Sven Kauber
Hi!  I'm Sven Kauber.
I develop information systems. My interests include IS design, development and usability.Read more...

Managing Content

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April 21st, 2011

Some of most modern web-development techniques have been used in the Back-end of the CMS to make it possible to manage content without constant page refreshes.

The main structures used in the CMS for structuring the information are: trees, listing views and detailed views.


Trees

Tree structures are used for presenting items that need to be hierarchically ordered. Good examples are administrative menus, product groups and menus for the Front-end. Some trees (like administrative menus) are static while others (like the product group tree) let the user to change the order and location of items by using drag and drop.

Tree items can be modified in dynamic trees by right-clicking on some item and selecting a contextual action from the appearing menu. For example, a name can be changed, the item can be deleted and a new item can be added below the item.



The right-click menu
Ordering items


Listing views

(click to view a larger version)
 
 
If the amount of content items is over the preset limit, the items are spanned over multiple pages and the navigational element similar to the one in the left appears on top of the table. When the left mouse button is clicked on the light-orange area next to the orange square button, indicating the currently active page, another page will be opened. By clicking or  the focus of paging can be moved forward or backward by just one page.
 
Each column title is clickable. After the left mouse button is clicked on a title, the small orange arrow appears after the title. It indicates that content item lines are now ordered either in ascending () or descending () order. Content items can be ordered by just one column at once.
 
Content items can be filtered. In order to accomplish that, a word or part of it can be inserted to the white search field below column names and then  must be clicked or alternatively the Enter (↩) key may be pressed. The filters are working in a simultaneous way and words or word parts can be inserted to all the fields at the same time in order to further narrow down the result set.
 
Allows content items to be changed by opening a detailed view.
Removes a content item.



All texts written to filter fields, active paging page or ordering choices are saved separately for each administrative user. When the user logs out and later back in, every listing view is shown in the state it was when she left. The user can start to work immediately with the information she had inserted before she left and thus not interrupting her workflow.


Detailed views

If a content item has to be modified, texts changed or inserted, this can be done in a detailed view. A detailed view usually consists of forms having fields with wysiwyg-editors, text fields, checkboxes, radio buttons and drop down menus. Logical wholes are grouped by using tabs.

Some forms may also have dynamic content attached to them and some elements might be related to some other content items. Product catalog for example has groups and each group might have products attached to it.

An example of detailed view, from the product catalog module

(click to view a larger version)

  

A field with the editor, from product catalog

(click to view a larger version)

  






Some elements can be vertically ordered.

These elements can be ordered by moving the mouse cursor to the dark grey area, clicking the left mouse button down and while keeping it pressed down, moving the mouse upwards or downwards. The bright yellow background shows beforehand where the item will be situated once the left mouse button is released.



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