Templates in Tridion are modular and granular. There are templates at the component level (reusable piece of functionality) and the page level. The templating framework separates content, design, and application logic allowing for a better separation of concerns and collaboration between designers and developers. The modules, or building blocks, comprising templates are supported by BluePrinting, which allows for easier management and implementation. These building blocks can be assembled and debugged in Template Builder for functional and performance testing.
The way templates are design in Tridion will cater well to empowering the business and reducing IT’s involvement in regular everyday business tasks.
Tridion supports a number of standard industry tools for building templates including Dreamweaver and Visual Studio.
Workflows can be designed using Microsoft Visio. Workflows can then be associated with any manageable asset.
Content Publishing and Delivery
SDL Tridion offers multi-channel support for better content reuse, synchronization, and management of source of records. The architecture enables the concept of “author once, publish many”, where the same piece of content can be published across different channels (Web, e-mail, print).
Tridion offers advanced audience targeting and personalization. It has is the ability to create and manage contacts and build group profiles. It enables content managers to personalize content based on audience characteristics (such as profile information or click stream), and measure effectiveness of content based on audience responses.
Another feature that Tridion offers is WebForms. It’s a tool that enables business users to create and update online forms quickly and easily and have them integrated within pages. The highly reusable modular architecture allows for these web forms to be reused across the site.
Given some of the limitations of the web content management systems, you often find numerous forms that have been built and deployed with little to no oversight, resulting in hundreds of duplicate forms that are unmanageable. The WebForms offering from Tridion would help in alleviating some of these typical issues with web forms management. As technology is only an enabler, the business would need better processes in place for web forms and lead generation management. Remember that forms can be a critical piece of a lead generation process. Solutions such as Eloqua serve the same purpose with a lot more out of the box for lead nurturing and gated and/or progressive profiling.
Localization and Internationalization
Content in Tridion is stored in Unicode. APIs and GUIs are Unicode compliant. Content can be managed and published in double-byte and bi-directional languages.
The Translation Management System (TMS) provides Tridion with full translation management and a language repository for reuse of previously translated content. Business rules and workflow can still be applied (with role-based security giving users access to authorized functionality only).
Blueprinting and the reusability of components and content will allow for better management of brand and message, while enabling local regions to localize that message.
It is also worth mentioning that SDL Tridion has a number of sites in their portfolio that clearly demonstrate these features.
As companies look to expand their global footprint, especially in emerging markets in south east Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America, the translation and localization capabilities of Tridion would be a corner stone to our success.
User Interface and Usability
Content managers can use a variety of interfaces to manage content and assets. SiteEdit allows for client-side/browse-based for quick content editing and publishing. Content Manager Explorer is another browser-based tool for advanced users. Office applications (Word) and Adobe Dreamweaver can also be used to create templates and manage content.
Tridion’s interfaces can be extended to provide more functionality (such as custom screens to manage integrations with other line of business applications).
Despite its feature-rich interface, Tridion’s interface (Content Manager Explorer, to be specific) is overwhelming and very demanding (system resource-wise) of the end-user’s machine. It is memory-intensive (given all the code that runs client-side) and it is often the case that end-users have to restart their browsers. This was experienced by Tridion presenters on site as well and was highlighted in the CMS Watch report as one of the weaknesses of the platform.
It is therefore important to understand the minimum system requirements for the potential business users to avoid any dissatisfaction with the system and its responsiveness.