System builder

One of the primary purposes for Cliqon is that with it, you can build websites. On the internet you can find, research and download literally hundreds of software systems (most but not all, web based) that make this claim. We hope to provide you with the information about how Cliqon is different to most other systems and when or why you should use Cliqon as opposed to its competitors.

Cliqon is not a simple content management system such as Wordpress, with countless pre-programmed themes and plugins. Cliqon is not a Wordpress clone. However, you can and would use Cliqon to write a Wordpress system. Or to put it another way, you build systems with Cliqon.

Cliqon is designed to be extensible. With earlier versions of Cliqon, we built a business directory, an auction house system, various ecommerce and on-line shopping systems, a classified advertising system, a simple cash-book and accounting system, project management system and a system for promoting golf courses. In that sense, you could describe Cliqon as a Framework such as CakePHP or Codeigniter. It is certainly correct that Cliqon is a framework and contains its own components for routing, database abstraction, templating, html generation, authorisation and image manipulation. Also Cliqon uses a Model – View – Controller topology and heirarchy.

Cliqon is not just a Framework, as it has its own administration modules to handle any structured content. Some of the administration facilities are static, that is you would want to modify them, such Import and Export data. Some of the administration facilities are dynamic, that is they were designed to be modified and enhanced in order to meet the needs of different types of content management. You can modify and enhance all the data entry forms and output reports and display facilities as needed.

In general Cliqon treats data as pages of information. Each page has a header so that it may be placed in a group, category or heirarchical order but the main content of the page is in JSON format and supports multiple language content as necessary. Multi-media images and other source objects are stored in original digital format in the JSON where ever possible, as is the content of library files and electronic documents. This version of Cliqon uses PDO for data handling so it is still reliant on a SQL Server as opposed to a NoSQL server. However the way that Cliqon handles data in generic tables, grouped into collections, is reminiscent of NoSQL systems.

Cliqon provides and supports version control for all documents. As documents are modified, earlier versions are archived and maybe restored. Cliqon provides and supports access control by users at a variety of different levels including menus, forms and their formfields, reports, processes, collections and records. Control is managed for read, write and delete activities.

Cliqon provides a straightforward server based templating system which mimics the popular Razor templating system in ASP.NET. Equally, Cliqon can generate HTML using a server based HTML generator class or send the instructions as a JSON array so that the client Javascript can generate the HTML. As a direct result of the ability of the Cliqon server framework to return all data and HTML as a JSON array to the web client, all the different possibilities for client devices are supported, including HTTP browsers such as Chrome, Firefox and Edge plus headless browsers, tablets, smartphones and in practice any smart device that can consume JSON. To achieve this comprehensive set of possibilities Cliqon supports and uses two sorts of routing controller – one that returns a full page of HTML or a snippet of HTML, with or without an appropriate HTML Header – and one that returns JSON utilising either Session security or JSON web tokens.

It is assumed that Cliqon will be mounted on some sort of webserver such as Apache, Nginx or IIS. However it can hand off certain tasks to Node and to Go. Cliqon does use URL rewriting but examples of .htaccess and web.config files and Nginx configurations are provided.
We started to use jQuery within earlier versions of Cliqon, at least ten years ago. Therefore with the introduction of the reactive javascript frameworks, such as Backbone and Angular, at first we did consider moving away completely from jQuery. That complete re-factoring was avoided by the launch and dramatic growth of Vue.

Therefore the key Javascript components in use for Cliqon Administration are Bootstrap, jQuery and Vue. With these frameworks, we achieve all that we need to achieve. When we are using Cliqon for our own client website projects we use the same tools. However the website and the administration are completely separated, so if you wish to use a different set of components for your front end website, you are able to do so.

With a Cliqon web development toolset at your command, you will be able to concentrate on the important and remunerative task of developing a website according to any web design that you choose – ranging from downloaded free template to complete bespoke design or even converting an existing template from pre-existing web such as a Wordpress site. You will be able to modify or enhance the administration system to provide just the set of tools needed for the Client. You can manage and include your own manual and on-line help system. In short, you can do absolutely anything you want to do with Cliqon including producing the kitchen sink.

Finally, if as part of these activities, you produce themes, templates modules and plugins, we provide you the opportunity to share these with other developers on a free or paid basis.