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Programming forms to edit node properties

Question asked by walbar on Jan 24, 2007

I'm evaluating Alfresco to develop a web application with high usage of content management. This web app requires to be editable through UI. I mean the user could edit certain "properties" of the pages directly browsing the site.

We are going to have a structure of fragments that would compose a page (like Portlets). Inside each of these fragments there would be (if you have editing rights) an "Edit" button which brings a pop-up with a form containing all the editable properties of that fragment. Submiting this form applies the changes to the fragment content. For example, let's say you have a fragment which consists of a paragraph and an image, this editing form would allow you to change the image and edit the paragraph.

Using Alfresco we consider appropiate to define node types for the types of fragments (ex. ParagraphWithImageNodeType defining properties paragraph and image) and create nodes to have fragment instances (myParagraph where paragraph="…" and image="…"). Then a page would group these instances to show them.

Most of this functionality can be implemented with standard JSR-170 API. But since I'm new to Alfresco and JCR in general I would like you to have your oppinion on this approach. Besides I would like you to point me in the right direction regarding the creation of the node-type-associatted-forms. A basic getting started would be of great help.

My main questions are:
- Do I need to implement them using XFoms or just using Alfresco API classes like PropertySheet would be enough? Details on this would be of great help.
- Is there a mechanism to add Node Types programatically?
- Are there property types to support containers (lists, sets, etc)?. For example if I want a fragment to have a list of urls.
- Which level of JSR-170 is supported by Alfresco?

Thanks in advance,