Bruce Davis-Goff - APAC Operations Director
25 Jan 2022
Whether you are using Sitecore or a modern headless solution such as Kentico Kontent or Contentful, there’s a fundamental step you must get right – modeling your content. A content model documents all content types associated with a brand and defines the relationship between those content types.
Content modeling is a perfect exercise to understand the difference between data and presentation. Data should be viewed as the information about your organization that can be displayed and re-used anywhere – on a website, in an app, or through any other process designed to take raw data and schedule an import into a separate system.
In this respect, we ideally don’t want presentation information in our data set. The cleaner and more standardized the data is, the easier it is to re-use it elsewhere without persnickety transforms.
Presentation, on the other hand, should be viewed as taking that clean data and transforming it into a format suitable for the intended consumption, for example, adding markup for a website or RSS for an external feed.
An excellent place to start is some logical analysis and thought into how the content you already have can essentially be broken down into standard, structural elements. Let’s take the simple example of a blog – below is a proposed content model for our blog object.
Note above that the two fields in red are reference fields storing a pointer to one or many other object types, which could be modeled as below:
This simple example should show the relationships between the object types you are creating, as a blog has a reference to an author and references to multiple tags.
In this way, both the Author and Tag objects are reusable. This sort of construct also allows easy querying. You can imagine a list of all blogs by a specific Author or all Blogs with specific Tags (related items).
The advantages described above cannot be realized by storing the Author and Tags on the Blog object. Free text fields are notorious breeding grounds for misspelling. Same for the Tags, and since the Tag data is embedded in the Blog object, there is no way to manage and reuse your tags, resulting in duplicates and again misspellings.
A visual diagram of our proposed Blog, Author, and Tags might well look something like this:
Hopefully, this will have given you a good start in understanding modeling. Konabos is hugely experienced in this design process, so reach out if we can help you design your best unique content model.
As a five-time Sitecore MVP, with 15 years of experience working with, and for Sitecore, Bruce brings a valuable depth of skill and experience and a commitment to best practice excellence.
Bruce is a passionate Sitecore Architect with specialist skills in SXA, strategy, migration, and upgrades and is a certified developer, trainer, and NZ Sitecore User Group / SUGCON organizer. His background as a Sitecore Business Development Manager, coupled with solid technical skills, and enthusiasm for getting the most out of Sitecore, means
Bruce brings value to any project and currently looks after operations for the APAC region.