Expression Engine Entities, db structure data import and performance

March 5, 2010

4th March 2010, not far from Corn Exchange, Brighton

I met my mate Adam from http://www.engaging.net/ and we had an interesting session looking into various aspect of the Expression Engine architecture.

Expression Engine Entities and db structure:

We looked at how its ability to define entities is reflected in the database structure where Expression Engine entities are not created as database entities (DB tables) but instead as record entries in a table, we touched on the possible approaches to a CMS database design touching on issues like advantages of a normalized database with the difficult of creating a CMS that needs to handle an unknown database schema.

Data importing and populating:

We also talked about approaches to populating the Expression Engine MySQL DB from other database and I illustrated the approach to developing a tool that would allow you to import data from normalized databases by interrogating a DB schema. Adam has told me he has had quite a bit of work importing data from people who have given up on Joomla. I pointed out that if Joomla takes the same approach as expression Engine and has no proper normalized architecture it will need a specific implementation of a data import tool.

We also talked about importing data from other sources like web sites and XML and how that can be done using the scripting language I have developed with George Boobyer for blue-bag this language is especially designed for fast visual design of data extraction and transformation for HTML, XML, SOAP and databases.

Adam also showed me his product External Entries allowing EE systems to integrate with none EE MySQL databases

Performance:

We talked about the database as a possible bottleneck especially one like the Expression Engine that duo to its flat nature is not optimized for performance (please correct me if you think you I am wrong). Adam talked about the various tools/approaches that can be used to cash Expression Engine by converting pages or elements with in them to static HTML using  Apache htaccess files.

We also had a chat of a few other technologies like:

  • Ruby on rails Ruby on Rails (Rails or RoR) as a Web application framework
  • Python
  • Django a high-level Python Web framework
  • Pylons a Ruby, Python and Perl web framework

Hopefully next time we can expend on those more

Look out soon for similar session covering the drupal architecture

Guy Shneerson

Filed under: CMS,ExpressionEngine,Technology

3 Comments Leave a Comment

  • 1. Adam Khan  |  March 5, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    All this note-taking, very good. Pylons is just a Python framework. the tools for improving EE performance are mainly by Solspace and they include Static Page Caching and Template Morsels.

    There are a couple of other EE add-ons to help with relating to things external, among them XMLGrab.

    I think every conversation I have should be written up this way. Enrich the world and all that.

  • 2. MerryK  |  March 26, 2011 at 9:39 am

    Thanks – A colleague is considering creating a database that (hopefully) will be accessible by EE. I was very pleased to come across these notes from your conversation..

  • 3. Harm  |  March 19, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is a very well written article. I’ll make sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of Expression Engine Entities, db structure data import and performance | Range of vision . Thanks for the post. I will definitely return.

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