What are content management systems?
Content management systems are platforms that can be used by multiple users at the same time,on the same network. This network can be the Internet, LAN, WAN or an intranet. Content management systems allow users to upload, share, eManagement of the content uploaded by different users working in a collaborative environmentdit and download information across multiple users. Most CMSs are designed in ways that help their users meet certain objectives. Some of the common goals of a content management system include:
- Storing information permanently while classifying it into different groups such as documents,
- videos, texts, pictures, numbers, articles, etc.
- Making amendments to improve quality of interaction among members
- Auto-generating documents
- Testing the validity of information being entered into the system by users
- Securing the environment from external attacks
- Limiting access of all the members of the system in a specified manner
- Retrieving information
Where are content management systems used?
CMSs are used in a wide range of organizations. Some of them include:
Elementary Schools – Large schools have hundreds of students, which means there is a lot of information to handle. Content management systems make managing information a lot more easy and less time consuming. In many schools, instructors are required to upload student-specific information on the CMS. This information is later processed by different applications on the CMS to auto-generate rank lists, evaluation reports, and other documents.
Universities – Universities are collections of different colleges and schools. Hence, a common network is required as a communication link among all the different units. University-wide content management systems are used by administrative staff, faculty members and students. There are separate domains for all three parties with certain areas overlapping. Content management systems in universities exist for various reasons, such as:
- To act as a communication link between the administration and the rest of the users
- To help all members access information they require for academic activities
- To promote events and causes
- To increase socializing among members
- To generate grade reports and other periodic documents
Businesses – Businesses also use content management systems. Some of their objectives executed on CMSs are:
- Sharing of periodic business goals
- Sharing of other relatively long period information, such as the company’s vision, mission
- statements and values
- Enabling communication among members
- Giving access to department or hierarchy-specific information to certain people
- Auto-generating charts, diagrams, documents, and emails with pre-entered information
It must be noted that the organizations mentioned above may choose a certain type of CMS depending
on their requirements.
Examples of content management systems
There are many content management systems available to clients. They can be classified into the three
different categories mentioned below.
Content management systems are often demanded by organizations that have requirements very different from those of other organizations. Hence, CMSs are sold on a SaaS basis as well. Office 365 is an example of a SaaS CMS.
Office 365 is a set of services that can be subscribed to on a periodically paid basis. The shortest period of subscription is a month. Office 365 is a cloud-hosting-based service that can also be installed on computers. Upon subscription to Office 365, the newest version of Office becomes a part of the offer to the client and is installed on their PCs.
Other examples include:
- SharePoint Server
- Content SORT
- BigPress CMS
- Auctori Poplopy Web CMS
- Adobe Business Catalyst
- Agility CMS
Proprietary content management systems are software used by organizations which have a legal right to use them, because of the licenses they have acquired from the company. In spite of the paid acquisition, users are prohibited from the modification and distribution of the software.
One example of CMS as a proprietary software is that of IBM’s Lotus Web Content Management. Lotus allows its users to create and maintain web pages with the help of a rich text editor, save data at a central location, use ready-made templates for the creation of new web pages, and use workflows for the standardizations of web pages.
Other examples include:
- Microsoft SharePoint Foundation
- SharePoint Server (MOSS)
- Kentico CMS
- Hyland OnBase ECM
- Expression Engine
- Elcom CMS
- Escenic Content Engine
Open source software
Content management systems are also available as open source software. This means users can alter them according to their organizations’ needs. One very popular open source CMS is ACS. ACS is a collection of different applications, which can be used to install and organize web sites requiring collaboration. Applications part of the ACS collection includes blogger, chat forums, bug tracker, message service, and workflow.
Other examples of open source CMS’s include:
- Orchard Project
Important factors to be considered
As mentioned earlier, there are tons of content management systems available. Hence, users decide which CMS to go for, considering the different features they require. Some of these requirements include the following.
System requirement is perhaps the most important factor when it comes to selecting a content management system. Larger CMSs can be handled only by powerful servers. That is why small organizations opt for relatively lighter, efficient CMSs. Application server, license, operating system, web server, and root access are some of the factors that define an organization’s system requirements.
Since the number of online platforms for businesses is gradually increasing, so is the demand for web CMSs. Some of the features that online commerce platforms consider very important include shopping cart, wish lists, inventory management, and affiliate tracking.
Built-in applications are of great use when it comes to certain types of tasks. Some of the most popular built-in applications among users include site map, surveys, time tracking, weather, data entry, file distribution, discussion forums, and polls.