This section is meant to explain and defend the design of plone.server.

JavaScript application development focus

One of the main driving factors behind the development of plone.server is to streamline the development of custom CMS-like web applications.

Some of the technologies we support in order to be a great web application development platform are:

  • Everything is an API endpoint
  • JWT
  • Web sockets
  • Configuration is done with JSON
  • URL to object-tree data model


plone.server is a API-only, CMS framework. It is for building CMS-like applications.

It uses the ZODB, a database well suited for CMS.


A primary focus of plone.server is speed. We take shortcuts and may use some ugly or less-well conceptually architected solutions in some areas in order to gain speed improvements.

Some of the decisions we made affect how applications and addons are designed. Mainly, we try to stay light on the amount of data we’re loading from the database where possible and we try to lower the number of lookups we do in certain scenarios.

That being said, plone.server is not a barebones framework. It provides a lot of functionality so it will never be as fast as say Pyramid.

“There are no solutions. There are only trade-offs.” - Thomas Sowell


plone.server is asynchronous from the group up, built on top of aiohttp using Python 3.5’s asyncio features.

Practically speaking, being built completely on asyncio compatible technologies, plone.server does not block for network IO to the database, index catalog, redis, etc or whenever you’d integrated.

Additionally, we have support for async utilities that run in the same async loop and async content events.

Finally, the web server can also support web sockets OOTB.


I’ve talked some about it but these are the basic technologies plone.server is built with:

  • aiohttp
  • ZODB
  • ZCA


plone.server uses the same great security infrastructure that has made Plone such a great product for the past 15 years.


Stylistically, currently the project isn’t extremely coherent right now so I’ll speak to what we’d like to work toward stylistically long term::

  • JSON configuration
  • No ZCML
  • Pyramid-like idioms and syntax where it makes sense
  • Functions + decorators over classes


plone.server uses the ZODB as its database engine.

The ZODB database server maps very nicely onto a CMS application where content is stored in a tree data structure.