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This chapter is from the book

Defining Channels

Channels are defined in the MCMS Site Manager application. Once you have defined channels, you can start building templates and adding content to your site. For an example, I use the Woodgrove Bank sample site that ships with MCMS. This program is located in the MCMS program group on the Start menu. You will be instructed to log into the site. You can download a trial version of the software at www.microsoft.com/cmserver/default.aspx?url=/cmserver/evaluation/trial/.

  1. Select Channels in Site Manager.

  2. Expand the Channels pane.

  3. Right-click WoodgroveNet and select New Channel.

  4. Fill in the information requested on the New Channel dialog box. Name the channel LoanApplication. Enter Loan Application as the display name and Forms and background information for submitting loan applications as the description.

Be sure to follow the naming rules for channels:

  • Channel names must be unique and contain only US-ASCII characters (alphanumeric characters and dashes, underscores, commas, and quotation marks).

  • Do not include #, &, %, +, /, or | symbols.

  • Channel names are limited to 100 characters.

  • Do not include spaces in channel names.

  • Do not add the HTM extension to the channel name.

Once you have created the channel, you need to fill in the properties for the channel. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Add rights groups to the channel you have created. Start with the subscribers group, and then add another entry for authors.

  2. Display the channel properties again by right-clicking the channel and choosing Properties from the menu, then click the Publishing tab.

  3. In the Channel Rendering section of the channel properties, click Use First Page to make the first page the default for the channel.

  4. Click OK to close the channel-rendering properties dialog box.

  5. Set the publishing schedule for the channel. From the channel properties dialog box, click the Publishing tab, and then click Set in the Lifetime section of the tab. Click Immediately to make items published in the channel visible immediately.

  6. Click Never Stop Publishing as the Stop Publishing entry.

  7. Establish the web author default galleries, which are the template and resource galleries that are available to this channel. In the Channel properties, click the Web Authoring tab.

  8. Browse to the desired locations in the template and resource galleries.

  9. Set additional channel properties listed on the Publishing tab of the channel properties (Figures 9.12 and 9.13). These include designation as an important channel, hiding the channel, and allowing the channel to be crawled by web robots.

    09fig12.gifFigure 9.12. Channel Publishing Properties


    09fig13.gifFigure 9.13. Channel Lifetime


Repeat these steps for all the channels you need to create. You can always create new channels as your site evolves, and content may be moved from one channel to another.

The next step is to develop the templates identified in the design review session. You will reuse the templates as much as possible from one section of the site to another to simplify template and site maintenance. Developers must make trade-offs in template design between general use (fewer templates) and specific requirements (more templates). While it is possible to create a single master template that would handle nearly any contingency, this mother of all templates (MOAT) would be difficult to create and maintain, and its superset of page layout and functionality might be daunting to users. On the other hand, the more templates you build, the more templates you have to maintain (see the following box "One Template or Many?").

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