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The aim of this essay is to decisively talk about the ways templates relate with publishing in a Content Management System. The scope of this discussion will be within the Web Content Management System. It will be discovered in the end that templates relate consistently with the publishing system in a Content Management System with the singular purpose of getting the rich contents of the web authored by contributors over to the audiences or users.
Rob Prideaux (2005) defined Content Management System as a set of processes, applications, and databases that help an organization create, store, coordinates, and publish information in the useful format, a timely fashion, and with a consistent method.
Mahesh Ugale (2006) argues that: "Content Management is the organizing, categorizing, and structuring of information resources (texts, images, documents, etc), so that they can be stored, published and edited with ease and flexibility." He further expresses that, it is used to manage, and publish content, storing the content either as components or whole documents, while maintaining dynamic links between the components.
Bryan Young (2009) also argues that, one of the best tools in having a website is what is known as Content Management System (or some cases, Software). Content Management Systems allow websites more flexibility, features, automation and organization as well as take away a lot of the stress in updating websites manually.
However, it must be stressed that it is a system that is used to manage the content of a website. It makes it easy to administrate web contents as well as publish them to the disposal of audiences, thereby making the contents easily accessible.
Templates and publishing are vital parts of the Content Management System processes which enable it to consistently perform the above mentioned roles of the Content Management System. A template is a programme that builds publication pages or section. It also triggers other programmes that aid publishing. Embedded in the layout and surrounds in a template is the programming code that calls in and processes content and accesses structures. Depending on your templating system, this code can potentially does anything that programming code can do.
It is true that the basic purpose of the web template is to mix constant or static content with changing or dynamic content drawn from the Content Management System. In this way, it determines and presents the layout of all content and the selection of content from the Content Management System in a consistent way.
To further consider their relationship, Bob Boiko explains: "Templates are files that guide the creation of a publication from the content stored in the repository. They therefore include texts and media that are passed directly through to the publication as well as calls to publication services that retrieve and format components and meta information for publishing. They also include navigation - building logic as well as calls to services outside of the Content Management System that integrate publications into a wider organizational infrastructure. They use either a proprietary or open programming language to specify publication building logic."
Borrowing from Tina Turner who explained in a different context; templates make your content come together into publications nice and easy, rather than nice and rough. Time and again, they save you the huge amount of work that would be required to manually layout your content into a web page or other publication or publishing platforms.
It must be noted that, in publishing, the web contents are made available (and accessible) by extracting components out of the repository and constructing targeted publications like printable documents, viewable web sites/pages, email newsletters, etc.
Putting it in better words, publishing is a content publication mechanism which involves a process on how the content of a website gets from the host system or content contributors/authors to the end user's browser or audience via Uniform Resource Locators (URLs).
Publishing involves certain services for it to fulfil or perform its function. That is where it relates with templates; knowing that templates have a templating system that helps in retrieving stored data or meta data and other forms of web contents either static or dynamic which are stored in the repository using certain navigation templates.
In addition, templates automate publication. Therefore, the content repository must be set up in such a way that key components are readily available to templating system. Key components are what the templates need in order to automatically assemble publications of all types. That is, content must be granular and organized so that needed elements are broken out rather than aggregated. Templates relate with these key components in the repository which are brought there by collection services.
Then, the publication service which actualizes publishing process the templates, files, database records, meta data and other contents that the templates retrieve from the repository with the goal of marshalling the correct resources to create a targeted publication. They also execute personalization, conversion and user access routines that are called by particular templates.
It is undisputable that templates streamline the process of creating publications from the neutral content in a Content Management System. In particular, a template does the following in relation to publishing in the Content Management System:
They bridge the gap between the world of Content Management System and other publications. A template keeps one foot, so to speak, in the Content Management System and the other in the publication format and structure.
They build a publication page or section. They are programmes that automatically create parts of a publication.
They use logic. They enable you to select content from the Content Management System (either in the form of standard programming language or custom syntax), process it, and format it for display through the publishing system.
They produce the formatting of the publication. On web, this requirement means producing Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). They must translate the format - neutral content of the repository to format - rich content in the publication.
They produce the structures of the publication. They must exactly reproduce the structure conventions of the publication.
They target the audiences of the publication. In the case of personalization, they must detect audiences and reproduce publication pages and section for them.
They enable you to share and code among a family of publication.
In addition to these, it should be acknowledged that in the executive path of a publishing system where publishing also relates with templates, whereby publishing does the following:
It selects a template to fill. This is based on the request and interactive features of the audience members' device; the publishing system chooses a template. The template both answers the request and provides supplemental features like site search dialogs and navigation.
It fills content into the template. For each container in the template, your publishing system executes database queries to retrieve matching content, and places the output of embedded applications.
It selects a transformation. It does this by considering the template and rendering features of the user's device.
It transforms the template into a page. It converts a stored document into your outputted page.
To affirm these, for templates to work or relate with the publishing, they must do this - create the content of the publication. So, the look-and-feel of a publication is created entirely by the template. This includes the colour and overall layout, the imagery that goes behind and around the content, the branding and titles within the publication, the fonts and other text styles, and a host of other qualities that together give the content of the publication a very particular and meaningful content.
The templating and the publishing systems relate in such a way that they are capable of building both static and dynamic publications. Also, if your system is required to produce dynamic publications and your content is not stored in the format that dynamic publications require, some real-time conversion is needed which template does.
Deane Barker (2006) also submits that both extremes allow you to present content at a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) for visitors to consume it. It's worth mentioning that there's such a wide range of ways to do this. They may happen at the same instance as the content is requested (a PHP page that retrieves and formats database records, for instance), or your system may use a template to convert data into an output file that it then File Transfer Protocols (FTP), file copies, or otherwise moves to a publishing location; just as Seth Gottlieb calls this "Baking vs. Frying.")
The intrinsic relationship is that, the template gets the content from the web repository in the Content Management System to be published to the publishing service/mechanism using certain templating system; so that the content can eventually get to the users via their browsers or other publishing media like print publication, non-live web publications and syndications/feeds.