Chapter 1. Architecture Overview

If you refer to the preface you will see that there are many things on our agenda for this book – we are going to address a wide range of topics. We'll look at how web content is managed, how interactive platforms are built and how personalisation can be brought in. We'll study modelling and design as well as infrastructure and deployment.

But before we go into the details, let's study the big picture first. I'd like to develop the patterns by piecemeal growth, beginning with the more fundamental principles and then letting the big picture unfold to reveal more detailed aspects. This first chapter should therefore get us started with an introduction into the overall architecture of a website or web platform.

On the next few pages, I'd like to address the following basic questions:

  • What are the main components involved in a website architecture? What are their responsibilities and how do they relate?

  • What are the dynamics underlying a website architecture? What do the processes for content management and content delivery look like?

  • Which of the components are typically standard and which are typically custom components? How can you bring in an individual design?

  • What non-functional requirements are essential? What challenges are caused by possibly conflicting requirements?

The big picture that I'll give is independent of any technologies or any tools (as is the whole book). It also abstracts over hardware equipment, load-balancing and the like. It presents ...

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