So when I first started at Stellent I was learning the ropes and was out on a few “Web Content Mangement” projects at the start. The prevailing architecture at the time was to have both a contribution instance and a consumption instance on different boxes. Yes, one box for at most a few dozen folks (or in some case a few hundred) and the others for the internet users (or intranet users).
So this was done for many reasons, some I encountered were good some not so good. Things like customers were not used to editing a live site and really needed that “separation”. Sometimes if was for firewall reasons to keep the folks internally out of the DMZ. Other times we wanted to shut down contribution mode on the consumption instance so users could not get into it. So since the software did not support this particular split we had to do it this way. Other times it was so we can tune consumption to “high volume” and contribution to “high contribution”. Other times so we can have a different security models on each system (probably the only really good reason I found).
So we set this up and once an item was approved it automatically pushed to consumption. So an “author” would go to contribution edit content and “editor” or approver would approve it and once approved it would automatically get pushed to consumption. So in effect it would do exactly the same thing as it was one system, but we had two systems.
Of course we can run these on the same boxes and make them separate instances and duplicate all the content from one instance again on the other. This would save a box and a processor license. That saves some energy and makes the system run on one set of servers. So its an improvement! Yeah!
For some reason this always bugged me a bit, it seemed like such a waist of resources. Lets have a whole other box (or sometimes boxes) to support usually a very small number of authors. So I am going to change my tune and start to say we should do this on one instance and one set of boxes. Its much easier to mange, greener and just better.
The trouble is going to be how to support one instance and one website with multiple cnames, domain names or different directories. That is so if you access a web site say www.mydomain.com and want to make sure someone can’t edit the site or get into contributor mode (edit mode) but if you want to edit you go to edit.mydomain.com and it would allow editing. Well the trouble is this cant be done. So this simple issue creates the need to build and mange a whole new instance. Well, I think there is hope, if Oracle can create a way to have different setting for a site host names then we can. I won’t hold my breath, so maybe if we get some time we can create a nifty component to do this.
edit.example.tld –> allow edit mode -> use this site id
www.example.tld –> block edit mode -> use the same site id (also strip out all edit mode js and make the site load faster)
When I worked at Oracle there was a footer in the email signature that said something like “save a tree and don’t print this email” well maybe we can save a few watts and computer resources and not create the need for a whole new server when there really isn’t any.