PlexCMS 0.1.0.0

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Change Set: 70758
Released: Jan 7, 2013
Updated: Jan 9, 2013 by SEWilson
Dev status: Alpha Help Icon

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Release Notes

PlexCMS 0.1 is the first, raw, non-iterative version. It is currently only distributed via NuGet at:

http://www.nuget.org/packages/PlexCMS-Web

Summary

The intent of the 0.1 release is to provide a conceptual base and not a final product. The current quality can be considered "poor" and "not for production", this status will change and more releases will follow.

Feel free to check it out and provide feedback, quality will be improved as the product matures, and the product will mature based on user feedback.

Installation Instructions

PlexCMS is an ASP.NET MVC-based solution currently modeled after the MVC4 Templates available in Visual Studio 2012, and thus requires an existing MVC4 Application.
  1. Launch VS2012
  2. Create a New ASP.NET MVC4 Web Application (C#)
  3. Template: Internet Application, View Engine: Razor, Select OK.
  4. Right-Click on the MVC Application in Solution Explorer, choose Manage NuGet Packages..
  5. In Package Manager, choose "Online" and "NuGet Official Package Source". Then press Ctrl-E to search for "plexcms" (Id: PlexCMS-Web.)
  6. Install PlexCMS-Web

This will modify a number of files in the project and provide you with a new Area called "PlexAdmin". Press F5 and everything should be working as intended, it should look and function as if it were a default MVC Application.

One of the goals of PlexCMS is to be minimally invasive. No third party dependencies are introduced to your Application, A few files are modified; The Route Configs are updated to support a generic page controller pattern, the HomeController is replaced with a GenericPageController subclass, Pages under /Home/ are replaced with their PlexCMS equivalents (please look at them and critique!) and the _ViewStart is replaced to point at a new Layout (any existing layout files are left untouched).

Security Config and Additional Steps

PlexCMS currently relies on a single Role named plx:admin, the Role is used to authorize access to the /PlexAdmin/ Area and the Web API Controllers that PlexAdmin relies on.

You will need to create this role yourself, as well as associate it to a user account. This is currently not done for you. In the future the first visit to /PlexAdmin/ will wire this up for the authenticated user.

What's Next?

What I want is a CMS solution that doesn't wildly change the existing MVC experience provided by Microsoft. We love it, and most of the Portal/CMS/WMS solutions available to us uproot that framework in favor of something that provides a more dynamic experience to users (excellent solutions each in their own way.) PlexCMS intends to provide a comparable solution without compromising the existing experience provided by Microsoft.

Some ideas I'm considering:
  • Providing Layouts based on various toolkits such as Bootstrap from Twitter, as separate NuGet packages to avoid introducing dependencies or bloating the baseline package.
  • Providing additional modules for Blog/News, Media Presentation (Image/Video Galleries), etc.
  • Providing a WYSIWYG, Inline content editing experience.

The first order of business, of course, is bug fixes, code clean-up and completion of any functionality that is not yet implemented (such as synchronizing default modules over dependent pages, or moving/renaming a page.)

Enjoy!

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