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Under the hood

Animalcarpet CMS is a hosted web solution which means you don't have to worry about keeping the site running (and neither does your IT Department) but that means you never get to see what's actually running under the hood. This page is for the insatiably curious who need to know how "stuff" works - not just that it does.


Animalcarpet CMS has a 3 layer architecture which separates the display, processing and storage of your web content into different system layers. At the front end are the scripts and templates with which the users interact. These control what gets displayed and to whom. We use the Smarty templating system as the glue between the two. In the middle layer are a series of PHP libraries which dictate the abilities and behaviour of the content you create. At the back end is a PostgreSQL database which manages the safe storage and retrieval of that content. The whole lot is hosted on Debian Linux running Apache web servers.


Animalcarpet CMS uses the LAPP stack (Linux, Apache, PostgreSQL and PHP) of open-sourced technologies - a varient on the LAMP stack which uses a MySQL backend instead. Other projects have used the classic LAMP stack, it's really a case of choosing the most appropriate tools for a particular task.

The benefits of the LAPP/LAMP over proprietory technologies are three-fold: first, the platform is arguably the most secure available because of the number of people who are able to view and maintain the code; second, it's by far and away the most popular on the web so it's easy to find support; and finally, because the software is freely available the saving in licence fees over proprietory technologies is considerable.