Integration with your project
What is the best time to create a blueprint for your project?
In general, the best time to create a blueprint is after you’ve created your first website in Bloomreach Experience Manager. To be able to make a blueprint, you need to have a fully working website first. This saves you a lot of time to get a proper, working blueprint. Once your website or channel is built, you can copy the existing configuration and content structure into the blueprint structure.
A blueprint should contain the right degree of details. Suppose that the homepage of our channel type has a layout split into 3 regions: a header, a body and a footer. If we make our channel type a bit more specific by making the header region contain a logo on the left, a top menu in the middle and a search box on the right, that means that all the channels created from our blueprint will have that header layout, and it will be hard to drop the search box for a specific channel of this type. So, the more detail a blueprint contains, the more limited its use can become. On the other hand, if our channel type is too generic, the blueprint may be less useful, since we’ll need to manually, and per generated channel, setup the parts of the channel configuration that the blueprint didn’t take care of (like deciding what the header will show).
Using blueprints requires that the channel types have been properly thought through. The business process of designing the features of a channel type should be completed before the blueprint is created. Then these features can be considered a channel type and a blueprint can be created from it. All channels generated from this blueprint will have all of these features.
Updating a blueprint
When you have your blueprint, and a new channel has been created based upon this blueprint, it may happen that your project has new functional requirements which will require you to change your existing blueprint.
A channel that has been created based on your blueprint, is in fact a clone of the blueprint configuration (and optionally a content structure defined in the blueprint). If you change your blueprint, you have to take into account that the created channels might also need to be updated. If so, you need to make sure that you update all existing channels that were based on that blueprint. Currently there are no tools for tracking which blueprint was the origin of an existing channel, so you need to do this manually.