Visual Power Web

Visual Power Web was designed and implemented in 2001 by Sam Azer. A sophisticated content management system, VPW was also the first major project implemented using the AFORMs library.

Visual Power Web was designed to meet the CMS needs of large organizations. From the start it had advanced CMS features that are only now beginning to appear in other CMS solutions:

  • Visual displays of the site structure.
  • Access to content through an Explorer-like interface that displays content within site sections as files within a folder structure.
  • Ability to upload Microsoft Word documents and text files from a local workstation to the content database. This allowed editors to prepare their articles on their workstation using Microsoft Word, then upload the file to the server. The software included support for basic images embedded within the Word documents.
  • All features and functionality adjustable on a per-section basis with additional settings on a per-page basis.
  • Quality Assurance workflow functionality
  • Multi-lingual content support
  • Extensive support for Search Engine Optimization including Meta tags and article name aliases for human-readable URL's.
  • Extensive support for embedding of output from Content Generators
  • Extensive user and group-level security designed into the system from the start
  • Support for content objects
  • A custom scripting language for embedding content within content, ie: create a template as content and embed a header object at the top of the template and a footer object at the bottom.
  • Support for embedded PHP code within content
  • Support for two simultaneously accessible front-ends, Production and Development, to enable major site restructuring without impacting current users.

Extensive user and group-level security features are built into the AFORMs library. Additional security functionality is implemented at the application level. Site administrators are able, using VPW, to ensure that an editor who is given access to a specific section of the web site is not able to edit content in another section.

A basic workflow system, designed into the VPW content database, is in place to ensure that documents are edited, approved and translated as needed before they are published to the site.

Finally, the VPW workflow is designed in a dual-front-end configuration. It allows a site administrator to make major changes to a Development copy of the site, get approval for those changes and then post the new version of the site to production when ready. To this day, existing CMS designs automatically display any change to any settings or content on their production front-end - even if the work being done is not complete.

At the time of this writing (April 2008,) there has been no active development done on VPW for about four years now. However, because VPW has so many features that are not available in other CMS solutions currently available, development might start again in the future.