Perforce Public Knowledge Base - Introduction to Perforce Chronicle
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Introduction to Perforce Chronicle

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Problem

Perforce Chronicle is Perforce Software's contribution to the web content management system (Web CMS) ecosystem and offers a powerful, professionally maintained open source content management system that bases its foundation on the power of Perforce Software's Version Management offering.

Solution

Web Content Management

Web CMS is a popular method of organizing content on modern websites. In the old days there was an onus on relying on static links to organize web sites. Static content can be hard to manage. In a medium to large organization, enforcing policies to organize static content can be difficult. With a modern web content management system technology can be applied to implement policy through content types, permission restrictions, user restrictions, and management focus.

With a properly designed and implemented web content management system any organization can apply work flows for non-technical, technical, and administrative personnel without the need to have understanding of the underlying technologies. A web content management system can become a valuable tool in organizing a company website, even managing intellectual resources.

Benefits of a Content Management System

Perforce Chronicle follows a common model of content management systems in providing key benefits:

  • Improves Workflow
  • Reduces Duplication
  • Accessible to Non-Technical Staff
  • Enforce Content Standards (content-types, themes)
  • Keep Focus on High-Level Concepts
  • Facilitates Document Authoring, Control, Audit, and Security 

and the specific benefits and features of Perforce Chronicle:

  • Site Branching
  • Custom URLs
  • Site Caching & Scalability 
  • Enhanced Versioning
  • Content Diffing
  • Simplified Navigation
  • Content Publishing Scheduling
  • Built-in Workflows
  • Structured & Customized Content Types
  • Ability to Customize Modules and Themes

Working with Perforce Chronicle

Perforce Chronicle is accessed entirely within a browser/web based GUI. Aside from basic administrative maintenance tasks, there is absolutely no need to know anything about the underlying Perforce technologies, repository, or commands. Perforce Chronicle is designed to provide a positive user environment and a competitive edge in functionality as compared to popular content management systems.

Components of Chronicle

Management Toolbar - is for managing Chronicle. Depending upon your permission level there are distinct sections available: Content, Site Configuration, User, and System Management. The management toolbar is also a stepping off point to view the content list, add content or view "help". When content is being added or edited, a sub-management menu will appear just below the main management toolbar. The management toolbar can be modified through the Menu Management window.

Theme - provides the structure and navigation of Chronicle. It consists of Widgets (mini-modules that provide functionality to theme regions), and the Theme Regions that either display the content, widget content, menu area's, or the stylized decoration of the website. A Theme utilizes Javascript, CSS, and Dojo "dijits".

Home Page - is the fist page that all visitors to a Chronicle site see. Widget regions are defined by the Theme. The home page can be used as a portal for the rest of the site.

Module Management Windows - in the management toolbar there are module management windows.

Module Windows - some modules have the ability to add customized or non-Chronicle standardized pop-up windows. Chronicle uses this capability for the Help section, which points to Chronicle's document section, or when adding content types or adding specific pieces of content.  An example of using a module window is when embedding a picture and adding it through the management window.

Architecture

Chronicle is built on the power of Perforce and all it's advantages. Unlike "standardized" relational databases, Perforce, out of the box, gives powerful version management, diffing, and content-type storage. It does not require a complex schema mechanism, and does not require extensive maintenance assuming proper back-ups are made.

The foundation of Perforce Chronicle is in four technological areas:

Data Management - The data storage and management solution is Perforce. Built upon Berkeley DB and heavily modified, Perforce supports powerful versioning, diffing, merging, and storage facilities. There is no technological limit within Perforce's schema to the type, size, or even configuration of the data it can store.

Data Access - is provided through Perforce command line client (p4) or Perforce PHP API (P4PHP) and facilitates the communication between Chronicle and Perforce.

Publishing - The foundation of publishing is provided through the PHP Zend Framework, Dojo javascript framework, and Perforce. Consisting of modules that provide facilities for all functionality of Chronicle, this also includes the decoration, styling, and structure through the use of themes.

Web Services - The web server, dependencies, hardware, and network fabric are all represented by web services. Currently Apache 2.2.x+ with several extensions, such as PHP-APC, memcachd, and other facilities provide scalability and performance enhancements to the underlying publishing layer.

Technical Support

Chronicle is supported by the industry leading Perforce Technical Support.  However, sometimes you're just searching for information online regarding Perforce Chronicle.  Below is a list of Perforce Knowledge Base resources and publicly facing documentation that will be helpful for you. Of course if you have any issues do not hesitate to contact support!

Perforce Chronicle Links

Perforce Chronicle Website - basic overview of Chronicle, as well as how to obtain it (sign up!).

Step-by-step articles on how to install Chronicle on Redhat and Ubuntu Linux and MAC OSX.
Installing Perforce Chronicle under Red Hat Linux
Installing Perforce Chronicle Under Debian/Ubuntu Linux
Installing Perforce Chronicle Under Mac OSX
 

Perforce Chronicle On-Line Forum - Collaborate with other Chronicle users.

Perforce Chronicle Troubleshooting Guide - A good starting point if you're having issues.

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