Easy Web Content Management with XMLcmNOW (1/2) - exploring XML | WebReference

Easy Web Content Management with XMLcmNOW (1/2) - exploring XML

Easy Web Content Management with XMLcmNOW

Using XSLT to produce HTML pages becomes more and more popular. In our last column we examined an approach that dynamically generates content out of a servlet engine. Many Web sites still only serve static pages that have been uploaded through FTP, though. With the subsequently introduced XMLcmNOW, XSLT can be used in such an environment, too.

XMLcmNOW is a content management system based on XML and XSLT technology. It makes maintaining Web pages easy, simplifying the mundane tasks like editing HTML and uploading via FTP. All that is needed is to enter the homepage-address, edit the contents in XML and enter the FTP-Password to send back the changes.

The client-side XMLcmNOW software picks up information from the Web server, loads the XML into an editor, generates the HTML pages with XSLT, and sends everything back. Therefore no special server-side software is required - just direct HTTP- and FTP-Access.

All the usernames, servernames, filenames, and the like are defined by the Web designer in a little 'site-configuration-file' which resides on the Web-space.


One of the problems in Web design is keeping Web pages up-to-date. Especially if you don't want to call and pay your Web designer for every little change. You could - for example - use a WYSIWYG editor, or purchase a database based content-management system.

XML/XSL technology separates contents and layout. This gives the advantage of 'division of labour' between keeping content up to date and Web design. Compared to programming database based systems the cost of writing XSL files is quite low. Depicting the content generation process in an XML/XSL based system:

At the moment the trouble with XML/XSL is the requirement of special server-side software or of special Web browsers. To manage this, the content-management-software offered here, pre-transforms XML/XSL to HTML and then sends it to the Web server. The program gives you the opportunity to use XML/XSL-technology NOW - you don't have to wait for Internet service providers to update their Web servers with XSLT-Software.

How it works...

Produced by Michael Claßen

Created: Oct 01, 2001
Revised: Oct 01, 2001