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Can I use a content management system such as Orchard to ouptput some webpages from my website template

Topics: General
May 13, 2013 at 9:44 PM
I wouldn't normally post this here, but I've had very little feedback elsewhere and it's becoming urgent.

I have built a DB in MS Access to output travel guide websites for any destination in multiple languages (8 so far) using my page templates (these are not CSS templates). Headings, text, links, nested menus, etc. are all in the DB: It's highly normalized. The idea is that you don't need web designers. You can build a website to any destination in the world by filling in my Access forms.

I want to output some web pages to demonstrate I/O. I can already display quasi-webpages in all 8 languages for any destination in an Access form by using queries. I need to wrap this in HTML to display on a Webpage. I don't have any experience in this area, I don't know the method to use and I have received conflicting advice.

QUESTION: What tools I should use to output some very simple webpages from my templates: (1) SQL Server Express with Visual Studio Express? (2) Orchard or another content management system such as DotNetNuke or Umbraco? (3) Some other method?

FYI: The DB has over a 1,000 objects (over 600 queries). The text is concatenated using queries. Many of the headings are assembled into the various languages using complex queries containing expressions.

I'm working with Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit and Access 2013 (in Access I have checked the option: SQL Server compatible syntax).

Thank you
May 28, 2013 at 2:25 AM
Sorry to say, but there is so much that is wrong with your approach that it's hard to know where to begin. Orchard is probably not going to be very helpful in untangling that kind of mess, I'm sorry.
May 28, 2013 at 10:42 AM
Hi Peter,

I am not sure Orchard would help you, it sounds like - and correct me if I am wrong, that you just want to be able to push web pages out that demonstrate I/O...

Using a bare Webforms project, I think there is a way to pull in forms from MS Access, but I have never done it.

ALTERNATIVELY..... How complicated is your data structure? Could it be modelled in Orchards Content Parts and Content Items? Data migration should be easy.. Just and Idea

May 29, 2013 at 3:47 AM
Thank you Nick & Bertrand

Since I posted this, I have discovered MS WebMatrix and there are many options in there including Orchard.

I didn't want to waste time downloading a variety of options and then abandoning them as unsuitable. WebMatrix appears to simplify the installation of many various components.

Nick: The data structure is intricate. 130+ tables (over 90% of those have just 2 or 3 fields). I'm going to download all the WebMatrix components and I will have a look at the Orchard Content Parts and Content Items.

Bertrand: I should have made it clear: there are lots of queries, but I have designed a large tool set with many forms and most of the queries provide functionality to the tools and aren't central to outputting the webpages.

Nick: You are correct that I want to quickly push out webpages. I have shown my DB separately to two IT execs. An inspection of my DB convinced them that I have hit the nail on the head and they can get me investors, but that I need to quickly output a couple of pages to demonstrate the universality of the design for non-tech investors.

i.e. the programming/processing of a single webpage will output every webpage in every template in every language.

Bertrand: Can you please clarify your criticisms.
May 29, 2013 at 6:05 AM
I could: from using Access to using database queries as a templating engine, it sounds like a compilation of anti-patterns. In any case, I think we're all wasting time here, as Orchard is not going to help with this.