Cloud Connected



"I have been searching for a product like Cloud CMS for over 10 years.

After false starts with some typical content management solutions, we were finally able to design the content repository that our business required."
James Baddiley
James Baddiley, CEO
ChilliSauce

Multitenancy for Creative Agencies and Consultancies

This month we’re going live with a 2.0 release of Cloud CMS, hosted in the cloud, which delivers on most of the multitenant features that our clients were asking for.

Multitenancy is a big word.  However, the concept is pretty simple.  I thought I’d write a blog post to give our audience an idea of what it means to us and to explain how this feature makes Cloud CMS the ideal content platform for small businesses, creative agencies and consultancies.

Platforms

When you sign up for Cloud CMS, you get your own platform.  You’ll get an email from us with all of the details about how to access your platform.  This includes a vanity URL which might be something like:

   https://mycompany.cloudcms.net

Logging in to your platform is basically as simple as just pointing a web browser to this URL.  We give you a command console that you can use to visually administer your console as well as deploy new HTML5/Javascript applications.  We can host these applications for you, or you can choose to deploy them to your own infrastructure.  

If you use our auto-deploy feature, we’ll mount them against your vanity URL.  For example, you might choose to create an instance of our HTML5 “kiosk” application for the upcoming CMS Expo in Chicago.  You can instantly deploy to a URL like this:

  https://mycompany.cloudcms.net/cmsexpo

You can do anything you want with your platform.  It’s yours.  When you sign up with Cloud CMS, you choose a subscription which gives you all the disk space and data transfer you need.  So you’re free to create, upload or deploy as many things as you want.  The platform is yours.  All of your data is secure.  Nothing is shared with anyone else (unless you invite them).

Example: Creative Agency and Three Applications

Suppose you are a creative agency.  You’re hip and snazzy.  You have a few talented front-end developers.  Maybe you produce videos and help companies manage their social presence alongside their applications and initiatives.

One of your customers wants to create three applications for the upcoming “State Fair”.  This is a multi-day indoor-outdoor event and so the customer would like to make available the following:

  • Two on-premise kiosks by the entry way that attendees can use to learn about the fair, sign up for events and provide their contact information for subscriptions to newsletters and access to product discounts.
  • A promotional web site for the web site that operates year-round.
  • An iPad app available through the Apple App Store that attendees can download to help navigate their fair while they’re on-premise.  As well as keep in touch after the event is over.

Cloud CMS helps you, the creative agency, create and deliver the infrastructure needed to support these applications.  What might you need?

  • Content Repositories - A content repository is where you manage the content that appears in your applications.  Things like articles, images and any textual or visual elements that you may want to change in real-time.  Content Repositories offer content modeling, collaboration, changeset versioning, workflow and full lifecycle management. 
  • Domains - A domain is where you store your users, groups and memberships.  As people sign up for your applications, you may want to create accounts and logically organize them.  This lets you automatically personalize content delivery based on what groups users belong to and things like that.
  • Directories - A directory stores the usernames and passwords for any accounts you create.  They also store access and refresh tokens for users who sign in so that they don’t have to sign in all over again each time.
  • Applications - Every application you deploy gets its own data store for managing things like registrations, email dispatches, click-backs, as well as application settings on a user, page and global level.
  • Warehouses - A warehouse is a location where real-time interaction data is stored.  As the State Fair attendees use your customer’s applications, warehouses capture what they’re clicking on (or touching) and utilize map-reduce algorithms to provide real-time insight for your marketing team’s lead generation efforts.

Finally, you need Stacks.  A stack is a logical arrangement of these data stores into something that you can manage on a per-customer or per-project basis.  Stacks let you manage team permissions across all data stores in a single place.  Cloud CMS lets you carve out stacks, archive them and also duplicate them so as to quicken the pace of building and deploying your next application.

Multitenancy

One of the things you’ll find in your platform is that you’re allowed to create Registrars. A Registrar is a data store that holds billing, subscription, plans and sub-tenants for your platform.  By default, your platform won’t have any Registrar instances but you’re free to create one (or more) if you want.

Why would you create a Registrar?  Well, imagine that your customer (the State Fair people) would like to manage their own content in real-time during the event as well as retain ownership of the data after the event is over.  They’d essentially like to have their own content platform that they can sign in to but which you, the creative agency, can help manage.

Cloud CMS lets you “whitelabel’ your platform for this situation.  Using a Registrar, you create a new tenant called for your State Fair customer.  This gives them their own platform along with their own vanity URL.  You can either use the default one:

  https://statefair.cloudcms.net

Or you might elect to set up your own DNS services (Apache conf) and have it be:

  https://statefair.creativeagency.com

It’s really up to you.  At any rate, the State Fair now has their own platform that is co-managed by you and the State Fair.  The Cloud CMS branding elements are removed and replaced by the branding elements of your own creative agency.

Registrars give you a way to define subscription plans and quotas for the State Fair.  You might wish to limit them to a certain amount of data storage or transfer, for example.  Or you might want to utilize the integrated billing features of Cloud CMS to have monthly credit-card transaction processing.

Basically, anything we can do, we make it available to you so that you can also use it for your tenants.

Multitenancy is a core feature of the Cloud CMS platform that lets creative agencies or consultancies whitelabel the platform their own clients.  It means that Cloud CMS gives you full control over the platform accessibility and experience.  Cloud CMS maintains the responsibility of maintaining the infrastructure and software, from platform upgrades to elastic, auto-provisioning of nodes for performance and scalability.

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