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Sitecore for programmers: Part 1 - An introduction to Sitecore

October 09, 2013

A beginner's look at Sitecore including what it is, how it works, the pricing structure for purchasing and how you can access developer information about the product.

This is the first in a series of posts about Sitecore, a great Content Management System we work with here at nonlinear. With Sitecore it is possible to place complex content management tasks in the hands of people whose computer skills are limited to the use of text editors.

But what is Sitecore really?

From a developer's perspective, Sitecore is a platform which helps with the implementation of internet and intranet systems. Data modeling is done visually through its interface and all customizations are done in .NET, with the use of Sitecore's API to read and write data. These are some of the features Sitecore natively supports:

  • Incredibly user-friendly and straightforward admin interface
  • A broad and well organized API which makes it possible to do everything  through the admin interface (and more)
  • Security settings with multiple access permission levels, allowing different users to have different roles
  • Personalized workflows for any page in the system, putting items through a predefined pipeline before they are published.; users with the necessary permissions review the content on each step of the process
  • Multiple languages can be supported with little effort. The system allows for the creation and translation of content items with ease

You can do a full comparison of the capabilities of Sitecore with those of other CMSs at CMS Matrix.

Sales model

Sitecore is a commercial product with licensing options which fit different sized businesses and varied requirements. Developers have free access to all documentation and to a copy of the software for educational and development purposes. The only requirement being registration on Sitecore's website. Licensing options can be chosen, taking in consideration a number of factors, making it possible to use Sitecore in a variety of projects: from small non-profits, with websites running on a single server, to big corporations with millions of visits per day and multiple servers on load-balance. For more information on price policies, visit this page.

Online documentation

Plenty of online documentation on Sitecore can be found through the search engines. There are, for example, articles about Sitecore on sites such as Stackoverflow and Experts Exchange, as well as blogs by several authors. Sitecore also offers its own Sitecore Development Network (or SDN), where all official documentation can be found, as well as forums and technical support. Access to SDN is free and you can register yourself here.

In our next post... Next time we will cover the main concepts behind Sitecore and describe how the platform components which control the separation of layout from content actually work.

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