Managing structured content items (e.g. news)

Form based XML content item editor
Click on the image for a full size version

The OpenCms module mechanism and API allows custom development of so called XML content items for "structured content". In contrast to the "unstructured content" that is edited with a WYSIWYG editor, these XML content items can be deployed in multiple channels and displayed on various pages in different list or detail formats. XML content items are often used for contents like "News", "Job Offerings", "Events" (*) etc.

Like pages, XML content items are stored in the virtual file system of OpenCms. They can be edited "offline" in the Explorer view or with the Direct Edit function and must be published before becoming available to the public.

A form based editor is generated automatically depending on the XML schema definition (XSD) of the XML content item to edit. Again, no HTML knowledge is required to edit a structured content item (the screenshot shows an example for editing a news message). Help texts for each content field can be provided to the editor. It is also possible to define a publication and an expiration date for each content item.

(*) Example module containing XML contents for news, job offerings, events and FAQ lists is shipped together with the OpenCms release versions.

Developing XML content items

Developing a XSD for a structured content
Click on the image for a full size version

Depending on the website project requirements, structured contents have a pre-defined number of input fields for simple strings, dates, links, plain or HTML formatted text.

XML content items can easily be developed by creating an XML Schema Definition (XSD) defining the available fields and data types.

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