Helping businesses to scale: Multi-Site eZ Publish Platform
Bård Farstad, eZ's Chairman Product Innovation Board
Management of Multiple Online Presences
In recent years it has become a rule of thumb that you should be able to manage content "neutrally" into multiple channels like web and mobile and all at the same time. We are pleased to note that this is something the eZ Publish Platform has a strong and consistent track record of delivering.
Larger organisations today usually also have multiple online properties that have to be managed from a single and centralised location.
This can be, for example, multiple corporate brands with separate domains; multiple magazines titles or perhaps regional newspaper titles that are part of a bigger group; or a more traditional intranet + public web presence for a corporation needing similar, yet different, content published for their customers compared to their employees..
Managing Multiple Independent Sites
The eZ Publish Platform is multi-tenant in the core which means that you can configure the platform to run multiple websites from the same installation. The installations can have totally separate domains, content, users and templates. This gives great freedom in creating unique sites that could even be managed by different organisations or groups while still technically managing the platform centrally and handling things like upgrades, security management etc..
A good example of this is Orkla (http://www.orkla.no) which is running a centralised platform for enabling efficient rollout of some 200+ brands on the eZ Publish platform. Brands include http://www.plusstid.no, http://www.pierrerobert.no, http://www.pierrerobert.no and http://www.lilleborg.no.
Multiple Brands with Shared Content
Having separate web sites is good, but you often have the requirement to share content, users, configuration and templates to make the rollout of the online properties more efficient. With eZ Publish you can easily configure multiple brands to run their separate domains but still sharing content, users and more.
For example the Madsack (http://www.madsack.de) is running about 15 regional newspapers on the same eZ Publish installation enabling them to efficiently sharing content and user management. Some of the newspapers include: http://www.haz.de, http://www.neuepresse.de and http://wn.de.
Another example in publishing is the 20+ site installation at William Reed Business Media for which we have a useful reference case: http://ez.no/Resources/Case-Studies/William-Reed-Business-Media
Site Factory and Cloud Deployment
When you have a large set of properties you want to manage it is good to also automate the deployment of a new web presence. With the eZ Publish Platform you have site factory capabilities that enable you to integrate and centralise provisioning of a new website. These capabilities enable standardised APIs to deploy and manage the different sites and is the foundation for a Software-as-a-Service platform in the cloud.
eZ have for example launched this with Deutsche Telecom Cloud in the eZ Publish International SaaS Cloud solution.
The deployment mechanisms with eZ Publish is not limited to the examples above as you have a very versatile platform. For example you can build a content hub serving 3rd party systems or Apps without having a specific web presence as is discussed partly in a previous post: (http://ez.no/About-eZ/Blog/Automatic-Mobile-Strategy-Responsive-Design). But more on this to come later.