Don't Let a Format Dictate Your Content Model

In the SDL Tridion workshops I've given, developers sometimes ask fairly technical questions on everything from publishing to rendering to architecture. I understand it's hard to grasp a content management system in a few sessions. And maybe I get the questions because I offer answers ("I'm just functional" doesn't seem to work anymore)?

At the 2012 MVP Summit, Nuno Linhares pointed out the related technologies on StackOverflow's #tridion tag. The snap shot to the right is already outdated by the time you read this and it doesn't even include concepts and "basic" Tridion terms nor the architecture options. Bart Koopman points out these questions reflect complexity of the product (though not necessarily its difficulty).
I confess I am guilty of setting up multiple levels of linked components to create a format that's easy to program with but reduced author productivity and impacted publishing. But you don't have to life with the same guilt or make the same mistakes.

In your next workshop, definitely address the technical concerns and questions that come up. Optionally use ballroom dancing as a metaphor to make your audience comfortable by standing on one foot (umm yeah, read that post to understand).

Let me simplify Content Modeling and functional design with this new mantra and recommendation for anyone implementing SDL Tridion:
Don’t let a preference for a specific output format dictate your content model.
If your authors expect to use metadata to set check boxes, radio buttons, or use the tree selector, find a way to make it work, regardless of where that logic lives.

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