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Content Modules in OpenWGA 5.3

Like most other CMSs OpenWGA uses "content types" and associated templates to let authors create pages of a special type.

Content types define a fixed structure of items the author can fill. A "news" content type f. e. may contain items for headline, publishing date, an image and the news body. Using a fixed defined item structure makes it possible to query such contents "by item value".

There are however situations where this fixed content item structure is too restrictive for the author. In OpenWGA 5.3 - soon to be released - we therefore added a new concept of "content modules" to the OpenWGA Content Manager. Content Modules are ready to use "intelligent page fragments" the author can add to a page in a structure suitable for exactly the page content he is working on.

The following video probably explains this concept better then words. We start with a completely empty page and add one module after the other until we are satisfied with the home page of our demo "Dragon News" site.


Content Modules

Content modules can be as simple as presenting an editable (rich text) field or a simple horizontal line. Or they can be complex page fragments like a news collection, a tag cloud or a twitter feed.

One fundamental idea behind content modules however is, that modules can be designed as "container modules". Container modules are modules that may contain other modules inside. Examples are column views or tab views. Inside a "columns module" the author can place any number of "column modules" that themselves may contain a list of any other modules. This is how you can achieve multi column layouts in pages like in our Dragon News example.

Content Modules can be developed on a project base. However with OpenWGA 5.3 we will also release a new free "content modules plugin" containing more than 20 ready to use modules:

  • Container Modules:
    • Column view
    • Tab view
    • content box
  • Social:
    • Twitter feeds
    • flickr albums
    • comments to contents
    • content ratings
  • Statistics:
    • List of last changed pages
    • List of most visited pages (needs access logger plugin)
    • Statistics overview (needs access logger plugin)
  • Collections:
    • Child documents (as "news layout", "link list" or "carrousel")
    • Child Navigator (multiple levels)
    • Database query (with same layouts as "child dokuments")
    • Tag Cloud (needs fulltext index enabled)
    • Download list
    • Picture Gallery
  • Generic functions:
    • Forum modul (needs forum plugin)
    • Photo gallery (needs photo plugin)
    • Search result (with filter by area and by publishing date)
  • Richtext field
  • Horizontal line
  • HTML Fragment
  • Google Maps

All modules can be individually styled with CSS.

We believe that with the help of content modules OpenWGA becomes even more flexible and valuable and further shortens project development time and costs.

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