site structure that the publisher defines inside the management application,
with the implementation of a single template page being sufficient to allow the PMS
to render an arbitrarily complex virtual site hierarchy (although such an implementation would
of course limit the visual distinction between, say, the home page, sub-sections and article pages,
and therefore in practice more templates are defined).
Each template page uses special PMS Framework ASP.NET Web controls (and optionally
PMS Framework API calls) to link themselves directly to the management application instance
associated with the publication. Some
controls attach to the virtual site structure, implementing menus, navigation bars and breadcrumb trails,
enabling templates to snap in to positions within the Web publication.
Content controls render content that has been syndicated into the publication, such as a news article say,
and content logic and augmentation systems such as "article feature lists" and "slot boxes" that have
been associated with nodes. Functional controls link up interactivity systems such as per-item micro-forums.
The template pages associated with the nodes in the virutal site hierarchy can be inheritied and
overridden, allowing Web publications to be focused by node and section to any degree necessary.
Furthermore, as the skin technology is Microsoft ASPX, developers can easily incorporate functionality
from their pre-existing ASPX and ASP websites into new fully integrated publications.
Partial PMS Integration
In partially integrated Web publications the mapping of virtual nodes to ASPX pages works in reverse.
The publication management system is still used to define a virtual site structure, however the publication's
Web pages have no way to reflect this (since they are not templates and do not leverage the PMS Framework
ASP.NET controls to necessary to render structure). Therefore the administrator uses the management application to
assign the publication's Web pages to the virtual nodes (by listing them or using regular expressions
such as this_section_*.aspx). As end-users follow links to pages within the partially integrated publication,
the system maps requests for these pages back to the virtual nodes and applies functionality such as
premium content and access control that may have been configured.
When is Partial Full?
Often the PMS architecture is adopted when requirements arise for existing Web publications. In such cases,
it may be more economical to leave existing parts of the publication intact, at least temporarily, while
using the templating system to build extensions. Furthermore, even publications that have been built especially
for the PMS will often need to import special sections or microsites that run without modification - such as a static
HTML microsite designed by an independent graphic artist to support a forthcoming special event or product, for example.
In such cases we refer to the fully and partially integrated portions of the site. This flexibility greatly
increases the ways that publishers can apply and leverage the System 7 PMS.