Monday, January 24, 2011

Why the Ektron Developer’s Guide is a Good Investment (IMO)

In case you hadn’t heard, Ektron recently authored and released Ektron Developer's Guide: Building an Ektron Powered Website, a 600+ page guide to best practices for building WCMS-driven websites. As a non-technical person, I can’t say that I was super excited to dive into it, but I’ll tell you, it was really insightful.

What’s it About?
Rather that give you my synopsis, here’s how it’s described by the authors:

From Bill Rogers, Ektron’s CEO and Author:
"The goal of this book is to give .NET developers a complete reference guide that they can use as a resource to support their work in successfully creating an Ektron web project. As we've added social software, mobile, marketing optimization and other Web 2.0 tools to our core content management system, it became clear that Ektron developers needed an authoritative guide on how to plan and implement a CMS that can help achieve an organization's overall goals; whether those goals are lowering costs, increasing efficiencies and productivity or better serving their customers."

From Bill Cava, Ektron's Chief Evangelist and Author:
"It's important to note that the "Developers Guide" isn't just for developers who are already familiar with Ektron. We were careful not to make the assumption that the reader had any prior knowledge of the platform. And if you haven't gotten your feet wet with a CMS project in the .NET environment before, this will be a good guide to both the challenges you're going to face and solutions you can implement."

My Weekend
With the upcoming Bears game serving as the highlight of my weekend (until they went on to blow it yesterday), I needed a way to pass the time. So, I locked myself upstairs and started hammering through the book.

A lot of the technical stuff was beyond my knowledge (I’m a sales and marketing guy), but the strategy and methodology information was really astute. And perhaps more importantly, applies to any large web project, not just Ektron projects.

Some of the stuff I found most helpful includes:
  • Understanding/evaluating Ektron’s web project methodology to compare / contrast with other approaches
  • The details of how to truly construct a project plan, and stick to it
  • Learning a lot about CMS400.NET functionality by understanding the backend; giving me an even better understanding of the WCMS’ capabilities
  • Being able to really track a project from idea conception to delivery, and information on the pitfalls that plague many WCMS projects.

Should You Buy It?
It’s far outside my realm to tell you whether or not this book will be as helpful to you as it was to me. But, if your role involves managing or creating large web projects, there is a lot of good information there that can help improve the efficiency of your projects.

We’re always looking for ways to improve how we do things and for $38, this seems like an awful lot of bang for your buck.

To buy the book: Visit
To read the full interview with the authors, click here

Have you read it? If not, are you excited to? Let me know what you think!

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