There have been many APIs to grapple with over the years. We progressed from Win32 to Microsoft Foundation Classes (MFC) to Component Object Model (COM) to Application Template Library (ATL) to the .NET Framework. OK, we skipped a few; but sometimes you could get away with just a cursory understanding of the API. Not so with CMS.
Rarely will anyone implement a CMS solution without interfacing with the CMS Publishing API, commonly referred to as PAPI. Fortunately, Microsoft created a .NET-based version of the PAPI in the latest CMS release. PAPI now exposes nearly every facet of the underlying CMS engine. As with the .NET Framework, Microsoft even exposes the underlying base classes from which the CMS classes are derived.
In this chapter, we will discuss the principal objects of PAPI and how they relate, and we will touch on the base classes and namespaces from which they derive. In addition, we introduce the concept of Context, the primary topic of the next chapter.
Understanding the core CMS building blocks like channels, galleries, templates, postings, and placeholders will be very helpful as we progress through these chapters. These concepts are covered in depth in previous sections in this book. There is much to learn, so let's get started.