CQ components and templates form a very powerful toolkit. They can be used by developers to provide website business users, editors, and administrators with the functionality to adapt their websites to changing business needs (content agility) while retaining the uniform layout of the sites (brand protection).
A typical challenge for a person responsible for a website, or set of websites (for example in a branch office of a global enterprise), is to introduce a new type of content presentation on their websites.
Let us assume there is a need to add a “newslist” page to the websites, which lists extracts from other articles already published. The page should have the same design and structure as the rest of the website.
The recommended way to approach such a challenge would be to:
Reuse an existing template to create a new type of page. The template roughly defines page structure (navigation elements, panels, and so on), which is further fine-tuned by its design (CSS, graphics).
Use the paragraph system (parsys/iparsys) on the new pages.
Define access right to the Design mode of the paragraph systems, so that only authorized people (usually the administrator) can change them.
Define the components allowed in the given paragraph system so that editors can then place the required components on the page. In our case it could be a “list” component, which can traverse a subtree of pages and extract the information according to predefined rules.
Editors add and configure the allowed components, on the pages they are responsible for, to deliver the requested functionality (information) to the business.
This illustrates how this approach empowers the contributing users and administrators of the website to respond to business needs quickly, without requiring the involvement of development teams. Alternative methods, such as creating a new template, is usually a costly exercise, requiring a change management process and involvement of the development team. This makes the whole process much longer and costly.
The developers of CQ based systems should therefore use:
templates and access control to paragraph system design for uniformity and brand protection
paragraph system including its configuration options for flexibility.
The following general rules for developers make sense in majority of usual projects:
Keep the number of templates low - as low as the number of fundamentally different page structures on the web sites.
Provide necessary flexibility and configuration capabilities to your custom components.
Maximize use of the power and flexibility of CQ paragraph system - the parsys & iparsys components.