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ContentCreator Extensions

ContentCreator is designed to provide a safe and easy-to-use authoring environment for use by subject matter expert editors who do not require the complete range of content management capabilities available in the SiteArchitect. As part of the ContentCreator's user-centered design, we provide project developers with means to design custom functionality that presents additional interaction features that will help editors perform specific tasks.

To this end, ContentCreator includes a plug-in infrastructure that allows modular extensions of the user interface as well as internal functionality. ContentCreator extensions are implemented in Java, installed as server modules or project-specific scripts and may use the FirstSpirit Access and Developer APIs.

This chapter aims to provide a quick-start guide towards understanding the client's plug-in capabilities, implementing the essential aspects of each plug-in type and deploying complete plug-ins for use in the ContentCreator. This document does not aim to be a complete API documentation or to provide guidance in using FirstSpirit core functionality beyond what is required to extend the ContentCreator's user interface; the FirstSpirit Access API documentation sets, along with JavaDoc mark-up available in development environments, provide thorough information on these subjects.

Important While the official, public name of the web-based editing environment in FirstSpirit 5 is ContentCreator, the internal name follows the traditional term WebEdit, which had been used up to and including FirstSpirit 4. The FirstSpirit API and the ServerManager application continue to use the WebEdit name.
Important This chapter contains annotated code examples that describe individual plug-in classes and their methods in order to illustrate the required plug-in architecture, as well as API usage to control certain aspects of the ContentCreator user interface. The code examples have deliberately been kept simple for readability and demonstration of core concepts; thus, they do not aim to be code-complete or compilable.

The FirstSpirit Module source code package ContentCreator Examples provides complete, compilable and functional examples for each plug-in type. This source code combines various examples in this documentation to illustrate real-world use of ContentCreator extensions.

Extension Overview and Examples

ContentCreator Extensions

Each section describes several plug-in types and includes functional descriptions of plug-in features, implementation details and documented example code with references to the FirstSpirit API documentation.

Interactive Features
This section introduces the extension types that can be added to the ContentCreator's user interface.

Management Extensions
This section documents the administrative features that can be added to provide project-specific content handling.

Module Development and Deployment

Implementation and Deployment
This section provides high-level guidance towards implementing additional ContentCreator functionality using the FSM format and FirstSpirit APIs, and illustrates the FSM roll-out process.

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