Home > Articles > Programming > ASP .NET

This chapter is from the book

.NET and Web Services Integration

Up to this point, we have been implementing standard MCMS functionality, albeit in the larger context of our portal master plan. With .NET and web services integration, the true potential of the portal is realized. While MCMS is the heart of the portal platform, it is .NET that provides the overarching framework. Some services in the portal exist entirely outside MCMS, others are displayed within pages based on MCMS templates, and still others are web services either inside or outside the enterprise.

.NET integration means the use of the .NET Framework to extend functionality beyond MCMS to include additional server platform products such as SharePoint Portal Server, SQL Server, and Commerce Server, or non-Microsoft products based on the .NET platform. Not all .NET integration requires the use of web services. The fact that Microsoft has moved or is moving all its enterprise server products to a common application platform provides tremendous benefits in terms of your taking advantage of developer skills and component reuse.

With web services integration, you are free to connect to an even broader range of applications beyond the .NET world, such as Java, WebSphere, and any other service that jumps on the web services bandwagon. You now have the opportunity to syndicate content from news sources or tap into financial services for transactions, currency conversions, online marketplaces, and a host of other solutions.

I have omitted coverage of the Site Stager component of MCMS, as it is not compatible with ASP.NET-based sites. It is used to push static copies of HTML and ASP pages to other servers, including non-Windows servers.

.NET Integration

MCMS provides a wealth of power with its out-of-the box user interface for content management and the Windows administrative clients for webmasters. You are likely to rely on these extensively in your implementation. They are not the only options for clever .NET programmers, however. You can create custom .NET applications that take advantage of all MCMS features, but with an interface of your choosing. For instance, you may find that some of the options available to users in the standard browser-based Web Author are more (or less) than what your users need to accomplish their tasks. You can hide or simplify options. You can create specialized interfaces to run in an Office application that guide users through the steps of content creation. These are called MCMS web applications to distinguish them from MCMS web services. Within Visual Studio.NET, projects are stored in solutions, which are stored with the file extension .SLN.

Another way to extend MCMS is to customize the approval process discussed earlier in the chapter, providing email notification to users when an item awaits their approval. Similarly, you could implement more sophisticated routing rules for the approval process as a custom MCMS application.

MCMS provides several project templates in Visual Studio.NET (Table 9.1). You can use both Visual Basic and Visual C# to create these projects.

These three template types appear in the Templates list in Visual Studio.NET when you create a new project. The MCMS projects are like other project templates, except that they automatically run some preliminary steps to make MCMS components available in the project. The standard console is copied into the project as the basis for a custom console, changes are automatically made to the Web.config file, and users are authenticated against MCMS and their rights are checked.

MCMS projects provide additional toolbox items, the Template Explorer menu bar, and menu items on the Tools menu. The Content Management Server tab in the Toolbox window contains the placeholder controls you need to design MCMS templates. The Template Explorer window provides a hierarchical view of the templates along with the ability to view template properties. The Content Management Server menu item on the Tools menu provides direct links to Site Manager, Database Configuration Application, Server Configuration Application, and Web Author.

Table 9.1. Visual Studio Content Management Projects

Project Template Name


MCMS Web Application

Used to create an MCMS application with a web user interface

MCMS Web Service

Used to create MCMS XML web services that can be used from other applications

MCMS Empty Web Project

Used to create an empty project for an MCMS web application

You can convert an existing Visual Studio.NET project to an MCMS project. To do so, open the project and select Enable as CMS Project from the Project menu.

Do not remove references to MCMS components that have automatically been generated by Visual Studio.NET. Removing these references will produce unpredictable and undesirable results.

Web Services Integration

Web services are probably the most widely touted benefit of the .NET platform because they provide the ability to integrate heterogeneous systems and even make Microsoft and Unix solutions talk to one another. MCMS 2002 brings web services into the fold in a content management product. Along with adopting Visual Studio.NET as the development environment for MCMS, you can create and consume web services with MCMS. Taking this approach results in new openness and the promise of even greater interoperability. It also raises many architectural and design options that require sorting through.

If you already know how to create web services, you know how to create them for MCMS. The big difference is that you must invest the time to learn the MCMS object model to get the most out of your web services.

Web services configured to directly access the MCMS publishing API create a potential security vulnerability, as they make it possible for the service to write changes to your MCMS repository, overriding a read-only configuration. Be sure to practice safe coding on your web service to prevent dangerous or malicious changes.

Consuming Web Services

While MCMS may more commonly be used to provide a web service to another application, there are excellent opportunities to have MCMS play the other role and consume web services. This is the case for content syndication. MCMS can periodically retrieve news or other data from another web service.

It is possible to configure MCMS to consume a web service in real time. For instance, a user could view a web page with current weather information, prompting MCMS to request weather data in XML from a weather web service. MCMS would package the resulting data using the page template and display it for the user. In most cases, this is not the most attractive option. Users of your portal would be exposed to additional latency of the Internet and would be vulnerable to any outage or performance degradation of the web service. As usage rises, the load on the web service also rises, increasing the processing cost for the service and potentially increasing the financial cost depending on the revenue model. Real-time concurrency is not often worth this price.

Another problem with posting content directly from a web service is that you have fewer options for error-handling or human intervention to correct errors. You may expose your organization to legal liability by publishing incorrect information on your site, so you need a review process for content.

A better option is to take the data consumed by the service and store it in the CMS repository. This function can be performed on a scheduled basis to ensure a reasonable degree of concurrency. For instance, an hourly update of a four-day weather forecast might be acceptable, or an update on sports scores every minute. For even less volatile data, you could take the data from the web service and launch the content management routing and approval process.

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020