With regard to IT architecture, infrastructure and the technical aspects (platforms, environments …), the EUROPA site is hosted on the servers of the Commission Data Centre, managed by the Commission’s Directorate-General for Informatics (DIGIT).
EUROPA websites are developed and managed using different technologies: manually encoded static sites, sites managed by means of the Corporate Web Content Management System (CWCMS) and dynamic sites.
Manually encoded static sites
A static website is composed of finished HTML pages that are completely replaced with each change of any element within the page. It means that a page retrieved by different users at different times is always the same.
Static HTML pages will always appear faster on the user's browser than the same HTML information generated through a dynamic application. This is especially true for pages that are requested frequently and can be cached.
These static sites are constructed and/or managed manually by means of the HTML editors Webexpression (ex-FrontPage) or Dreamweaver. The static pages (HTML file format) are stored on the static web server in a set of conventional directories.
The access to the testing environment and for triggering transfers onto production server can be granted following the request procedure for access for transfer to EUROPA.
Sites managed by means of the Corporate Web Content Management System (CWCMS)
The Corporate Web Content Management System (CWCMS) is the recommended system for producing websites on EUROPA. It allows to decentralise the web publishing process by
- separating the production of content from its presentation, thereby giving each actor in the publishing process the correct responsibility in his own domain of specialisation
- decentralising the management of access rights
whilst at the same time offering a centralised approach to website construction including:
- the creation of a strong corporate image through common presentation elements
- the easy cross-referencing and re-usability of content between sites
- the coherent management of the technical publication flow
The CWCMS is based on Documentum and its web publisher interface. Content providers use this environment to manage the content of their pages and publish them on the static web server. The end result is static pages on the same environment as the one used for the manually encoded static pages. In this way, pages produced by means of the CWCMS are well integrated in the classical EUROPA environment and take advantage of its high performance.
The access to the CWCMS for triggering transfers onto production server can be granted following the request procedure for access to CWCMS.
A dynamic web page is a page that can be generated dynamically, i.e. "on the fly" (the moment the page is called by the visitor) by an application server. It often contains content from various sources (relational or object-oriented databases, XML files ...)
Dynamic sites are not the preferred technology on EUROPA. They should only be used if the needs imposed on a website cannot be satisfied by the recommended CWCMS technology. Although it is clear that some parts of every site may require some dynamic treatment, overzealous use of dynamic content should absolutely be avoided in order to avoid an unreasonable burden on the server infrastructure, causing the site to become slow, heavy and undependable. Whenever possible, the main part of the site should use the CWCMS whereas specific sections may call upon off the shelf interactive services made available through the "Flexible Platform" environment (FPFIS).
Dynamic sites are managed by means of web applications based on either Coldfusion or Weblogic (J2EE) technology and accessing Oracle databases.