Having read Bart Koopman's post, "Having fun with Experience Manager, Page Regions and Widgets," I want to recommend Multimedia Components to model promotional content types for things a business might call:

  • Tile
  • Promo
  • Widget
  • Banner

Since these can have a 1:1 relationship between image and its text (image "drives" the text), this could make it easier for authors in Experience Manager as well with Content Manager Preview with fewer authoring steps and less items (and maybe even code) to manage.

I can imagine two concerns for implementation:

  • Templating
  • Translation

Authors can add a Multimedia with a matching template to a page in the Content Manager Explorer or Experience Manager. Component and binary items are available via the Content Delivery API. Templates can reference both the binary and the Multimedia metadata, which can include text. And Translation Manager can handle the metadata as well, right?

I wouldn't recommend images-as-the-Content Type itself except when the image and text are closely related and the text might only change for translation.

To confirm, are there reasons or trade-offs why we shouldn't use images for promotional content types with their text as metadata?

Down vote or suggest changes to the question if this is a bit too open, but considering this is "backwards" of the typical text Component linking to a binary, I'd appreciate thoughts on why we don't see this more (yet) or trade-offs to consider.


I think either approach (text based content separate to binary content, or text based content as multimedia component metadata) can be valid. The one you choose should be based on how you want authors to work with these types in the CM (and XPM if applicable) and whether you need or want separation of the two.

Text fields in the custom metadata is probably easier to understand and manage for less experienced editors, but it permanently fixes the two together. If you separate them, it's a bit more complex, but it gives you the ability to fully re-use that multimedia component elsewhere, and also the capability to manage the translation & localisation separately.

As an example, my current client wishes to always translate the text, but manage the images themselves at a global level. If they were mixed in the same Multimedia Schema, they'd have to update a replacement image in around 60 (localised) components after translation has happened. With the schemas separated however, they only have to change one. As you've mentioned already, this also makes XPM integration possible/easier.

  • Okay, I see the combined vs. separated scenario. For globally-managed images higher in the BluePrint, if the client has managed translation the process would include an unlocalization step. This would keep the local (child) images localized, but "synchronized" with each translation job. Otherwise (60) child publication update would definitely be a bit tedious without an extension or automation. :-) – Alvin Reyes Jul 11 '14 at 17:48

Technically, whatever you are saying is all good and doable. Further, if you ask me, I would also recommend doing the Promotional Content as multimedia content with text in the metadata. However, if I place myself in the shoes of Marketing people (who will actually be owning the promotional content and possibly the non-technical people), from Inline Editing as well as from the editing in CME point of view, it might be a big no from their perspective. If the Content Authors are somewhat technical (even minor affection to technology is sufficient), I can't visualize any problem with the approach you are suggesting.

Further Update: Also, if we talk about metadata, it gives us a concept of data about data and many of us will think a metadata we will be using more often for back-end work/logic and not for displaying on the webpage. Few CMS professionals have preference or rather thumb rule - whatever is visible on the site, should be part of actual content, and whatever is not visible and just describe a content (or help as a supporting content of a content) should be part of the metadata.

  • So for the "full" inline editing experience, we might put text in separate component with the catch is the requirement to link and manage this text separately. – Alvin Reyes Jul 11 '14 at 14:15
  • Yes that makes sense and is the only option to achieve the full inline editing – Pankaj Gaur Jul 11 '14 at 14:21
  • Actually metadata fields are editable inline. I still like the separation of content and metadata, but even Tridion's Taxonomy filters blur the difference since items can be tagged anywhere (general or metadata tab). – Alvin Reyes Aug 27 '14 at 17:24

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