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A rails 3.2+ CMS as engine for a CouchDB backend
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Cmtool is a CMS to give you a quickstart for a website using CouchDB as database backend. It is in developing stage, but already used in production. It is designed as an engine. The thought behind is that you will have to create your own rails website, but get a lot of stuff for free. These things are:

  • User management
  • Page management
  • Faq
  • News
  • Newsletter subscriptions
  • Directory manager
  • Image manager


To start using Cmtool as website CMS add it to your Gemfile. Since it depends on github gems and gem dependencies do not support those you have to explicitly add two dependencies to your Gemfile: gem 'couch_potato' , github: 'bterkuile/couch_potato' gem 'simply_stored' , github: 'bterkuile/simply_stored' gem 'cmtool'

Make sure that the locales you want to work with are specified in

  config.i18n.default_locale = :en
  config.i18n.available_locales = [:en, :nl]

This will add some gems you might like anyway, here a list:

  • bourbon
  • jquery-rails
  • tinymce-rails
  • sass-rails
  • paperclip
  • email_validator (validates :email, email: true)


in app/controllers/pages_controller.rb:

class PagesController < ApplicationController
  include Cmtool::Includes::PagesController


Cmtool is looking for an authorize_cmtool method present in the application controller. Something like:

class ApplicationController


  def authorize_cmtool
    redirect_to main_app.root_path, alert: t('general.unauthorized') unless current_user.present? && current_user.is_admin?


Add the following routes with changes according to your application:

ALLOWED_LOCALES = /nl|de|fr|en|es/
devise_for :users, :controllers => {:sessions => 'cmtool/sessions', :passwords => 'cmtool/passwords'}
mount Cmtool::Engine => '/cmtool'
get '/:locale' => 'pages#home', constraints: {locale: ALLOWED_LOCALES}, as: :go_to_locale
get '/sitemap(.:format)' => 'pages#sitemap'
scope '(/:locale)', constraints: {locale: ALLOWED_LOCALES}, defaults: { locale: :nl } do
  root to: 'pages#home'
  get "/:name" => "pages#show", constraints: {name: /.*/},  as: :page
get "/*url" => "pages#not_found"

User model

The user model is important. We recommend you to create your own user model:

class User
  include Cmtool::User


This is enough to start using Cmtool. But probably you want to add some goodies of your own. Remember that this is a SimplyStored model with almost all the ActiveModel features.

Page model

The page model allows you to control some interesting things.

in app/models/page.rb:

class Page
  include Cmtool::Includes::Page

  # Define the layouts you want to use in your website. Be sure to create them in
  # app/views/layouts/...
  # The first specified layout will become the default
  def self.layouts
    %w[application home contact]

Controlling the language of the system

If you add a method cmtool_locale to your application controller Cmtool will take this value:

class ApplicationController
  before_filter :set_locale


  def set_locale
    # Do some magic
    I18n.locale = :en

  def cmtool_locale

Customize a page

All pages by default are rendered using the view: app/pages/show. So adding and changing this file will change all displayed pages without their own specific page. To create a specific page, create a page with the name of the page you created in the Admin section. If for example you have created a page with the name: about Then you can give this page a custom look using the view: app/views/about.html.slim

The menu and getting pages

Customize your 404

You can customize what is shown when a page cannot be found. There is a standard view app/pages/404.html.erb with the following content:

<%= render template: 'pages/show' %>

Overwrite this to get another page as show. To controll the content of the 404 page, create a page in the Admin area having the name: 404. You can make a 404 page for every language in this manner. Here you can also give a custom layout if you do not want to use the default layout.

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