WebDNA Content Management System


WebDNA Enterprise CMS is a client-server solution that will aggregate three well-known patterns: CMS (Content Management System), RCS (Revision Control System), and CVS (Concurrent Versions System). For the WebDNA Enterprise CMS system, the functionality involved with these three different aspects will be inseparable.

Development teams (“workgroups”) are created and individual users gain membership to one or more of these teams. The concept of privilege-based roles applies to team membership, meaning that given a context workgroup, an individual user is assigned one or more roles. Privileges are assigned statically to an individual role.

First, the authentication/privileges mechanism is the functions as the entry point to consuming system functionality. A given user must first authenticate prior to using the system. All content-manipulation/functionality will be initiated and invoked via an intuitive GUI-based client, based on the familiar file-browser “explorer” pattern.

Content Management System Component
The CMS aspect will allow users within a given development workgroup to manage and organize their individual document/project development efforts based on the familiar file/directory-structure paradigm. Depending on the privileges assigned to the user, the user may, for example, create new, move, and delete files and directories (content).

Revision Control System Component
The RCS aspect will track modifications made to content based on the familiar check-out/modify/check-in paradigm. Given that modification history will be persisted, the system will also allow rolling back to previous versions should the need arise.

Concurrent Versions System Component
The CVS aspect is based on exclusive-locks. As such, it will track file-locks and modifications in other workgroup’s work areas so that two users will not be allowed to have the same content (but in a different work area) locked concurrently. All modifications are submitted from a given workgroup’s work area to a staging area, simply referred to as “Staging”. The revision/version in Staging then becomes the master against which potentially disparate versions in other workgroup’s work areas are compared.

Optionally, an admin (workgroup or sysadmin) can specify a structured approval workflow/chain, indicating that various users must flag the request as either approved or denied. In general, a workflow is a map of a set of approval checkpoints. An approval “checkpoint” is simply a combination of a workgroup user and his approval/denial. The actual approval checkpoint map can vary but overall it is a collective indication of whether or not a given submission request gets processed.


Note: There is a right-button context menu that works in both the tree view and list view. For MAC users with only one button, there is a 'menu' icon in the list view that pops up the same thing.

User Types
There are five 'roles' users can assume:

· WGadmin – This privilege provides administrative privileges for a given workgroup.

· Editor – This privilege can edit content of a given workgroup, but you cannot create new content or delete content.

· Author – This privilege can edit, create, or delete content in a given workgroup.

· Viewer – This privilege has read only access.

· Unauthorized – This privilege provides no access. It is useful for disabling access for a user who should not be fully deleted from the system.

Every user can see the WorkGroup Admin tab. This is done to allow users to see who belongs to a given workgroup. However, only a WGAdmin for that particular workgroup can change the settings for users.

Approval Groups
The WGAdmin for a particular workgroup can establish the approval groups. Once a approval group is created, the staging admin can then 'attach' an approval group to any particular asset within staging’s files or folders. Any time an asset is checked in, the check in process searches recursively from that 'leaf' asset up the hierarchy until it finds an approval group.

For example: If you want one approval group for all of staging, you attach it to the root staging folder. If you want a particular subfolder to have a different approval group, you attach it to that subfolder. Setting a different approval group for a subfolder will allow the recursive search to be encountered first before any approval group 'above' it.

If you have an approval group assigned to a folder, and you have one file that you DO NOT want any approval required ... create an 'empty' approval group and attach it to that one file. It will be encountered first before the approval group attached to the folder containing the file.

Staging Content
The 'staging' workgroup is the repository for all file change history. If you add new files or folders in your respective workgroups, they have to be 'checked-in' to become part of the staging repository. Likewise, if you delete a file or folder, it needs to be checked-in for that change to affect staging. If there is an approval workflow defined, the deletion has to be approved before it is applied.

Deploying Content
There is a 'deploy' action under the Workgroup Admin tab, which launches a separate (empty) template in its own window. This template does not perform any operations.

Since deploying folder and files to production could be local or remote operations, or involve any number of 'custom' issues for a given customer, this one template will be unencrypted so you can create your own custom WebDNA to automate the deployment from the staging area into production.

Uploading Multiple Files
There is a mechanism to "add a file" and to "upload" a file over an existing file (if it is already checked out). For 'bulk' uploads of numerous files, there is an 'upload' folder under the CMS instance directory where a user can perform bulk FTPs of files. After the bulk upload, the user can use the "upload files" action, which will then import all of the files from that folder into the CMS system.

User Contributed Notes

Mike Davis - admin@network13.net 
04/22/2003 at 00:29:45
What, exactly, is this?
Sounds like marketing hype. Is it real?

Copyright © 2008 WebDNA Software Corporation, Inc.