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Alfresco WCM and 'Database' apps

Question asked by marfarma on Jun 18, 2010
Latest reply on Jun 18, 2010 by mrogers
I'm just beginning to wrap my head around web development in Alfresco.  I'm continuing to review the existing documentation I have at the moment, including the Packt Alfresco Developers Guide.  But here's a question I haven't seen being discussed anywhere in the documents I have.  I'm trying to compare Alfresco WCM to typical database backed web app development.  Given that:

1) data that might otherwise use SQL server for persistence can be modeled as custom content type(s) in Alfresco. 
2) data can be maintained in Alfresco as XML instances of these custom content types. 
3) Alfresco API calls can be used to create static or dynamic sites which include the custom content data 
4) WCM can be used to develop and deploy those websites – although they can also be developed using the API and other tools.

We can certainly replace traditional SQL backed web applications with Alfresco XSD/XML backed applications.  (Certainly I'm not suggesting anyone should implement Twitter part 2 against Alfresco!)

I wonder, is there's any consensus on where the lines fall, how to decide for a particular project, and how to use both database and document data store together in the development of a website?  Any existing discussion you can point me at?