WebEngine Overview Part 1

by aaron 03/25/11

For the last six months we have all been working really hard on WebEngine’s core architecture as well as launching sites based on WebEngine (we launched 15 sites in 2010 and have 4 in the pipeline right now).  I've been so busy that I haven’t created a new post since January (there goes one of my New Year’s resolutions).  This post is the first in a series that will describe the architectural superiority of WebEngine over its competitors.

WebEngine was created to address shortcomings common in other web publishing platforms (i.e. WordPress, Expression Engine).  We set out to create a platform that could be heavily customized, but still be easily maintainable and servicable.  One of the main ways we achieve this goal is by having a proper folder structure.

Believe it or not this took a number of iterations to get right, but it’s really so simple in hindsight.  The /core folder contains all the files associated with the core elements (web services, WYSIWIG editor, scripts, images, etc...).  The /site folder contains any site specific files (theming, page layouts, dynamic elements, site business logic, static pages, etc…).  I’ll go into more detail about about what all of this means in a future post. 

The beauty of this folder structure is that you can easily upgrade core functionality by replacing the core folder and not have to worry about interfering with any site specific features.  You also have the ability to override core features as needed by having corresponding special files in the site folder.

Css and javascript files auto-load based on this folder convention.  This means that any .css files in theme folder or .js files in the scripts folder will automatically load, making it easy to make changes on the fly without having to alter multiple files.  The files load in alphabetical order (very important for both .js and .css files)

We use a combination of the following tools to make WebEngine work: asp.net, c#, jQuery, ckEditor, SQL Server, MongoDB.  We know Microsoft is not the cool kid in the web development world, but we believe it gives WebEngine the greatest flexibility and support when compared to any other platform provider. 

The next post in this series will outline the core modules and explain how to edit content.  Now available: http://www.tapconsulting.com/site/post.aspx?li=WebEngine-Overview-Part-2

Category: WebEngine

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