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FRS - Plone File Repository System (0.1)

by Olha Pelishok last modified 2008-05-28
Released on 2007-03-06 by Junyong Pan for Plone 3.0 under GPL - GNU General Public License available for All platforms.
Software development stage: development
An open, scalable file system based content storage for Plone.

FRS adapts Plone to store content in file system directly. Content metadata is stored as xml files.

With simple cut/paste operations, you can dump plone content to the file system. FRS supports content versioning and content trash box too.

Why FRS?

Plone stores content in ZODB by default. It works quite well for most sites. But it has many shortcomings in ECM area:

  • ZODB is a black box. We have no way to access contents once any part of the zope/cmf/plone/add-on-products stack works wrong. The content is hard to be used by other CMS systems.
  • FileStorage is ZODB's fastest and most mature storage. But it stores all content in a single file. It is hard to split and backup. When packing FileStorage, the system will consume double space to store the packed and original file.
  • ZODB is not adequate to store large files. The performance will be quite slow with large files.
  • It is hard to integrate with other software, such as enterprise search engine, stream media server and others.
  • It is hard to migrate content. Migrating content need to know the many Zope/Plone programming details.

Benefit from FRS

  • Open storage format. Contents are stored in file system. All metadata are stored as xml files.
  • Scalable. Contents can be distributed in different disks, or event different servers.
  • Easy to dump Plone content to the file system. Just copy and past are enough.
  • Easy to migrate, no Zope/Plone knowledge needed. Since the storage format is open, it is easy to write a migration script with existing XML technologies such as XSLT.
  • Easy to integrate with other system such as enterprise search engine, stream media server and NAS server.
  • Revisions management. You can keep all the historical revisions for your contents.
  • Easy to split any part of the site and mount to another site.
  • Trash box management. You will never worry about lost some thing by wrong operations.
  • Using a virtual file system internally. Can adapter for Windows/Linux system. Support Chinese and other non-ascii characters well.

Why not other solutions?

There are some other related opensource solutions in Plone community, such as ExternalStorage, FilesystemStorage and ATManagedFile. After some investigation, we found they only stores file but not metadata in the file system. Also, they can't manage files in the file system directly. Other advanced features like trash box management and revision management are missing too.


The old version of FRS is widely used by most of our solutions. But it is not easy to maintain. So we rewrite a new version with recent five/zope3 tech and make it opensource.

This opensource release is still under-developing. It includes three packages: frs.core, frs.zope2 and

  • frs.core is a core python package
  • frs.zope2 can be used under pure zope2. It is usable now.
  • is for plone. It is still in very initial stage.

See the demo

Click here to see the demo(Flash). (This flash is based on a unreleased/internal/old version of Zopen FRS. The opensource version need much work now.)

About ZOpen

FRS is a Plone add-on product from ZOpen. ZOpen is a professional Plone consulting company located in Shanghai, China.

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