Click here to close now.




















Welcome!

You will be redirected in 30 seconds or close now.

ColdFusion Authors: Yakov Fain, Maureen O'Gara, Nancy Y. Nee, Tad Anderson, Daniel Kaar

Related Topics: ColdFusion

ColdFusion: Article

NQcontent V2 from NetQuest

NQcontent V2 from NetQuest

Every day it seems as if another content management system (CMS) is popping up on the horizon, many of them built using ColdFusion.

Typically, these CMSs contain the same type of functionality. They:

  • Allow users who don't know HTML to add and edit content easily
  • Display content using a template system and integrated style sheets
  • Create user accounts and assign security permissions allowing certain users to perform only certain tasks
  • Allow content to be indexed and subsequently searched by the user
  • Modify system settings that control certain functionality of the site
  • Perform workflow and/or versioning control over content

    Covering the Basics
    NQcontent performs all this functionality with aplomb. The Articles Management content is displayed in a hierarchical tree format, with unlimited nodes and levels. Available options are displayed with DHTML - which only works properly in Internet Explorer - making selections quick and easy. The navigation within multi-page forms could be a little clearer, especially when required fields are on another page.

    At review time, the only form validation within the administrator uses ColdFusion's built-in server-side validation, but that will change soon. As with most CMSs, content can be edited using the popular Ektron editor that allows a text area field in Internet Explorer to act as an HTML authoring tool.

    The security permissions are pretty granular, assigning individual users to one or more groups, and permissions are assigned on a group basis. Groups can be assigned permissions to one of dozens of available actions, allowing for fine-tuned security settings.

    The Systems section of the administrator allows for management of application variables, content types, search indexes, and system settings.

    Above and Beyond
    While NQcontent is similar to other CMSs, it is the additional features that really set it apart. Like ColdFusion, NQcontent runs not only on Windows NT, but also on Unix and Linux. It supports Oracle as well as Microsoft SQL Server, making NQcontent a viable solution for enterprises that have not jumped on the Microsoft bandwagon.

    Both the Professional and Enterprise editions of NQcontent will run on the Professional editions of both ColdFusion 5 and ColdFusion MX. If you are using Oracle, however, you will need ColdFusion Enterprise.

    NQcontent also comes with several modules that allow developers and administrators alike the ability to manage files, data, and forms via the administrator interface.

    Manage Files Remotely
    Often, the only access you have to a Web site you are developing is via ColdFusion's Remote Development Services (RDS). Anyone who has ever tried to perform file operations over RDS or tried to copy multiple or large files knows how limiting it can be. NQcontent's built-in File Manager resembles a Web-based version of Windows Explorer. From it you can create, rename, and delete directories and create, rename, edit, delete, and upload files. Since the back end of the manager uses CFDIRECTORY and CFFILE tags, certain operations are not available, such as deleting a directory before deleting the files within it.

    This is a simple, yet useful tool that will allow you to more easily manage your Web site. The only directories and files that are accessible by this tool are within the default Web root, however, so virtual directories and file stores outside of your Web root will not be accessible.

    Manage Your Data
    The backbone of any ColdFusion Web site is certainly its database. Typically, database management is completely separate from your development environment, using tools such as those that come with Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle. If you want to have a graphical interface to the database you don't have many other options. NQcontent's database administration module contains graphical interfaces to database tables and records that are similar to those provided by Quest software in their Oracle database tool TOAD, one of the best on the market.

    The database and table data is stored by NQcontent as metadata. You add a table to NQcontent by specifying the data source and table name. NQcontent will then import the column names, and you can modify attributes as well as view, edit, update, and delete rows from tables. You can also specify advanced information such as permissions, triggers, and SQL scripts that should be run at specified times.

    The import functionality does not determine table keys and identities, so they must be set separately. One drawback with the tool is that it does not allow the metadata to store more than one primary key column for any table, making workarounds necessary for tables that use combination keys - one or more columns that, combined, create a unique row identifier.

    When tables are added to NQcontent, their columns are available to use when creating content such as articles and forms. User-friendly aliases can be assigned to table and column names and these aliases will be displayed throughout the NQcontent administrator. This allows administrators unfamiliar with the database-naming convention to be able to tell what data they are working with.

    Advanced developers, or those with good database skills, might find the interface a bit cumbersome. It is certainly quicker and easier to use a database management application as opposed to using one built within a Web page. If you do not include your Web site's tables in the administrator, those tables and fields will not be available to use in the content administrator. However, if you want nontechnical administrators to access database data, using this tool will certainly save you a lot of time and effort. Most CMS systems do not even offer this flexibility.

    Build Forms Effortlessly
    Many companies that offer solutions based around CMSs will often charge the client extra to build basic forms, such as Contact Us or Comments. NQcontent comes with a forms administrator module that allows junior ColdFusion developers and even power users to create forms whose submission results can be e-mailed and/or inserted into a database, all without touching any code.

