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Content Management System (CMS)

Content management system (CMS) can be defined as a system used to organize and create documents and other content. In terms of web applications a CMS is used for managing websites and web content which in many cases requires a backend system for editing and creating documents.

There are several types of content management systems available:
  • Web Content Management System (W-CMS) assists an organization in automating various aspects of web (publishing newsletters).
  • Transactional content management system (T-CMS) assists an organization to manage e-commerce transactions (changing the pricing structure of your product range).
  • Integrated content management system (I-CMS) assist an organization in managing enterprise documents and content.
  •  Publications management system (P-CMS) assists an organization in managing the publications (manuals, books, help, guidelines, references) content life cycle.
  • Learning management system (L-CMS) assists an organization in managing the web-based learning content life cycle. See also managed learning environment.

To implement a CMS requires a server to run the system, Additional requirements are needed to store the content that has been created, and a content management application to handle the user interaction.

In web based application these systems mostly rely on systems developed for the client by the web development company (proprietary solution), which implies that it’s limited in scope and very specific to the requirements of the user.

The next couple of solutions described in this document are based on commercial or open-source solutions.

The first one is Microsoft Content Management Server 2002. Powered by .NET–connected technology, Microsoft Content Management Server 2002 enables companies to build quickly, and efficiently deploy and maintain content-rich Web sites. By streamlining the Web publishing process, Content Management Server can reduce the need for costly site maintenance, empowering users to manage their own content. This in turn enables organizations to reduce the cost of online communication while increasing productivity by providing:

    * A comprehensive solution for managing Web content.
    * Faster time to deploy and lower total cost of ownership.

   

Content Management Server 2002 also integrates bleeding-edge internet technologies like XML and Web-services, extending the functionality of your website. Being a more generalized solution it also proves more costly than proprietary solution.

Open-source solution mainly focus on using PHP, as it provides a server side scripting language to manage the dynamic content of websites.

One such solution is PostNuke. PostNuke is a free, open source content management system released under the GNU General Public License. The PostNuke project was started because some PHP-Nuke users believed there should be a more open development environment. They felt the only way this could be done was to develop their own fork of the PHP-Nuke code. PostNuke is now a separate project sharing very little code (if any) with the original project.

Another solution is Mambo (formerly named Mambo Open Source or MOS) which is an open source content management system (CMS) for creating and managing websites through a simple web interface. It has attracted many users due to its ease of use. Mambo also includes more advanced features such as page caching to improve performance on busy sites, advanced templating techniques, and a fairly robust API. Mambo can provide RSS feeds, printable versions of pages, news flashes, blogs, forums, polls, calendars, website searching, language internationalization, and other possibilities.

Mambo won the Best Free Software Project of the Year from UK magazine Linux Format in 2004 and the Best Open Source Solution award from the editors of LinuxWorld Magazine in 2005.

To summarize the market for content management systems remains fragmented, with many open-source and proprietary solutions available. As we all know, managing a dynamic Web site can turn to a real nightmare. Make sure that your requirements are met when choosing a solution. Whether it is a simple freeware product or a complex system that requiring a substantial investment in infrastructure and maintenance.

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