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The power of Plone

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Note : this page comes from an Alexandre Limi's personnal folder on Thanks for the presentation Alex :)

"A very disorganised and chaotic presentation that I did in Austria. All disclaimers apply, you had to be there to get the value of it ;) As usual, enter Opera's full screen mode to get the slide presentation, or in Mozilla if they have implemented support for CSS projection mode yet."


  • Alexander Limi -
  • Usability Analyst & Interface Designer
  • One of the two Plone founders
  • Visiting Austria in connection with the LEADER project


  • Zope Application Server
  • Python Language
  • Plone Content Management System
  • Open source
  • GPL license, commercial licenses available

Open Source

  • Poster child: Linux
  • Social responsibility
  • GPL vs. Shared Source
  • End result: Control and flexibility

What is Plone used for?

  • Community portals
  • Intranets
  • Public web sites
  • Administration
  • Project management
  • Itself :)


  • In development for over 2 years
  • The biggest and most successful project in the history of Zope
  • Started as a two-man project
  • Now: over 20 core developers, hundreds of third-party developers

Immediate benefits

  • Low threshold - easy to get started!
  • Focus on content, not technology
  • Fosters coherent design and look
  • "Rorschach test"

Built-in types

  • Documents
  • Images
  • News
  • Events
  • Links
  • Any type of file (Flash, PDF, Excel)

More types

  • Issue Tracker
  • Wiki (collaborative document editing)
  • Chat & Instant messaging
  • Discussion areas


  • Dublin Core
  • Extensible
  • Adds value to objects

Implications of metadata

  • Makes you less reliant on initial structure
  • Makes it easy to create custom views on your data
  • Put this power in the hands of users via Topics

More about metadata

  • Governs where content shows up
  • Content is relevant in a lot of different contexts
  • Easy to build many-to-many relations (

Process benefits

  • Manage your content from anywhere (also mobile phone browsers)
  • Live editing
  • Facilitates collaboration (local roles)
  • User-centric approach

Other benefits

  • Limited use of graphics
  • Accessibility focus
  • Encourages ownership, which leads to content production and fresh content
  • Multiple-level undo

Technical benefits

  • The world's first standards-compliant templating language
  • Fully indexed, powerful search engine
  • Modular, easy to expand and customize
  • Powerful workflow system


  • Developers in 14 countries
  • Built from the ground up for multiple languages
  • Easy to add new languages (currently 25, including Chinese, Japanese and Korean)

Component Architecture

  • Reusable components
  • Aggregates development
  • Unifies the platform
  • Plone + the Collective currently has
    • 80+ developers
    • 60 plug-in modules

Easy deployment

  • Semi-autonomous units, projects manage themselves
  • OS-agnostic (Linux, Windows, Mac OS X, BSD, Solaris)
  • Customization Policies allow easy packaging


  • Mimicks business processes
  • Entity-based workflows
  • Action-based workflows
  • Everything is workflowable, even Users


  • Plays well with existing systems
  • Authentication
    • LDAP
    • SQL
    • Operating systems
  • Data storage
    • Built-in object database
    • External database (PostgreSQL, Oracle, MS SQL, Sybase, MySQL)
    • Object-relational mapping

User Interface

  • Strong focus on friendly and easy to use interface
  • Usability testing
  • Single sign-on
  • Portlets

User Interface, Technical

  • Fully XHTML and CSS compliant
  • Lightweight
  • "Magic" tricks
    • Every page is automatically printable
    • Every page has a presentation mode

Flexible security architecture

  • Roles
  • Groups
  • Flexible permissions can be assigned to any of these
  • Local roles

Users of Plone

  • Commercial entities
    • Bertelsmann
    • Lufthansa
  • Government entities
    • NASA
    • Govt. of Hawaii
    • Govt. of New Zealand
  • Educational entities
    • University of London
  • Communities
    • Community Enabler (Australia)

The Plone Network

  • Non-profit based in France
  • Umbrella organization for Plone companies worldwide
  • Offers
    • Support
    • Training
    • Hosting services
    • Development
    • Design services
    • Service-level agreements

Plone Future

  • Topic Maps (ISO 13250 and XTM 1.0)
  • Archetypes
    • Through-the-web generation of new content types
    • Powerful schema abstraction
  • Staging
  • Improved Workspaces integration


"Plone Just Works."