iw.recipe.fss : a recipe to install File System Storage

What is FSS ?

When you need to work with a lot of static files in your Plone website, you should consider using File System Storage (FSS). It's an Archetypes storage that can handle files like PDF, images or small videos. It prevents the growth of the ZODB. It's not like Blobs, because the files are not transactionals. This means you won't have to worry about network performances when you use ZEO: nothing will be copied from a node to another. You just have to use a NFS point to make sure all nodes uses the same files.

The missing part though, was to be able to easily deploy FSS using the standard way.

Deploying FSS

In Plone world, zc.buildout is now the leading project in the deployment area. Everyone should read Martin's tutorial on how to use it. It makes a typical Plone deployable in a matter of minutes with no pain. It is based on a configuration reader that instanciate recipes objects in charge of installing a part of the system. You have recipes for apache, ldap, etc. See existing public recipes at Cheeseshop.

iw.recipe.fss is a recipe that takes care of creating file system folders and the configuration file used by the Product.

To use it, just insert a section in your buildout file (it's called a part in buildout language) that describes each system storage, and the path to the configuration file:






recipe = iw.recipe.fss

conf = ${zopeinstance:location}/etc/plone-filesystemstorage.conf

storages =

    storage_name /site/storage_path directory

See the recipe's README.txt for all options.

That's it. I love buildout.

More recipes to come

There are a lot of recipe available in the Python Index, but we still missing some to perform every kind of deployment. Besides the Plone recipes here are the recipes that I find realy usefull:
- infrae.subversion: clean, simple way, to checkout a piece of code from a Subversion repository. It's a perfect one to create developer buildouts. - zc.recipe.cmmi: the configure-make-make install recipe. Will perform a compilation and local installation) of Makefile compatible packages under BSD/Linux. - zc.recipe.egg: this one is very useful if an egg needs a special environment. For example if it needs a compiled library created with zc.recipe.cmmi.

We have more recipes that are being coded here at Ingeniweb, to cover our needs in deploying Plone instances with buildout. I'll try to blog on them everytime we update the Cheeseshop. If you create recipes yourself I encourage you to share them on Cheeseshop. Sharing recipes, in my humble opinion, is an important thing to do in a community: it helps standards to raise because it shows how people uses software in real infrastructures.