I was excited to read about this feature on the road map:
I was wondering, will the files uploaded through the "Photos & Documents Module" be included in the "Site Map" that Sitefinity generates?
In the past, I know I've voiced my dislike of forcing users do "File Management":
I'm afraid I have a similar opinion of users doing "Link Management".
I built a CMS about 4 years ago that currently manages a corporate Intranet. The Intranet consists of roughly 1000 pages. Each department manages their own "section". The "editors" in each department are not programmers. (As an aside, the WYSIWYG editor that powers this is RadEditor). Roughly half of the content on this Intranet is files & documents.
The 2 biggest problems I have encountered with this CMS is "File Management" & "Link Management". The typical user isn't really capable of managing either of these. If you expect them to, then you will soon regret it.
I mostly solved the "File Management" delimma around 2 years ago. I let users select a "Category", type a name for the document, and upload a file. I only gave them 3 options, all the other details get handled automagically. This has been mostly successful.
The "Link Management" is still awful though. I have to intercede a lot to fix problems. This is what inspired my work on the "Child Links" control:
This is also what is motivating this post. The "Child Links" control makes heavy use of the "Site Map".
This is a way users can add groups of links, without having to manage URLs. The links and the organization come directly from the "Site Map". Anything that gets changed or added in the "Site Map" becomes automatically reflected in the "Child Links" controls. I thought it was a clean elegant solution. Furthermore, this isn't "my" solution. Rather I was simply making use of the underlying elegance of Sitefinity.
I get a bit worried when I see the word "Module" though. For my "Site Map" approach to continue to work the "Site Map" needs to truly represent the entire web site. The Site Map needs to be flexible enough to represent the structure users have in mind and the "type" of content they wish to supply.
"Module" content doesn't historically appear to be included in the Sitefinity "Site Map". Even if it were, I don't think there is a way for "Module Content" to be organized under a "Page" or "Page Group".
For example, consider the following hierarchy:
|Marketing Department (Sitefinity Page) |
| Programs (Sitefinity Page) |
| Flyers (Sitefinity Page) |
| Contacts (Sitefinity Page) |
| Advertising Standards (Document) |
This is actually a challenge I have right now, what I have is a mix of Sitefinity pages and a "Document". All of this, ideally, would be organized under one node ("Marketing Department") in the Site Map.
If "Advertising Standards" is managed via a module then it might be impossible for it to be associated with the "Marketing Department" node. It is also possible that my understanding of "Modules" is incomplete.
Sorry for the length of this post. I'm personally very interested in ways that core Sitefinity pages can be flexible and used to represent diverse types of content.