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    Wayne Luke
    vBulletin Technical Support Lead

  • Wayne Luke
    replied
    Content in vBulletin has a hierarchy. This hierarchy is Home -> Channel -> Channel -> [Channel...] -> Topic -> Reply -> Comment. This is the same whether it is an Article, Forum Topic, Blog Post or Group Discussion. This is how the content is stored in the database. As a hierarchal chain. If you know one of the parent's (i.e. Channel), the system can be told to pull all of its children. If you look at the database, this is all stored in the node table. We use a separate table called "closure" to provide quick lookups of all the hierarchal chains present in the content. For the computer everything is stored by the date and time it was created. This works great for computers but not so much for people.

    Maybe an analogy would help. Think of a Library. In the library, you have many books on various topics. These would be similar to vBulletin's Topics. Where the topic is similar to a Channel. Groups of topics are organized into sections, i.e. a larger channel. Now, just toss all these sections, topics, and books into a single line ordered by the date they are created. How would you find the one topic that you're looking for quickly?

    However, vBulletin is made up of many different sub-systems that create the entire system. We have a user system, content system, style system, and layout system to list some of them. Pages are part of the Layout system or what we call Site Builder. Pages are simply constructs used to show content. They do not actually contain the content. Using Pages and modules, you can pull content out of channels and display it in a browser. Page information can also come from other parts of the software like the user database or use custom HTML. This topic is one such page. A list of forums is another. Another is the member's list.

    Instead, we have a separate page system that is made up of a global header, global footer, grid or layout, and one or more modules. Doing it this way allows us to have one page for every Forum Channel and one page for every discussion in a Forum Channel. However, if you wanted to have one Forum Channel with a unique layout, you could do that as well and leave the rest alone. We do this through storing pages as "Page Templates" in the database.

    Let's go back to that library. Instead of a single line, we're going to build bookshelves and signage. We're going to label the bookshelves to hold specific topics and group all the similar topics in the same area. These would be the equivalent of vBulletin's pages. All the bookshelves are the same but we have many of them. We just replicate them as needed. All the signs are the same with different wording, we create them as needed from a template.

    vBulletin also lets you create Custom Pages in Site Builder. These can contain information that doesn't need to be obtained from your Content. These include items like terms of service, privacy policy, staff profiles, file download pages, and really whatever you can think of. Before Site Builder each of these would require custom coding and development.


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  • StephenKay
    Senior Member

  • StephenKay
    replied
    OK, I can see that from creating some new channels in the Admin CP, like I used to do for new forums and child forums. But, for example, I created a page in SiteManager named "Documents" that contains a list of downloadable pdf files for our community. Should this be a channel? How would I make it so, it's not a forum.... Related to that, right now if I use the search box to search for text in a document's name, nothing is found. How would I get the search mechanism to search the titles of the files on the Documents page? Is this related to Channels?

    Leave a comment:

  • Wayne Luke
    vBulletin Technical Support Lead

  • Wayne Luke
    replied
    Channels are simply containers. They are the same as Forums in older versions but include the ability to contain Articles, Blogs, and Social Groups as well. This allows functionality to be shared among content types where it needs to be shared instead of having duplicate data throughout the database.

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  • StephenKay
    Senior Member

  • StephenKay
    started a topic Want to read up on what Channels are

    Want to read up on what Channels are

    New vB5 user here, coming from vB3.x. I seem to recall stumbling upon a document here a week or so ago explaining about Channels in depth, but I cannot locate it again.

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