16What do they do well - and what do they still need to do
- Sep 29, 2003Rohn Jay Miller wrote
> It's when CMS companies start selling "author-once,I agree that buying a system will not automatically make it possible
> publish many times" systems that I storm indignantly
> from the room. Quark, Net Objects, Broadvision and
> others have tried to sell this snake oil at various
to "author-once, publish many times" but if your content architecture
is designed appropriately you would want a system that helps you
For example, being able to manage content as chunks (topics are about
the right level of granularity) as well as being able to amalgamate
those chunks into "documents" (which might be a traditional
paper-based document, online help system, website, or whatever).
Conditional text within each chunk that gets included/excluded
depending on the "document" being created is also required to be able
to re-target a chunk for a different document (although this should
not be over-used or it becomes its own management nightmare).
There must also be some good features for finding content, and not
just good search tools. The system should allow content to be
categorised for findability rather than being tied to a document
structure. Previewing the contents of chunks (including visual clues
to mark conditional text) should also be very easy.
> I've seen many clients spend way too much time, moneyThis is true of most large systems (look at ERPs) and is largely due
> and thought trying to implement big, single source CMS
> where effort is 4X improvement.
to people looking at the you beaut "features" they can get rather than
analysing their requirements and then finding a system that addresses
Unfortunately, content management means so many different things to
different people it is very easy to end up with the wrong system if
the requirements are poorly defined. How many times do you see
questions asking about which CMS someone should get where the
requirements are vague or non-existent? It doesn't help that vendors
often don't have a clear vision about which types of problems they are
aiming to solve - they try to be all things to all people.
I would rather see some specialisation in the industry so those CMS
that manage content in terms of workflow and publishing for a website
are somehow identified as different from those CMS that manage content
in terms of single-sourcing for different output targets. That way I
could cut out the 90% of systems that don't meet my requirements as I
fall into the latter category.
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