What is InfoGlue
Infoglue is a Content Management System. Content Management is very much another word for how to manage a company’s or organization’s information internally and externally. As content management is such a broad term we often say Infoglue is a Web Content Management System. That is – Infoglue helps organizations manage their information mainly targeted for the Web both internally, in intranets etc., and externally in public websites and extranets.
What parts are there in InfoGlue
Infoglue is a completely database driven CMS which means both the management tool (which is used by the editors/publishers) and the public sites are using information from a common database. The platform consists of two main applications: the administrative tool (often called the CMS, backend or authoring environment) and then the delivery engine (often called live, public etc) – the latter often in several instances.
The administrative tool is where you log in as a editor/administrator and manage all aspects of your site. The delivery engines are specialized in presenting sites to users based on the data managed by the administrative tools. By default Infoglue installs 3 delivery engines.
- The first is the working version which presents the working version of the site (usually inside the administrative tools).
- The second is a version called staging or preview which shows the site in a preview mode so the publisher can check that the site will look good after publication.
- The last delivery engine is the one that shows the live site to visitors.
When a editor publishes information he/she actually promotes it to be shown by the public delivery engine and the result is that the information is visible to visitors.
Here are two sketches that shows first how a simple setup could look and then a more complex example with better redundancy:
How does it work
InfoGlue is a bit different than many other web content management systems. We have chosen to strongly separate the information that is to be shown to visitors from the form in which it is shown in. This is what in general terms are called separating content from presentation. The implication is that there are two different aspects to manage – the information itself on the one side, and the layout and flow of the websites presenting the information on the other side.
We usually call information in different forms in InfoGlue for “Content”. A content in InfoGlue can be text, image, word-files, animations or anything else of informational value. There are no format limitations. Everything that concerns information/content is managed in what we call the content tool for obvious reasons. You can view it as a place were all information is stored and managed no matter where it should be used later on.
You can for example use it as an image bank or a file-bank if you want to and never bother about the web at all.
Many other web content management systems are very page centric. This means that they require you to fill in the information specific to how it will look on a specific page in the site. They focus on how the information should be shown and not on how to keep the information structured. Often this results in having to type in the same information many times if it’s to appear on several pages on the site or on different sites. That will never
happen in InfoGlue as reuse is already prepared for. The people responsible for the information focus on the texts and not on the layout or website.
The presentation/site structure part of the InfoGlue system is what handles building specific websites and it is called the “Structure tool”. With this tool you manage the site structure and chose which information to put on which pages and with which layout etc. You can also define links between pages among many other things.
This division is very important to understand before working in InfoGlue. The concept is very strong once learned and much more flexible than page centric approaches but the learning curve is a bit steeper so don’t give up if you find it hard in the beginning – it will pay off later.