Content Management Systems – Just An Everyday Thing
Every workday morning you get up, get some coffee or tea going, and go through the rest of a comfortable routine to kick-start your day. Among the morning activities may be to read the paper, or even cruise the web to check email and see some news. Then you drive to work, and you log on your computer to do some work.
At work there is more email, more information, more… All that information, all those words, pictures, videos, advertisements… How do they handle it all?
Content Management Systems
Little do you know it. All day long you’ve been interacting with content management systems. Content management systems are used almost everywhere and touch millions of people’s lives every day.
A content management system (CMS) is a form of technology that manages information of many kinds. In the age of computers and the internet, a CMS can come in as many forms as there are uses for them.
Web Page Publication
For example, a common application for the CMS would be its use on the internet. The web pages you view contain information which gets delivered to you in several different forms, such as text, pictures and graphics, videos, and sounds files. These media don’t just show up there. They have to be put together, formatted, placed into an accessible spot, allow for user interaction, and put away when they are no longer needed. A CMS does all this.
Depending on how folks wish to share and use information on the web, a CMS is comprised of software and information servers that support the lifecycle of the information being shared. For example, a web portal uses a CMS to help folks edit written content, add pictures and charts, and then insert some videos. When the new web page is done, the CMS stores the data, formats it and makes it ready for publication, and then shares that data out to a web server when people like you wish to view it. When the information becomes outdated or less popular, it moves that page to a less prominent place on a web site, or archives it away into a hidden place where it cannot be accessed any further.
Enterprise Content Management System
Another common application for a content management system is an Enterprise Content Management system, or ECM.
In its simplest form, an ECM helps manage business documents, details and records related to the organization and processes of an enterprise. In most businesses an ECM functions much like an electronic filing cabinet, a place to store and manage an organization’s otherwise unstructured information content.
Function-Specific Content Management Systems
As mentioned before, a CMS can specially purposed to support the needs of the information being shared, or it cannot support those who create that information.
In this case, one such application is a special kind of CMS called a CCMS – or Component Content Management System. Technical writers use CCMSs – but I’ll write more about his later. Click here and look for an article about Component Content Management Systems.