This document gives a brief description of the history, structure and capabilities of Content Studio version 5.

Content Studio history

Content Studio is a product of Teknikhuset (Umeň, Sweden) that has been under constant development since 2001. Teknikhuset has its roots in multimedia and TV technology. The starting point of Content Studio was the development of a new web site for one of the major TV channels in Sweden. The first version was named TCMS (Teknikhuset Content Management System), but quite soon the name "Content Studio" was established.

Since then, Content Studio has developed new ground-breaking technologies such as Active Scripting, EPT and the XML-index technology. Currently, over 50000 people are estimated to have access to work with solutions based on Content Studio. Content Studio is the only software developed in Sweden that has been approved by Verva (Swedish Administrative Development Agency) to have a framework contract with Swedish government bodies. In 2007, the magazine "Internet World" selected Content Studio as "the best large CMS system" on the Swedish market. Content Studio is now ready for its next gigantic leap.

The plans to adapt Content Studio was realized when Microsoft released version 2.0 of the .NET framework in 2005. Until then, the .NET framework was not ready to meet the security requirements of Content Studio (and its customers). The core of Content Studio is now completely rewritten in C#. The platform now supports c#, VB.NET, user controls, ASP controls, master pages, .NET native cache and generally have much better performance. All site and server functionality is available via web services and a .NET API. Integration with other .NET based systems is much easier to achieve. Content Studio 5.0 is everything you can expect from Content Studio - and much more.

Changes since version 4

The details on all the changes, and how to migrate from version 4, are described in the article Migrating to Content Studio 5. This is only a brief overview.

Content Studio version 5 is on the surface very similar to earlier versions of Content Studio. The traditional interfaces to the database, the object model, EPT, XML-index and the editorial and administrative interfaces are virtually identical. Anyone who knows Content Studio version 4 will also understand version 5. Creating a web site is still as easy and efficient as it was with version 4.

The new product is completely based on the .NET 2.0 technologies, whereas the previous versions used ASP technologies. This makes it possible to create web sites with much higher flexibility, performance and stability. This modern platform is investment for the future.

New functionality

Changed or removed functionality

Most elements that are supplied with Content Studio work in the same way as before. Since most parts have been rewritten there may be small differences, but they are documented for each separate component.

Converting from Content Studio version 4

Customers with a valid maintenance agreement have access to version 5 without additional costs. The version 4 license is also valid for version 5 but a new license key must be obtained from Teknikhuset using the LicenseManager program that is shipped with the product. Most of the content is automatically useable in version 5, but some adaptation is probably necessary. Costs for adaptation work are not included in the maintenance agreement.

Content Studio version 5 is not backward compatible with version 4 In order to support partners and customers with the migrating process, Teknikhuset has developed the CS 5 migration tool that can analyze a CS 4 site and optionally migrate it to the latest version.

The details on all the changes, and how to migrate from version 4, are described in the article Migrating to Content Studio 5.

The details on the migration tool are described in the article Migration tool.

Architecture

Content Studio relies on a number of standardized components within the Microsoft Windows environment. The building block could be described as follows:

Content Studio architecture overview

The following functionality in Microsoft ASP.NET is supported for site development:

Of course, all of the classical Content Studio technologies are available.

Content Studio supports the usage of the following standards:

Content Studio runs smoothly on any 32-bit Windows Server (2003, Vista). Windows XP can be used for development and evaluation. From version 5.1 Content Studio has full support for 64-bits servers (Server 2003, Server 2008, Vista) is under development. For earlier versions 64-bit servers can be used only to host SQL Server on a separate server.

The output of Content Studio (as published on web sites, intranets etc.) can be accessed with any suitable reader (depending on the output format). This includes Microsoft Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, Safari and Netscape. There are differences between the web browsers regarding i.e. Javascript support and HTML/XHTML standard conformance. This must be managed by the site developers. Content Studio we sites can be designed to meet all available accessibility requirements.

However, the administrative user interface of Content Studio requires some additional features that not are available in some web browsers. The features are included, and no additional plug-in modules are needed. The following web browsers are supported:

 

Document creation and structure

The fundamental function of Content Studio is the ability to separate the document content from the actual presentation. This means that any provided content can be used in different ways depending on the situation. Content Studio solves this by creating the final view from three separate entities, known as the EPT (Edit and Presentation Template) technology.

Content Studio EPT overview

Content Studio manages changes in these templates automatically. Users and developers should never have to make changes in the underlying SQL database. If there is a need to add or modify a data field in an ET, all corresponding documents are automatically altered.

Security

Security and access control has had the highest priority during the development process. Content Studio by default relies on the authentication of the Windows server environment. All users and groups that are available (local users or in Active Directory) can be used to control access to Content Studio. Access can be granted or denied on any level within the document structure. Access control can even be applied on individual elements within an included object by applying meta-data security checks.

Any user catalogue can be used for authentication by applying a customized authentication provider. This is an advanced task, at the general recommendation is to rely on the Active Directory.

Document publishing

To control the information flow it is very important to control the publication mechanisms. For every document there is time information regarding creation, modification, publication and archivation. A document is only available if its content is approved for publication and the current time matches the publication (and archivation) times. This means that documents can be prepared for future publication

Depending on the security settings, users have well specified access rights to the documents. The access rights can differ between different parts of the web site. A writer (that provides the content) does not necessarily have the right to approve the content. An editor (that controls the content) does not necessarily have the right to publish the content. The access right can be tailored for every individual site, depending on the desired need of control and supervision.