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Site Content Definition

Topics: Administration, General, Installing Orchard
Jul 17, 2015 at 8:40 PM
Edited Jul 17, 2015 at 8:45 PM
We are taking a look at various CMS options for a new project that will provide CMS features to our clients. Ultimately, I feel like we should roll our own, unfortunately, because something just doesn't seem right about providing our clients with keys to the admin features of Orchard (or whatever CMS). And if we had to duplicate the CMS features in our own UI and data model, we might as well do it without the opinions and baggage of an existing CMS. Especially with some of the Architecture requirements we're facing internally (like all DB access needs to be done behind internal web services.) Does that make sense?

Anyway, I have a couple of specific questions regarding Orchard features:

1) It appears that multi-tenancy is strictly per the MultiTenancy module and results in a flat site model where it is not possible to create a hierarchy of sites, manageable by a tenant admin. Is that correct?

2) There is this "Site" Content Type in the Default recipe that appeared to be what we would want... I can edit it and tell it to be "Creatable" and it shows up in the New section of the Admin menu. However, I've had varying behaviors doing this. The first two times I tried it, I think I added ALL content parts to the Site type definition, and it resulted that when I clicked on New | Site in admin menu, the url it actually forwarded me to was the Admin/Widgets url. When I clicked on List Items in Site Content Type, it brought me to an empty content list (no sites listed) and when I clicked Add New Site, (either there or on Content Type page) I got some error, sorry I don't remember what it was. 3rd time I tried installing (I'll get to why I had to reinstall in a sec), I only added a few content parts to the Site Content Type. Now when I click on New | Site, I actually get what looks like the site settings page. However, it does NOT appear to give the ability to add subordinate sites in the way I'm thinking. Can anyone help me understand what that content type is all about?

About why I had to re-install so many times: I thought I would try removing content parts from the Site Content Type definition, so I started clicking remove, one by one, and got sick of that really quick. So, I thought I would just click the Delete button at the bottom... :| ...That immediately rendered the Dashboard unreachable by my super user account, and thus why I had to reinstall. The front facing default site, any tenant sites and their dashboards were still reachable. Just the default dashboard was unreachable: Access denied.

Thanks in advance for any info anyone can provide.

Jul 17, 2015 at 9:19 PM
When you say "admin features", do you mean features including content management, or the configuration parts of Orchard? It makes sense that you would not let your customer access those areas, but it would make sense to let your customer access content management areas. There are grey areas of course, such as the Widgets section, but you can limit the customer's access to the various areas in the admin.

Anyway, regarding your questions:
  1. Yes, it is a flat site model, you don't get an hierarchy of sites.
  2. The Site content type is to be treated as a "singleton" content item if you will. It is not intended to create multiple instances of it. It is not intended to be the parent of all content items of the site or to create multiple sites out of it. The reason it is implemented as a content item is just so that we can stick parts and fields onto it, making it highly extensible.
Hope this helps.
Marked as answer by ezachman on 7/17/2015 at 1:55 PM
Jul 17, 2015 at 9:36 PM
Thank you so much for your quick response. I guess I kind of meant both content management and admin features. Though I love the Orchard interface and it seems really powerful/extensible, I still think of it as odd that we would need to point our clients to Orchard documentation to instruct them on how to do things. I suppose there is some way to override the dashboard and the logo in admin site, but still... Thanks again!
Jul 17, 2015 at 9:41 PM
You're welcome. Yeah absolutely, the admin is just a theme which you can override and change or completely replace (although that would require significantly more work I suspect). You could also provide a different theme to your customers tailored to their needs. What you mentioned as baggage would actually be work done for you in terms of everything that comes with the box, such as a composable content type system, user permissions, roles, workflows, DI, shapes, etc. There's obviously a learning curve involved of course, but once you're through that it is awesome.