I am working with a large manufacturing client that manages multiple websites with deep levels of navigation. With a site as large and complex as theirs, it causes a struggle to organize and maintain the content through site updates. While some clients have opted for solutions using meta tags to drive the creation of site menu and page navigation, this approach is difficult to maintain and organize. For this client we developed a simple interface within Web Publisher for managing the navigational structure of their web content. The approach included a custom WDK component in Web Publisher designed for managing a hierarchy of navigational pages. The client’s non-technical content managers can see the full site map to add, remove or modify the site’s menu items or the resulting content that each menu item targets. This structure is published by SCS and provided to the site’s portal solution using a configurable RSS feed.
Some of the key features that were crucial to the success of the project included:
Globalization – The client is a global company with web content in multiple languages. In some cases, content managers need to maintain a different navigational structure depending on the target country for the content.
D6.5 Compliant – Since the client recently upgraded to a D6.5 version of Web Publisher, the tool was developed on the D6.5 platform. There are many benefits of Documentum’s D6 platform which can be reviewed here. New features in D6 such as right click menus and modal pop-ups where incorporated into the tool.
Configurable RSS Feeds – The portal solutions that the client currently uses is not capable of consuming a standard RSS feed such as Atom. It is for that reason that we developed a RSS feed that has a configurable format that can be read by the resulting portal software. If the portal solution ever changes its standard (which it will when upgraded later this year), the structure of the RSS feed can be modified through configuration or XSL transformations.
Content Synchronization The client typically uses an approval workflow for activation of their web content. To avoid the need to workflow menu nodes as well, the menu nodes are promoted automatically when associated content is approved through workflow process or manually.
Allowing the content managers to have a simple visual interface to manage the menu structure of the site is an exciting accomplishment. The client’s business users who have started testing the interface are extremely happy with the results and can not wait for it to go into production.