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Web Page Composer – the XML Editor Framework (Part II)


This is the second part of our blog series about Web Page Composer
(WPC) focusing on the new XML editor framework. 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

If you’re also interested in other, already published blogs of
this series, please follow these links:

Recorded Demo – Web Page Composer in Action

The Author’s View – Creating Web Content

A typical web page often is composed of several textual content
snippets, e.g. news, articles or link lists. For this kind of
document-based web content Web Page Composer offers a new form-based
XML editor. Thus, the typical flow for an author (who’s just
contributing content) would be to use a document-specific command in
the menu bar of the Web Content Browser (part of the page editor, see
next blog) or the KM explorer to open the XML editor with the
corresponding form (e.g. an article).



Figure 1: Creating an article with the form-based XML editor.

Now the author may fill out the default elements of this form (e.g.
synopsis, heading, paragraph) or dynamically add new elements (Add
Element button) if required. In addition, some elements can be
completely removed (trashcan icon) or moved to a different position
(arrow icons). Which elements are available as well as their attributes
is part of the document type definition (see below).


Moreover, the author can maintain all the metadata of this document in
the blue column on the right. To see how the content will look like
with the chosen layout and style an author may use the editor’s preview
mode (Preview button). Finally, by hitting the save button the
resulting XML document including its properties is stored in a KM
repository. Thus, almost all of the functionality and services offered
by KM may be applied to these XML document (e.g. versioning, approval

The Administrator’s View – Providing new Document Types

Now let’s take a look at the administrator’s perspective who would be
responsible for providing the right document types for the XML editor
and the corresponding layout and style definitions. So the first step
for providing a new document type would be the definition via XML file
according to the editor’s document schema. An example of a document
type definition file is shown below:





2. The resulting XML document stored in KM:


3. HTML representation of the document after the transformation has
been applied:


To sum up: Using the new XML editor framework of Web Page Composer it’s
quite easy for administrators to provide custom document types for the
authors with several alternative HTML representations (different XSL
transformations). The resulting XML documents are managed and stored in
a KM repository, so most of the functionality and services offered by
KM may be applied to these XML document.

Feature Summary (Part 2)

    1. form-based XML editor with flexible document structures
    2. XML-based document type definition
    3. complete separation of content, layout and style
    4. XSLTs for several alternative HTML representations
    5. XML documents stored and managed by KM
    6. public API for the creation of new document elements
      (planned for SP13)


In the next part of this blog series we’ll try to illustrate how the
documents created with this XML editor framework and all other web
content is used to build and update web pages. In other words, we’ll
focus on the page editor of Web Page Composer.

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  • Hopefully there will be an easy way for users to upload pictures in there XML HTML editor as well.

    I already had in mind to use XML’s as a sort of page builder. But adding pictures where you wanted was not so easy in the current concept.

    I’m looking out for the release.

    • Yes, adding pictures to your XML/HTML documents should be quite easy by using the pre-defined image element. In the form-perspective this element allows you to browse all connected repositories and their folders for images and add them to your document.

      Best regards, Christopher

      • We have the possibility to reference images that are stored in KM repositories already if we use XFB.

        It would be much better to have an upload functionality integrated into this pre-defined image element. That’s what customers expect.

        But that’s what I think, too: can’t wait to use it!

  • Hi!
    I just wonder, if there will be possibility to create content in different languages?
    For instance we have bi-lingual portal (english|russian). Now we have to add special marks to elements in different languages (and edit XSLs after generation), so user logged on with russian locale see only russian texts…
    • Yes, multi-language support is planned for the unrestricted shipment of Web Page Composer (Q3 2007). Then an end user would only see content in his/her personalized portal or browser language. If the content is not available in the dedicated language there’s a fallback language defined which will be used instead.
      Best regards, Christopher
  • Hi Christopher,

    Great blog series on the WPC! We have waited a long time for this kind of functionality 🙂 In one of your previous WPC blogs, I read about the fact that pages, being basically XML, are processed at runtime. Will there be any caching mechanism in place so pages will not need to be generated each time they are viewed?



    • Hi Frodo,
      yes – at runtime the rendered page (i.e. its HTML representation) is created/transformed only once (upon first access) and then stored in a cash pool. There are several cashing mechanisms in place on the KM side as well as the portal side to guarantee optimized performace.
      Best regards, Christopher
  • HI!
    I have just started  with webpage composer.I want to know if it is possible to create new document types using xml editor with SP13(if so where cani edit the XML form), also do i need to do some configurations in K.M so that the new document type would be added to  the menu bar of the Web Content Browser for the author to work with it. ( I am working with SP13 in NW04s.)
  • Hello,

    I have a problem, i’m not able to associate more than one xsl transformatiom to a document.

    I have a standard type “wpc_webarticle”, and i want to add a new representation.

    1. I created the xsl file, and put it in the KM content at the same level as standard files (etc/wpceditor/styles)

    2. I added a new style in the KM configuration “zwpc_articleweb”, in the KM configuration (config/web page composer/editor/stylesheets/stylesheets/document styles)

    3. I added this new type in the stylesheet group used by the document “wpc_webarticle”.
    For this i modified the standard group “article”
    I added my new stylesheet.
    (config/web page Composer/editor/stylesheets/ stylesheet groups/document styles)

    4. I restarted the server

    When i create an “article” element, i can see the new representation in the drop downlist, and i can also preview the document.

    But the problem is that when i save the document, it is the standard style wich is saved and the one i created and selected.

    Thank you for your help in advance.