Previous versions of CMS only had a COM-based API. However, Microsoft recommends using the .NET-based PAPI version discussed in this book for all new site development. If you have an existing CMS site that you want to migrate to the current release of CMS, the COM-based API will be helpful for this transition and has been enhanced to interact with the content stored in the newest CMS database schema. We briefly describe the COM-based API here.
The COM-based API included in the current release of CMS is primarily for backward compatibility with existing CMS 2001 Web sites and ASP development in the current release of CMS. The COM-based API is divided into the two groups of objects that follow:
NOTE: The COM-based API is only discussed briefly in this section of our book. Although the CMS Site Deployment functionality is only exposed through the COM-based API, most other references in this book are to .NET-based PAPI. There is a complete set of documentation about the COM-based API on MSDN.
Even though parts of the .NET-based PAPI are currently just a veneer (APIs available in previous versions of CMS are merely wrapped versions of the equivalent COM-based APIs, while the new APIs are managed code throughout), anyone doing new development is encouraged to use these interfaces because they will be carried forward in future releases of CMS, whereas the COM-based API will not. Microsoft wrapped the COM-based code using the .NET-based managed-code programming paradigm so that programmers could more easily use the future interfaces in VS.NET and languages like ASP.NET, VB.NET, and C#. The .NET-based PAPI sports a clean, new object model. As we see in the next section, all objects in that model are accessed through one entry point called a Context.