[Product-Developers] External content framework for Plone

Mikko Ohtamaa mikko+plone at redinnovation.com
Fri Jun 5 12:02:37 UTC 2009


Hi,

I am facing a (common?) problem that I need to embed content from external
sources to Plone site. 

I have divided this problem to three subproblems:

- Knowing what external content is available (query)

- Traversing content on Plone site and indexing it to Plone search indices
(mounting content to some point of Plone site)

- Adding references to external content from normal Archetypes objects
(ReferenceField)

I have been working with PloneLocalFolderNG long time ago. Now I read
through Reflecto sources for inspiration. I have tried come up with generic
framework (collective.externalcontent) which allows you to use this system
to present various content on your Plone site. Possible use cases are

- Exposing content from OpenSearch based search results

- Exposing file system files (however, Reflecto already does this
read-write)

- Exposing Sphinx documentation

- Exposing content from another HTTP site. External content is HTML parsed
back to structure and then re-rendered and indexed in Plone

- Data from proprietary reservation or CRM service

As an example I have created two UML class diagram sketches:

http://dl.getdropbox.com/u/885724/externalsearch/diagrams/collective.externalcontent.core.png

http://dl.getdropbox.com/u/885724/externalsearch/diagrams/collective.externalcontent.opensearch.png

I assume there are people who faced this problem before. I hope to get some
feedback before starting writing code.

Especially, I am interested how to create "fake" folders on Plone site
properly, so that breadcrumbs match the structure of the external content.


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