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Data modeling best practices: Taking your content business to the next level

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Content data modeling is often perceived as an onerous task—one that only skilled developers or those with advanced coding backgrounds would undertake. While what happens "behind the scenes" is complex, a premium CMS like Brightspot helps simplify these processes by freeing users from traditional backend complexities involved in data modeling, and allowing them to quickly manipulate content as their businesses change and grow.

By Mark Hoover
May 07, 2021
Brightspot gives editors even more flexibility than before by enabling them to create their own content types in just a few mouse clicks
3 Min Read

Data modeling, the old way

Content data modeling happens through code. Typically, before that code is written, a database must first be created to allow developers to identify each individual field that will be utilized. This database then has to be synchronized with the code in order to carry out the data model.

In having to create database tables and identify fields, columns and more in the process, users face a number of risks and challenges. The more time spent on creating and perfecting a database, the more error-prone that project is. Meanwhile, having to create and synchronize a database with code extends the time it takes to carry out the project. In order to have a taxonomy that’s logical and well-structured, developers have come to understand the importance of solutions that enable agility while also maintaining all levels of a site’s integrity.

Simplifying the data modeling process

With Brightspot’s platform, content data modeling refers to implementing your site’s business logic, including identifying the properties comprising a content type. Brightspot’s platform allows users to clearly model each piece of data as needed, from the ground up. This process typically comes in some variation of the following steps:

  1. Choosing content types: In this initial step, users analyze the content they’re looking to host on their specific site and work to categorize each piece logically. Typical content types include blogs, PDFs, images, articles and other forms of data which vary depending on what is being offered.
  2. Defining properties of each content type: Next, users look at unique pieces of content and identify the various elements they need to use. Examples of this include meta descriptions, SEO keywords and author attribution.
  3. Identifying the data type of each property: In this step, for each property defined in Step 2, users establish a data type. Headlines and authors are typically strings of plain text, while article bodies are typically strings of rich text.
  4. Assigning interaction requirements: Here is where users determine if specific fields are required or not, or if they are restricted by a specific set of values.
  5. Selecting data processing requirements: Finally, users identify whether certain fields are system-oriented versus user-oriented. Examples of this include making fields searchable or read-only.

How data modeling works with Brightspot

Developers are universally aware of the trials and tribulations that come with creating an efficient software ecosystem that allows them to carry out data modeling with ease. When it comes to content modeling, software most often does one thing very well but creates a need for users to integrate various other solutions to get systems operating as close to 100 percent as possible.

Brightspot acts as a software builder, allowing customers to utilize 100 percent of the platform’s capabilities with the ability to create content data model types on their own or use the platform’s out-of-the-box software. With Brightspot, content data modeling is simplified by:

  • Eliminating the need for database alterations: Brightspot rids users of the need to make changes at a database level. This makes it easier for teams to make adjustments as needed without compromising other areas of a site. Anyone with Java code expertise is capable of operating on the platform.
  • Automating editorial UI: Working on a specific page and making adjustments to content in various places means users need to see what the end result will be once they’re finished. An intelligent platform can show users in real-time what their adjustments look like on any given page.
  • Simplifying database integration: Many software solutions require users to perform complex integrations to get their systems in proper working order, ultimately costing time and money. Because of its flexibility and integration-readiness, Brightspot cuts down on the number of systems needed to carry out a successful content project, acting as a bridge that connects all systems seamlessly no matter if you choose to build your own content type or use out-of-the-box options.
  • Creating evolving content: Business priorities today are changing at a rapid pace, meaning content priorities also need to be able to remain flexible and change quickly and successfully. Particularly with sites that host news-related content, simple edits to articles and headlines should be immediate.

As businesses content priorities change, working with a platform that transforms content modeling into a more intuitive project is key in effectively building dynamic websites. Flexible solutions like Brightspot save users time and money, allow for more agility and eliminate the arduous processes once required in content modeling.

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