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FAO of the UN

FIGIS has developed a dedicated Content Management System (CMS) for the complete authoring workflow (editing, review and publishing) of its web pages and fact sheets.
The CMS transparently manages content in XML format and tailors the editing options to the underlying content structure described by the Fisheries Metadata Element Set (FiMES) XML schema.

This solution, articulated with the FIGIS Reference Table Management System (RTMS), constitute the key component of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Department's integrated information system.

The FIGIS CMS allows:

  • editing of Topics (simple web pages)
  • editing of Fact Sheets (more complex thematic XML structure)
  • storing fact sheets as time referenced observation records
  • workflow-based publishing
  • delegated content authoring
  • articulating Fact sheet indexing on a core Reference data management system
  • managing relationships among XML sources
  • uploading XML files

Main capabilities

  • visual WYSIWYG editor facility, including Rich Text, images, links and tables
  • structured addition/removal of (XML) elements and attributes according to the FiMES schema
  • addition of references from the FIGIS and FAO Corporate data bases (EIMS, NEMS, KOR)
  • addition of internal references, by element or by search criteria

For accessing the FIGIS Content Management System click on the "Login" link displayed in the bottom banner of the Fisheries and Aquaculture website. This enables uploading, editing or publishing content (web pages and fact sheets) according to the authorisation and ownership scheme the user has been granted.

Upon request, FIGIS grants newcomers the appropriate rights for practicing with the FIGIS CMS, allowing the online authoring on a set of test pages.

An online manual is also available for help users to use correctly the CMS.

About the XML

The FIGIS data and the managed content of every web page are stored in XML repositories.
XML offers several advantages over a plain DB repository:

  • No more encoding issues - regardless of its encoding, always declared at XML top, XML is always parsed correctly, and can actually manage latin and non-latin characters (i.e.: English, Chinese, Russian) at the same time;
  • Flexibility - while a relational DB is almost fixed in its structure, XML actually relies on a much more flexible “Schema”, that can be easily extended and tailored to the information domain. The XML Schema enforces semantic and structure of the information, and therefore it also grants the accuracy and the consistence of key terms (keywords, standard values and so on);
  • Hierarchical structure - a flat DB can offer a flat support, i.e. a “link” can be supported as an object, regardless of its use. A hierarchical repository actually allows the link to be part of different branches, as child of a “related” node as well as child of an “overview” node. The path of a node adds semantic value to the information itself, by determining its context;
  • Separation - between data and its representation; regardless of the actual produced HTML output, including whatever formatting instruction, XML source content is available and linked to the page.
  • Data exchange - following the previous point, it becomes possible to exchange data between heterogeneous systems. This is actually the core of the Web 2.0 paradigm, where web services are based upon XML data exchange. Every computer system offers then both open-source and commercial solutions for XML treatment, management and presentation;
  • Advanced search capabilities - thanks to information categorization derived from the XML structuring, it becomes possible to perform very accurate search operations and categorization of pages. A hierarchical structure can be managed as a flat DB-like structure as well, while on the other side simulating a hierarchy on a flat DB table is a well-known issue, actually overloading the management of that information that is by its own nature hierarchical.
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