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internet services : content management

A content management system (cms) is used to simplify the maintenance of content-rich websites, allowing content to be directly added, updated and deleted by non-technical staff. A content management system (cms) separates content from design, ensuring consistency in design, preservation of brand identity, and making it easier to reuse content.

By storing all data in one place and controlling user access privileges and workflow you will allow a greater number of people to participate in the development of your organizations' website solution.

As the size and complexity of websites increases, it is important that well delivered and managed content management ensures the process of updating, revising and redesigning your site does not become a burden.

This gives you a strong and flexible foundation to build for the future, and allows you to consider other areas of web technology that you thought prohibitive.

By freeing you from the technical responsibility of your website solution you are able to turn your attention to building audiences and attracting users by providing a greater range of functionality and features.

types of system

Types of content management systems

There are several types of content management systems: Web content management systems assist in automating various htmlects of web publishing.

Transactional content management systems (t-cms) assist in managing e-commerce transactions. Integrated content management systems (i-cms) assist in managing enterprise documents and content.

Publications management systems (p-cms) assist in managing the publications (manuals, books, help, guidelines, references) content life cycle. Learning management systems (l-cms) assist in managing the web-based learning content life cycle.

Document imaging systems are also generally considered under the family of general content management.

enterprise content management systems (e-cms) vary in their functionality.

Some support both the web and publications content life cycle, while others support the web content life cycle and either transactional content or customer relationship management content.

The definition of aiim for ecm includes methods and tools for "capture, manage, store, preserve and deliver" content across an enterprise. "Manage" contains components like document management, collaboration, business process management, records management, email management, workflow and web content management.

The ECM concept is not restricted to web based technologies but includes client/server and host based solutions.

A few issues to ponder when selecting a content management system (cms) provider:

workflow and scheduling

Large organizations need a content management system (cms) that sends automatically triggered e-mails to everyone who needs to see a document before it posts.

A content management system (cms) should also let back-end users choose the posting date and time in advance—or staff members will eventually end up posting stuff in the wee hours of the night.

database compatibility

The whole point of the Web is to leverage your existing data and use it to sell the company along with its products or services. .

Don't accept any solution that demands you restructure existing databases to make it easier for a content management system (cms) to handle the data.

multilevel security

Generally, one person per department should have the clearance to post content to a staging server.

In all cases, the authority to actually post content to the live site should rest with one or two people.

syndication

Syndication & Personalisation

To distribute content around the Web, you'll need a content management system (cms) that maps content objects to XML data types.

And if your site will deliver custom pages based on user preferences, you'll need a content management system (cms) that breaks documents down to a granular level so that only relevant material gets served.

offline integration

If your company produces lots of print material, you may be a candidate for a system that integrates offline and online publishing.

integrated authoring

Integrated authoring environment

The content management system (cms) must provide a seamless and powerful environment for content creators.

This ensures that authors have easy access to the full range of features provided by the content management system (cms).

separation of content

Separation of content and presentation

It is not possible to publish to multiple formats without a strict separation of content and presentation.

Authoring must be style-based, with all formatting applied during publishing.

multi-user authoring

The content management system (cms) will have many simultaneous users. Features such as record locking ensure that clashing changes are prevented.

single sourcing

single-sourcing (content re-use).

A single page (or even paragraph) will often be used in different contexts, or delivered to different user groups.

This is a prerequisite to managing different platforms ( internet) from the same content source.

metadata creation

Capturing metadata (creator, subject, keywords, etc) is critical when managing a large content repository.

This also includes keyword indexes, subject taxonomies and topic maps.

powerful linking

Authors will create many cross-links between pages, and these must be stable against restructuring.

non-technical authoring

Authors must not be required to use HTML (or other technical knowledge) when creating pages.

Ease of use & efficiency. For a content management system (cms) to be successful, it must be easy to create and maintain content.

version control

Version control & archiving.

Strict version control is necessary for legal accountability, backup and disaster recovery. A simple but powerful interface must be provided for these features.

security

Adequate security levels and audit trails must be in place to protect the integrity of the content.

integration

integration with external systems

A content management system (cms) is typically only one of a number of systems used to present information on the intranet or website.

An enterprise-wide content management system (cms) will only be successful if it can be cleanly integrated with existing business systems.

The mechanisms for achieving this must be fully documented, and based on open or industry standards.

stylesheets

Final appearance is controlled through the use of stylesheets. This provides flexibility and expandability.

page templates

Overall page layout is specified via page templates. Ideally, a non-technical interface should be provided for managing this.

extensibility

It must be simple to integrate code "snippets" (or equivalent) to provide additional publishing functionality.

The content management system (cms) must support a process of "continual improvement" in interface design.

Support for multiple formats. The content management system (cms) must publish to multiple formats, such as: HTML (web), printed, PDF, hand-held (WAP), and more.

It should be possible to add support for additional formats, which will be necessary as new standards evolve.

In order to achieve high-quality in every format, it is critical that the content be separated from presentation at the time of authoring. This allows distinct stylesheets to be used for each output.

usage statistics

The content management system (cms) must allow comprehensive usage statistics to be gathered, including: most popular pages, daily usage, and search engine usage. This information allows the success of the site to be tracked, and any usability issues identified.

Cross browser support. The pages must be viewable in all major web browsers (Internet Explorer, Netscape, Opera, etc).

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