Many clients have expressed interest in tools that would allow them to extend IP.Board's traditional forum community functionality by providing methods of creating new pages within the IP.Board framework. Uses for such a system span from a simple custom portal all the way through to a complete website built utilizing IP.Board's powerful backend codebase. When your community and site systems are truly integrated, single sign on and a matching website/forum theme become much easier.
- Page Templates
If you are creating many pages for your website you will find that they generally follow a similar structure each time. By utilizing page templates, you can create templates complete with the full functionality of our skin system, including use of template conditionals and plugins. You can create the HTML structure once, and reuse it for some or all of your pages. Novice users can type in normal HTML code or power users can choose to use the powerful skin tags.
- Page Manager
- Media Manager
A tool to allow you to manage images and other media for your site. You can define the root path to your file storage directory, and then create folders and upload image files within that directory via the ACP. You can move and delete files and folders from the ACP as well.
- Block Manager
An extremely powerful tool that allows you to create "blocks" for your pages. Blocks are inserted utilizing template plugins so you can insert blocks anywhere in the CCS content or even anywhere in your forum community using the skin manager in the admin control panel. This means that content blocks you create in CCS are not just limited to that application! There are three types of blocks you will work with:
- Custom - create blocks by editing BBCode (using our WYSIWYG editor), raw HTML, or raw PHP. Input any information you like.
- Plugins - some blocks require code to execute in order to determine what should be shown. For instance, you may wish to show a mini-calendar on one of your pages or a login box so users can login right from your home page. Plugin blocks allow developers to create blocks that can easily plugin to the system without having to create code modifications.
- Feeds - not just limited to RSS. You can create "feeds" of almost any type of data - forums, topics, replies, calendar events, blog entries, gallery images, download manager files, and of course traditional RSS imports. A wizard will guide you through creating these feeds, allowing you to specify how the feed should be pulled (do you want to show the last 5 gallery images? what about a random sampling of forum topics? how about all topics from the visitor's friends list since their last visit?) to make it simpler for you to define the block.
The system is very flexible, allowing you to do nearly anything you want, while at the same time providing a simple user interface and wizard-based approach for creating content to keep things easy for newer users. Power users can ignore all the special features and just type in raw-PHP if they prefer. The choice is up to the administrator.
Check out these blog entries for more information:
Also, our own web site (http://www.invisionpower.com) is now powered by CCS.
Pricing and Availability
As CCS is a new product and will require time to mature into the fully-featured content system we know all of our customers expect, we are introducing the product at a greatly reduced price. We have many great ideas to enhance CCS as we continue to develop the system and made a decision for this 1.0.0 release not to go overboard with features but focus on creating a stable "core" product to work with. Just wait for version 1.1.0 where we have all sorts of fun additions planned.
The introductory price for those of you wanting to start using CCS right now is just $35 with a yearly renewal of $30 for support/services/upgrades.
Not only does this reduced price give those of you who decide to buy early a great discount but it also allows us to phase in some of the product enhancements over time without having pricing pressures at the very start. As for the final price in the future: we have not yet set it so take advantage of this low price if you are interested in CCS.
Existing clients can login to the client area, click New Purchase, then choose Invision Power Board Optional Addons to purchase. Our web site will be updated with CCS information in the next week.