Friday, April 18, 2008

Content management system (CMS)

4/18/2008 08:49:00 PM |

content management system (CMS) is a program used to create a framework for the content of a Web site.[1] With most CMSes, the framework can be customized with a “skin” that defines the look & feel. This approach is opposite to defining the look & feel first then coding the functionality second. Whereas the majority of cost of a website is in the functionality, the CMS approach is often significantly more cost effective. For example, the software for the website Wikipedia is based on a wiki, which is a particular type of content management system. As used in this article, Content Management means Web Content Management. Other related forms of content management are listed below.

The content managed includes computer files, image media, audio files, electronic documents and web content. The idea behind a CMS is to make these files available inter-office, as well as over the web. A CMS would most often be used as an archive as well. Many companies use a CMS to store files in a non-proprietary form. Companies use a CMS to share files with ease, as most systems use server-based software, even further broadening file availability. As shown below, many CMSs include a feature for Web Content, and some have a feature for a "workflow process".

"Workflow" is the idea of moving an electronic document along for either approval, or for adding content. Some CMSs will easily facilitate this process with email notification, and automated routing. This is ideally a collaborative creation of documents. A CMS facilitates the organization, control, and publication of a large body of documents and other content, such as images and multimedia resources.

A Web content management system is a CMS with additional features to ease the tasks required to publish web content to web sites.

Web Content Management Systems are often used for storing, controlling, versioning, and publishing industry-specific documentation such as news articles, operators' manuals, technical manuals, sales guides, and marketing brochures. A web content management system may support the following features:

  • Identification of all key users and their content management roles.
  • The ability to assign roles and responsibilities to different content categories or types.
  • Definition of the content work flow tasks, often coupled with event messaging so that content managers are alerted to changes in content.
  • The ability to track and manage multiple versions of a single instance of content.
  • The ability to publish the content to a repository to support access to the content. Increasingly, the repository is an inherent part of the system, and incorporates enterprise search and retrieval.
  • Some content management systems allow the semantic layer of content to be separated to some extent from its layout. For example the CMS may automatically set the color, fonts, or emphasis of text.

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