Whitebeam - Database Templates using PostgeSQL.
The Whitebeam architecture provides all of the building blocks you need to build sophisticated
e-commerce web applications. A number of these are built around reliable database technology. Those templates that
require the facilities of a database are currently built to use either PostgreSQL.
The documenation on this site deals purely with the Postgres implementation - this product being also open-source.
A number of templates make use of Postgres:
- system. The system template provides a lot of the core functionality required to write web applications - things
like the XML processing ability, ability to write data to pages etc. It also provides a simple mechanism to store
files in a persistent storage area - actually in the database. This facility has a number of advantages: Write access to the underlying file system is not
required; Files are stored securely in a database; in a large hosting system the file is available to all front-end processors.
- contact. This stores a hierarchical representation of an organisation. Optionally
collecting people into 'OUs' and 'Communities'. This template provides the core functionality for
the Whitebeam security architecture.
- catalogue. A hierarchical catalogue. A categorisation tree is constructed with arbitrary depth allowing
items to be stored in a classification hierarchyb. This template can be used for either small - flat databases
all the way up to hierarchical catalogues containing tens of thousands of items. The template also provides
a means of storing files against catalogue entries - for example product images.
- site. A central storage area for site-wide data. This is commonly used to store information
that is needed for the site as a whole and is preferable to storing this information in
the file-system. Common usages include : storing site parameters/preferences; menu structures;
cached page information (for performance).
- collection. Allows applications to represent relationships between contact and catalogue
- audit. A simple template allowing applications to keep audit trails.
- chat. The core functionality to create a real-time 'chat' application including
the ability to archive chat sessions in the database.
These templates are deliberately customisable - as well as the default fields defined by the template - specific applications can create their own
arbitrary fields and have them stored with items. An example might be an application that needs to store pricing information
for different discount models against items within the catalogue. All customisation is of course
raw access to the database (eg through SQL) is either required or
A tutorial provides full information on how to customise the data held by these templates.
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