Tridion Content Analysis: Part 1, The Trivial Example

Learn how to better design SDL Tridion schemas and templates with a little Information Architecture (IA) page and content type analysis in this five-part series.
  1. The Trivial Example and Question
  2. Context
  3. Inventory
  4. Process
  5. The Answer
Content Management System (CMS) consultants use Information Architecture (IA) to analyze your digital channel's content structure to define the content entry forms and templates. IA has the concept of content types, which are structured classifications of content such as article, image gallery, or recipe [see Dan Brown's excellent article (PDF) and another take by Steven Bradley].
SDL Tridion represents Content Types in the form of Component Presentations (CPs), which consist of the content (component) transformed by a template. Here's the basic approach you've seen in training, demos, or  implementations.

Given a summary page and a full article page, we identify Content Types.

By finding shared content, we can then determine Tridion Schemas and Templates. 

Because the Article Summary and Article Full content types share the same article title, image, and a link from one to the other, they make a great candidate to create:
  • One Tridion Schema, say "Article"
  • Three associated Templates, for example "Summary," "Full," and possibly "Link."
Authors or your programmers can then use the same component in multiple pages, pairing content with templates to create Component Presentations.*

You'll find this contrived, classic Summary and Full Article example insightful, boring, or peculiar depending on your background with various CMS's. You'll also get in trouble if you make assumptions and blindly apply the news publishing model to Retail or Marketing.

Are you thinking one schema and two templates?

What about these seemingly related component presentations?

In the next posts, we'll:
  • Review the context needed to make informed schema and template design choices in Part 2
  • See why Content Types aren't enough and why we need to inventory the details in Part 3
  • Understand the basic process to convert that inventory into schema designs and template logic in Part 4
  • Revisit this riddle in Part 5 (hint: I'm calling these campaigns instead of articles)
*You might be wondering "what about dynamic component presentations?"  I'm intentionally skipping other technical scenarios to focus on the Content Model for these posts.

Next read about Context.

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