Friday, September 10, 2010

Hundreds are loving the new Site Studio now... even though they first found its new site design messy and annoying!

If you're in any way, shape or form are involved with Oracle Web Content Management... and not yet in love with the new Site Studio 10gR4 (11g) - this may well be the biggest time-saver article you read in your entire week. Here's what its all about.

When the new Site Studio 10gR4 was released back in Dec 2008 - I used to hate it from my first sight. One of my clients at the time called the older Site Studio "a kludge". To him - primary and secondary page templates, replaceable regions and static lists were simply the many pieces of one monster-sized tangled messy nightmare. Imagine adding another 3 (!) levels of indirection and 5 new types of site assets on top of all these! Wasn't that messy enough as it is? Who would ever use it? Are they losing it after Oracle bought them?

But time has passed by and I soon realized that - nope. They haven't lost their marbles. In fact, the new design does save a ton of time in the long run.... And - no - it doesn't take that much longer to design a site in R4.

Let me give you an example. Let's say, you have a web site that you need to manage with WCM and most of your pages look like this: 


The all-familiar header, left menu and footer. The simple content area with header and the body. Sometimes it may need a flash video player or image gallery. Sometimes it will need right hand links....

Let's now say, your home page and your section landing pages are slightly different. They look like this:


We've added the right hand links and the news story layout for your content area - with multiple sections of content.

What site structure elements wall you need to implement this in 10gR3? Let's see...
  • You'll need fragments for header, footer and your left menu
  • A layout template for layout B as shown
  • Another template for layout B with the right hand links
  • One more template for layout B with flash video player
  • Another six variations of Layout B template - with and without these elements
  • A few more layout templates to cover the variations of Layout A

    So far, we've got 18 variations of layout templates... and we haven't even got a complex site! What if you need to change your options on the rich edit control or your HTML doc type declaration? What if you change your security model and need to update the path to your css file? That's right - 18 templates to change each and every time! ... and that's still a fairly simple site.... Try making that site multi-lingual!

    Now let's "re-design" this in Site Studio 11g (10gR4)

    • Yep, you'll still need your fragments for header, footer and your left menu... but....
    • Now all you need is just ONE layout template!

      One instead of 18! Isn't that neat?

      How? Let me explain.

      You simply make one layout page, but instead of contribution regions, you put new placeholder tags in it. They will contain region templates, user- switchable mini-templates for your contribution regions. You will have 2 placeholders in the template - one for main content and one for your right-hand links.

      For Layout B your contributors will pick a "simple page" region template or "simple page with flash video" one. If the page needs right-hand links - they'll assign content there. If not - they'll leave it blank - so there's no html being generated. No empty region garbage. No html layout problems.

      Or they may simply pick the "multi-section page" region template - and you've got your Layout A covered.

      And if that's not enough - you'll only have ONE Rich Edit element definition instead of 18! Just one plain text element. One place to update your CSS file if security group was updated!

      And if these savings aren't enough - consider the fact that Site Studio 10gR4 is being used in new Oracle UCM 11g. It will be there for years to come - and you owe it to yourself to master it.

      But what if days of painful trail and error, sifting through 486 pages of the new Site Studio Designer Guide and bugging Oracle Support is just not your idea of fun?

      There's always a better option!

      In fact, there're multiple... But the one many of my clients found the most helpful is this: you spend an hour or two with a pro. Live dialog. He gets you the scoop and answers your questions. You take your time... learn at your own pace...

      And we only focus on important stuff. No filler. No "repeat of the basics" time-wasters. Just the new features in 10gR4 - that you need to drive home. Just the battle-hardened tips and time-saving insider info.

      And if that's not enough - you get ...

      Full 3 months of unlimited email support

      You have a question - just shoot an email and get an answer. Its that easy! No support tickets to open. No formalities, no favours to ask. Direct access to a practicing Site Studio 11g/10gR4 pro - all yours for 3 full months!

      But isn't getting an expert on the phone for 2 hours very expensive? You'll be pleasantly surprised! Remember, its ECM Solutions, the best value in Oracle UCM! There's no outrageous charges - just one flat, low hourly rate.

      And if you choose to get the unlimited support option - just add another 2 hours of the same, low hourly rate. That's it!

      Just schedule an online meeting at the time that works for you and get your own, personalized Site Studio rocket boost. ... And yes, you can put as many people on the call as you feel will benefit from participating. No per-person charges.

      But isn't there a catch? There must be! Yes, I must admit, there's one. Resources are limited, so you must act now. When we get our hands full - we put our current customers first, not the new ones. So we may ask you to wait - if you don't act now. Drop us a line at contact at stellentExperts dot com and claim your time spot - while they're still available.