    Form fields can be created from scratch or imported from an existing database table defined in the database module. When you add a field to a form, you can specify attributes such as the field type (text box, text area, checkbox, etc.), specify values for multiple options, and set default values. You can even set design options such as where the field labels display and the width of the fields. This functionality will save the time of advanced developers and save money on labor costs.

    By using just the GUI forms interface, the form validation is a little limiting. At review time, the only included form validation was performed by ColdFusion's built-in server-side processing, using hidden form fields with suffixes such as _required to ensure that required fields are filled in. Patches have since been applied to include basic JavaScript form-field validation and more advanced JavaScript validation support will be included in version 3.0.

    Intermediate and advanced ColdFusion developers can enhance the server-side form validation with their own code using some of the included NQcontent custom tags. This allows more in-depth forms to be created and validated and also allows forms built using the interface to update database records as well as create them.

    But Wait, There's More
    The Professional edition comes with all of the functionality listed above, as well as some additional administration and management features. The Enterprise edition also contains workflow, content versioning, and a more granular security model that assigns roles as well as groups to specific users. NQcontent also offers add-on products such as Forums, E-commerce extensions, Visitors Guest Book, Forms, and Banner and Polls Managers.

    Overall, this is a good CMS that will be used by all levels of users, from nontechnical administrators who are only editing content, to advanced developers managing databases and customized forms. If you are thinking about working with a CMS system, NQcontent is definitely one to take a closer look at.

    SIDEBAR

    Vitals: NQcontent V2
    NetQuest
    8 Duncannon Street, Strand
    London WC2N 4JF
    Tel: +44 20 7484 5028
    Fax: +44 20 7484 5128
    [email protected]
    www.nqcontent.com

    Test Environment:
    HP Pavillon zt1180, 1.2GHz P-III, ColdFusion MX, 512MB RAM, Windows XP Professional, MS SQL Server 2000
    Pricing: NQcontent pricing is based on the number of Content Contributors, and starts from $25,000 or $40,000 for the Enterprise Version; both include unlimited database connectors.

    Product Snapshot
    Target audience: Medium to large organizations looking to create corporate Web sites, portals, content syndication, or e-commerce sites.

    Pros:

  • Multiple platform support
  • Simple to install and deploy
  • Easy for nontechnical administrators to modify content
  • Advanced features for developer use
  • The ability to create forms and manage files and data

    Cons:

  • Lack of JavaScript or advanced form error validation (at review time)

    Client platform:
    System operators must use IE 5.x + on PC
    Server OS: Windows 2000, Red Hat Linux 7.2, Sun Solaris 8
    ColdFusion: Versions 5.0 or MX
    Database support: MS SQL Server, Oracle

  • More Stories By Selene Bainum

    Selene Bainum is a software architect at INPUT.  She has been a ColdFusion and SQL developer for over 10 years and runs www.webtricks.com.

    Comments (3) View Comments

    Share your thoughts on this story.

    Add your comment
    You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

    In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


    Most Recent Comments
    Dave Harrison 02/20/03 12:33:00 PM EST

    I've just downloaded NQcontent from www.nqcontent.com, I like it! Great for managing data as well as content, its going to save me hours of coding. Nice use of dynamic menus and easy to configure. I created a new site section with three mouse clicks! Seems all to be very robust, can't get it to fall over!!! I'll keep trying....

    Dave Harrison, Senior CF Developer

    Julian George 02/14/03 03:28:00 AM EST

    Hi,

    I've reviewed NQcontent recently and it rocks! I've developed with Spectra and know what it takes to develop enterprise solns. If you know Spectra, check out NQ, its a good CMS.

    Julian

    Developer 02/06/03 11:04:00 AM EST

    This is mereley a sales pitch - total fluff. I have reviewed this system and it is good if not a little limited to simple CMS operations. Articles like this do not belong in a developers journal - save them for ZDnet or something 'salesy'

