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This topic introduces the concept of content and content types in Optimizely.

Content can be pages, blocks, media files, and folders. It can also be catalog content in Optimizely Commerce. In the Optimizely content model, a content type inherits from the Content interface, and contains a set of specific properties.

How it works

Content in Optimizely can be almost anything, as long as it is a class that implements the IContent interface.

This means that if you have an instance of a class that implements IContent, you can use the Optimizely API to save it to the Optimizely CMS database. The IContent interface also provides a set of important basic properties such as the content display name, as well as references and unique identifiers for the content item.

namespace EPiServer.Core
        // Summary:
        //     Interface that must be implemented by a component that is to be stored in
        //     the content repository.
        public interface IContent : IContentData
            // Summary:
            //     Gets or sets the unique identifier of this EPiServer.Core.IContentData instance.
            //      It is used as identifier of this item when it is transferred outside of
            //     the current system.
            Guid ContentGuid { get; set; }
            // Summary:
            //     Gets or sets a reference to this EPiServer.Core.IContentData instance.  It
            //     is used as a identifier for this item within the EPiServer system.
            ContentReference ContentLink { get; set; }
            // Summary:
            //     Gets or sets the ID of the content type that describes this EPiServer.Core.IContentData
            //     instance.
            int ContentTypeID { get; set; }
            // Summary:
            //     Gets or sets a value indicating whether this instance is deleted.
            bool IsDeleted { get; set; }
            // Summary:
            //     Gets or sets the name of this EPiServer.Core.IContentData instance.
            string Name { get; set; }
            // Summary:
            //     Gets or sets a link to the parent content item in the EPiServer system.
            ContentReference ParentLink { get; set; }

Content model and types

When developing your solution, plan a content type model hiearchy, and use class inheritance to reduce code and access built-in features in Optimizely. Use MVC conventions for controllers, models, and views. This provides flexibility when extending your solution, and you can easily create new content types by adding model classes.

Create for example a page type that implements IContent to get the basic properties, and add custom properties like author, an editorial area and publish date.

Example: A page type created using the Optimizely Visual Studio extension.

namespace MyOptimizelySite.Models.Pages
                     GroupName = "Basic pages",
                     DisplayName = "StandardPage",
                     GUID = "abad391c-5563-4069-b4db-1bd94f7a1eea", 
                     Description = "To be used for basic content pages.")]
      public class StandardPage : SitePageData
                   Name = "Main body",
                   Description = "The main body will be shown in the main content area of the page, using the XHTML-editor you can insert for example text, images and tables.",
                   GroupName = SystemTabNames.Content,
                   Order = 1)]
        public virtual XhtmlString MainBody { get; set; }

Settings defined in the user interface take precedence over settings from your model, and content types can be added and modified from the administrative user interface. However, these will not be strongly typed, and therefore this approach is not recommended. Managing content types from code also makes deployment to multiple environments easier.

Initialization and synchronization

During site initialization all assemblies in the bin folder are scanned, and all classes decorated with the EPiServer.DataAbstraction.ContentType attribute are added by the synchronization engine. A content type is constructed by merging the settings from the model class with any settings that have been defined in the administration view.

You can see examples of different content types if you install a sample site .

Built-in functionality

When using the Optimizely content model, certain functionality is available by default for all content types. You get for example waste basket support, content reference checking when deleting content items, and drag-and-drop support from the assets pane into any overlay or editor that handles files.

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