MCMS News… the why behind the move to O12 and new terminology

I know I don’t post often about MCMS, probably because it doesn’t require much secret sauce to successfully customize it, but a couple notable things have cropped up about MCMS vNext.

For those of you who are completely immersed in SharePoint, MCMS is heading over to Office 12 and will integrate with WSS.  MCMS is yang to SharePoint’s ying.  For as loose and free as SharePoint is, MCMS is that much structured and templatetized (and I love it). Seeing these two come together in some state will be very interesting (and promising!).

Via AC and via the SharePoint Team and WCM Blogs:

Gerhard Schobbe, Group Program Manager for the CMS Team, added a lengthy comprehensive post to the SharePoint Team Blog today that goes into the details of how Microsoft came to the decision to integrate CMS and WSS, or as CMS will be known (at least as it is today) in O12 as Web Content Management (WCM). To start, he details the three high-level goals:

  1. Provide much deeper integration between CMS and SharePoint functionality.
  2. Make creation of dynamic, highly customized, content-centric web sites dramatically faster and easier
  3. Address the miscellaneous collection of 2nd order (compared to the call for integration) feedback that had collected up.

How they team addresses these goals and the evaluation process of how to “rewrite” CMS to include all the needs of customers vs. having CMS be more closely integrated with WSS (that is, O12 WSS… or WSS v3). WSS provides a ton of things OOTB for CMS:

  • Versioning
  • Check-in/check-out
  • Backup/restore
  • DAV support
  • Security
  • Recycle bin
  • Alerts
  • Storage (WSS is already scalable to “handle hundreds of thousands to millions of items”
  • Personalization
  • Search
  • Workflow

He goes on to discuss other items close to CMS developer’s minds such as transistioning their current MCMS environments to O12 WCM:

  • Migration (both content & custom code) from MCMS 2002 -> WCM in O12
  • MCMS 2002 PAPI forward compatibility (spoiler: it won’t be)

It’s a fantastic read for anyone who works with MCMS 2002.

» Content Management Server and SharePoint


And Mark Harrison has explained the new names WCM will take on to be more in line with SharePoint technologies.  I am not sure if this is more of a curse or a blessing, it will be hard to reprogram the ole noggin for the new terms, but maybe switching from MCMS talk to SharePoint talk won’t be so jarring now. Via Mark:

As part of MCMS vNext becoming a component within O12 Server, there has been a need to change the name of some of the core entities to be consistent with the SharePoint technologies.Here are the new names to learn :

  • Posting -> Page (see below)
  • Channel -> Site (see below)
  • Template -> Page Layout + MasterPage
  • Template Definition -> Content Type
  • Placeholder -> Field Control
  • Placeholder Definition -> Column Templates
  • Channel Structure / Top Level Channel -> Site Collection
  • Template Gallery -> Master Page Gallery
  • Resource Gallery -> Image Library ; Document Library
  • Resources -> Images in the Image Library; Documents in the Document Library
  • Site Manager -> Site Manager Tool (now web based !)

With MCMS / SharePoint today we have three types of containers – MCMS Channels / SPS Areas / WSS workspaces. vNext will introduce a single new container (a Site) that provides a superset of all existing functionality.

An MCMS web page (previously a posting) will be stored as a WSS list item (in a list called Pages). The MCMS placeholder content will be stored in the columns in the WSS list item. By storing the MCMS content within a WSS List, we can have same consistent workflow / metadata / versioning / checkin-out that SharePoint utilises.