I am discovering that with all of the CMS products that are now available, the good majority do not support Ad-hoc data (A.K.A “metadata”).
When it comes to standard “content” fields such as “Title”, “Description”, “Author”, “Date” most CMS tools have a means to publish and search on these fields. This of course also makes sense when it comes to the standards for syndication — RSS, ATOM, etc..
But what happens when other industry specific data needs to go into your CMS? While there are endless scenarios that can be applied — consider the Real Estate Industry. Realtors (NAR) are now formulating the industry standard RETS (Real Estate Transaction Standard) specification. This is an XML-based protocol that will define common fields for real estate listings and transactions.
Ideally, for a CMS to assist with the support of RETS, it would require a means for CMS administrators to “add-on” some of the RETS fields:
“Bedrooms”, “Bathrooms”, “Acres”, “Rental”, “W/D”, etc..
So now when a content item (page) gets created, we can apply our custom real estate data to our standard CMS data.
PortalApp does support this “ad-hoc” data, which means it can be used to publish or index any content fields as defined by the CMS’s adminstrator. This means that “content” can literally be anything from a “news article” to “real estate listing” to “classified ad” to “tech note”.
For example, here is how you create an article with PortalApp:
AND, here is how you create a real estate listing with PortalApp:
(Login using Admin, Admin if you want to try it yourself)
Let me know when you find another CMS that will allow you to create custom (ad-hoc, metadata) fields to accomodate industry specific data.