This new blog series tries to highlight the most interesting aspects and capabilities of Web Page Composer (WPC). In this first part we’ll give a short introduction to WPC and talk about the basic concepts behind it. Please be aware that all the information given below is subject to change, as WPC hasn’t been released yet and several parts are still in the development phase.
If you’re also interested in other, already published blogs of this series, please follow these links:
- Web Page Composer – the XML Editor Framework (Part II)
- Web Page Composer – how easy it is to create and publish a web page (Part III)
- Web Page Composer – Web Page Layout (Part IV)
- Recorded Demo – Web Page Composer in Action
Introduction to Web Page Composer
The whole process of creating, managing and publishing web content (e.g. HTML, news, articles) in the portal has not been very consistent. Using standard NetWeaver technology always users from both worlds – business as well as IT – had to be involved to build web pages, edit them or hook them into a role.
Web Page Composer (WPC), the new WCM tool for the portal, enables your business users to manage most of the business-relevant WCM tasks (e.g. creating and updating web sites, pages, content) in an easy and effective way without the involvement of IT. Only the necessary and technical tasks (e.g. creating additional page templates, layouts and styles, offering application content) are dedicated to appropriate people of your IT department.
As WPC is completely integrated in the user and role concept of the portal you’re completely free to use the predefined standard roles or modify and extend these with custom roles (e.g. approver for web content) that fit your specific WCM processes. For example, a site manager would be responsible the administration of a web site, an author would create or update web content like articles or news, and a web content manager would be responsible for building and updating pages and choosing the corresponding layout.
From a technical point of view WPC is based on the standard portal and knowledge management capabilities of SAP NetWeaver. Thus, sites, pages and content are managed in knowledge management, whereas user and role management, page building and rendering are facilitated by the portal. The big advantage of this concept is that WPC combines the existing capabilities of both and extends them with valuable WCM functionality. For example, the integration of additional content repositories can easily be done by using different connectors for the repository framework of KM.
In contrast to the more document-centric content provided by KM the tight integration of Web Page Composer with the portal also allows you to use application content (e.g. iViews providing dynamic reports, stock quotes, etc.) on your web pages which is available via the portal content directory (PCD). In addition, all capabilities of the external facing portal (e.g. light framework page, short URLs) are supported by WPC which enables the realization of intranet as well as internet scenarios.
Major Building Blocks
Now let’s take look at the major building blocks of Web Page Composer: First, WPC comes with a new XML editor framework, which enables the authors of web content to easily create new or modify existing web content. Second, there’s the WYSIWYG page editor of WPC for building and updating web pages. Third, the new runtime components of WPC facilitate together with the portal runtime the technical assembly and rendering of the pages including navigation. Last but not least, there’s a site administration concept which helps the site owner to manage all the content, pages and structure of his/her web site.
Prerequisites & Availability
Web Page composer will be available for SAP NetWeaver 2004s and subsequent releases (usage type EP). In Q2 2007 there’ll be a restricted shipment of WPC as separate add-on based on NW04s SPS12 until WPC will be generally available as of Q3 2007 (NW04s SPS13). During the restricted shipment of WPC (Q2 2007) only single-language scenarios can be implemented, but all of the standard portal languages are supported (see http://service.sap.com/pam). As of SP13 multi-language support on the level of content, pages and navigation is planned to be available.
Feature Summary (Part 1)
- customizable WCM roles (e.g. author, web content manager)
- document-based content as well as application content
- support of intranet and internet scenarios
- external facing portal capabilities
- repository integration via the repository framework of KM
In the Web Page Composer – the XML Editor Framework (Part II) of this blog series about Web Page Composer we’ll focus on the new XML editor framework of WPC and discuss in more detail how to define, create and update web content.