    @ThingsExpo Stories
    WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
    SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
    As more and more data is generated from a variety of connected devices, the need to get insights from this data and predict future behavior and trends is increasingly essential for businesses. Real-time stream processing is needed in a variety of different industries such as Manufacturing, Oil and Gas, Automobile, Finance, Online Retail, Smart Grids, and Healthcare. Azure Stream Analytics is a fully managed distributed stream computation service that provides low latency, scalable processing of streaming data in the cloud with an enterprise grade SLA. It features built-in integration with Azur...
    Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome,” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
    With the proliferation of connected devices underpinning new Internet of Things systems, Brandon Schulz, Director of Luxoft IoT – Retail, will be looking at the transformation of the retail customer experience in brick and mortar stores in his session at @ThingsExpo. Questions he will address include: Will beacons drop to the wayside like QR codes, or be a proximity-based profit driver? How will the customer experience change in stores of all types when everything can be instrumented and analyzed? As an area of investment, how might a retail company move towards an innovation methodolo...
    Consumer IoT applications provide data about the user that just doesn’t exist in traditional PC or mobile web applications. This rich data, or “context,” enables the highly personalized consumer experiences that characterize many consumer IoT apps. This same data is also providing brands with unprecedented insight into how their connected products are being used, while, at the same time, powering highly targeted engagement and marketing opportunities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nathan Treloar, President and COO of Bebaio, will explore examples of brands transforming their businesses by t...
    A producer of the first smartphones and tablets, presenter Lee M. Williams will talk about how he is now applying his experience in mobile technology to the design and development of the next generation of Environmental and Sustainability Services at ETwater. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lee Williams, COO of ETwater, will talk about how he is now applying his experience in mobile technology to the design and development of the next generation of Environmental and Sustainability Services at ETwater.
    SYS-CON Events announced today that Micron Technology, Inc., a global leader in advanced semiconductor systems, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Micron’s broad portfolio of high-performance memory technologies – including DRAM, NAND and NOR Flash – is the basis for solid state drives, modules, multichip packages and other system solutions. Backed by more than 35 years of technology leadership, Micron's memory solutions enable the world's most innovative computing, consumer,...
    SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies leverage disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevOps to advance innovation and increase agility. Specializing in designing, imple...
    While many app developers are comfortable building apps for the smartphone, there is a whole new world out there. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Narayan Sainaney, Co-founder and CTO of Mojio, will discuss how the business case for connected car apps is growing and, with open platform companies having already done the heavy lifting, there really is no barrier to entry.
    As more intelligent IoT applications shift into gear, they’re merging into the ever-increasing traffic flow of the Internet. It won’t be long before we experience bottlenecks, as IoT traffic peaks during rush hours. Organizations that are unprepared will find themselves by the side of the road unable to cross back into the fast lane. As billions of new devices begin to communicate and exchange data – will your infrastructure be scalable enough to handle this new interconnected world?
    Through WebRTC, audio and video communications are being embedded more easily than ever into applications, helping carriers, enterprises and independent software vendors deliver greater functionality to their end users. With today’s business world increasingly focused on outcomes, users’ growing calls for ease of use, and businesses craving smarter, tighter integration, what’s the next step in delivering a richer, more immersive experience? That richer, more fully integrated experience comes about through a Communications Platform as a Service which allows for messaging, screen sharing, video...
    SYS-CON Events announced today that IceWarp will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. IceWarp, the leader of cloud and on-premise messaging, delivers secured email, chat, documents, conferencing and collaboration to today's mobile workforce, all in one unified interface
    The Internet of Things (IoT) is about the digitization of physical assets including sensors, devices, machines, gateways, and the network. It creates possibilities for significant value creation and new revenue generating business models via data democratization and ubiquitous analytics across IoT networks. The explosion of data in all forms in IoT requires a more robust and broader lens in order to enable smarter timely actions and better outcomes. Business operations become the key driver of IoT applications and projects. Business operations, IT, and data scientists need advanced analytics t...
    Akana has announced the availability of the new Akana Healthcare Solution. The API-driven solution helps healthcare organizations accelerate their transition to being secure, digitally interoperable businesses. It leverages the Health Level Seven International Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (HL7 FHIR) standard to enable broader business use of medical data. Akana developed the Healthcare Solution in response to healthcare businesses that want to increase electronic, multi-device access to health records while reducing operating costs and complying with government regulations.
    For IoT to grow as quickly as analyst firms’ project, a lot is going to fall on developers to quickly bring applications to market. But the lack of a standard development platform threatens to slow growth and make application development more time consuming and costly, much like we’ve seen in the mobile space. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Weiner, Product Manager of the Omega DevCloud with KORE Telematics Inc., discussed the evolving requirements for developers as IoT matures and conducted a live demonstration of how quickly application development can happen when the need to comply wit...
    The Internet of Everything (IoE) brings together people, process, data and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before – transforming information into knowledge and knowledge into wisdom. IoE creates new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented opportunities to improve business and government operations, decision making and mission support capabilities.
    Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems, described how to revolutionize your archit...
    MuleSoft has announced the findings of its 2015 Connectivity Benchmark Report on the adoption and business impact of APIs. The findings suggest traditional businesses are quickly evolving into "composable enterprises" built out of hundreds of connected software services, applications and devices. Most are embracing the Internet of Things (IoT) and microservices technologies like Docker. A majority are integrating wearables, like smart watches, and more than half plan to generate revenue with APIs within the next year.
    Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Opening Keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, d...