This module

  • is a solution for mounting XML databases like eXist-db or BaseX into Plone through their WebDAV port
  • is a solution for construction Dexterity content-types programmatically or through-the-web with XML related fields where the content is stored in BaseX or eXist-db
  • is an _experimental_ solution for mounting general WebDAV services into Plone
  • is not a replacement for the ZODB

xmldirector.plonecore is the technical foundation of the XML-Director project (www.xml-director.info). The goal of the XML-Director project is building an enterprise-level XML content management system on top of the CMS Plone (www.plone.org) with support for XML databases like eXis-db or Base-X. However the underlaying implementation can also be used to mount arbitrary backend through WebDAV into Plone.

xmldirector.plonecore integrates Plone 4.3 or 5.1 with eXist-db or Base-X or providing the following features:

  • mounts an arbitary eXist-db or Base-X collection into Plone
  • ACE editor integration
  • ZIP export from eXist-db or Base-X
  • ZIP import into eXist-db or Base-X
  • pluggable view mechanism for configuring custom views for XML database content by filename and view name
  • create, rename or delete collections through the web
  • extensible architecture through Plone Dexterity behaviors
  • support for XQuery scripts called through the RESTXQ layer of eXist-db (allows you to call XQuery scripts and return the output format (JSON, HTML, XML) depending on your application requirements)
  • dedicated per-connector logging facility
  • small and extensible
  • experimental support for mounting arbitrary WebDAV service into Plone
    • XMLText - a field for storing XML content in BaseX or eXist-db
    • XPathField - for retrieving parts of XML content stored within a XMLText field through an XPath expression (e.g. for extracting and displaying metadata from XML content)
    • XMLBinary and XMLImage fields for storing binary data and images in BaseX or eXist-db. The functionality is identical with the standard Dexterity file and image fields (except for the different storage layer)

The primary usecase for xmldirector.plonecore is the integration of XML document collections into Plone using eXist-db or Base-X as storage layer. xmldirector.plonecore is not storage layer for Plone content in the first place although it could be used in some way for storing primary Plone content (or parts of the content) inside eXist-db or Base-X. There is no build-in support for mapping metadata as stored in XML documents to Plone metadata or vice versa. However this could be implemented easily in application specific code build on top of xmldirector.plonecore. The design goal of xmldirector.plonecore is to provide the basic functionality for integrating Plone with eXist-db or Base-X without implementing any further specific application requirements. Additional functionality can be added through Dexterity behaviors, supplementary browser views, event lifecycle subscribers and related technology.


  • Plone 4.3 (tested)

  • Plone 5.0 (tested)

  • Plone 5.1 (unsupported to due the alpha state of Plone 5.1)

  • Supported backends:

    • eXist-db 2.2 and 3.0
    • Base-X >= 8.2
    • OwnCloud
    • Alfresco
    • Marklogic Server
    • Dropbox (via dropdav.com (Dropbox to WebDAV bridge, paid SaaS) or via xmldirector.dropbox)
    • AWS S3
    • Cloud federation services
      • Otixo.com
      • Storagemadeeasy.com
  • experimental support for the following backends/protocols (don’t use XML Director with these protocols/backends in production):

    • FTP (working in general, open issues with the connection pool)
    • SFTP (working in general, open issues with the connection pool)


Goto the Plone control panel and click on the XML-Director Core configlet and configure the your service





Dropbox (via dropdav.com SaaS)

Dropbox (via xmldirector.dropbox)

  • dropbox://dropbox.com
  • access to Dropbox must be authenticated using OAuth (see xmldirector.dropbox documentation)

SME (storagemadeeasy.com)


Local filesystem


  • s3://bucketname
  • enter your AWS access key as username and the AWS secret key as password
  • you need to install the boto module (either using pip or using zc.buildout)



  • sftp://hostname/path/to/directory
  • username and password that are necessary to access the configured directory path through SFTP. Username and password can be omitted in case the XML Director server (your Plone instance) has access using SSH keys (without passphrase) to the remote SFTP service. The handling of username + password vs. SSH authentication using SSH keys is currently under investigation and might change in a further release.
Protocol/Service Native support 3rd-party SaaS support (e.g. Otixo.com, storagemadeeasy.com)
Local filesystem Yes No
WebDAV Yes Yes
ExistDB 2.2/3.0 Yes Yes
BaseX 8.3 Yes Yes
Amazon AWS S3 Yes Yes
Alfresco Yes Yes
Owncloud Yes Yes
Dropbox (experimental) Yes
SFTP (experimental) Yes
FTP (experimental) Yes

Using xmldirector.plonecore

The package provides a new content-types Connector that will include eXist-db or Base-X into Plone - either from the top-level collection of your eXist-db/Base-X database or from a subcollection. You can browse and traverse into subcollections, view single documents or edit text-ish content through the web (using the build-in ACE editor integration).

All connection settings (URL, username and password can be overriden on the connector level) in order to ignore the Plone site-wide eXist-db settings).


This module provides a generic integration of arbitrary WebDAV services like OwnCloud, BaseX (over WebDAV) or even other Plone serves (exposed through the Plone WebDAV source port) with Plone. This integration is highly experimental and not the primary purpose of xmldirector.plonecore. Use the functionality at your own risk. In order to use this module together with WebDAV services other than the XML database eXist-db: you have to set the emulation mode to webdav inside the eXist-db control panel of Plone

Dexterity fields

xmldirector.plonecore comes with the following Dexterity fields that can be either used programmatically in your own field schema or through-the-web.


The XMLText can be used to store valid XML content. The field is rendered without Plone using the ACE editor. You can perform a client-side XML validation within the edit mode of a document by clicking on the Validate XML button. A document with invalid XML content can not be submitted or saved. Invalid XML will be rejected with an error message through the edit form.


The XMLXPath field can be used to reference an XMLText field in order to display a part of the XML content using an XPath expression.


An XMLPath field with field name myxml might contain the following XML content:

<?xml version="1.0"?>
        <title>This is a text</title>

In order to extract and display the <title> text within a dedicated Dexterity field you can use the following extended expression:

field=<fieldname>,xpath=<xpath expression>

In this case you would use:


Note that the current syntax is very rigid and does not allow any whitespace characters expect within the <xpath expression>.

XMLBinary, XMLImage

Same as file and image field in Plone but with BaseX or eXist-db as storage layer.


This package is published under the GNU Public License V2 (GPL 2)


All releases and code changes to XML Director are automatically tested against various combinations of Plone and backend versions. The current test setup consists of 14 different combinations against the most common databases and services. See https://github.com/xml-director/xmldirector.plonecore/blob/master/.travis.yml for testing details. A complete test run consists of over 1400 single tests.

See https://travis-ci.org/xml-director/xmldirector.plonecore



The development of xmldirector.plonecore was funded as part of a customer project by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Hämatologie und medizinische Onkologie (DGHO).


Andreas Jung/ZOPYX
Hundskapfklinge 33
D-72074 Tuebingen, Germany