Content Management System (CMS)

Content Management System (CMS): A Content Management System (CMS) is a computer application used to create, edit, manage, search and publish various kinds of digital media and electronic text. CMSs are frequently used for storing, controlling, versioning, and publishing industry-specific documentation such as news articles, operators' manuals, technical manuals, sales guides, and marketing brochures. A CMS may support the following features-

a) Identification of all key users and their content management roles;

b) Ability to assign roles and responsibilities to different content categories or types;

c) Definition of workflow tasks for collaborative creation, often coupled with event messaging so that content managers are alerted to changes in content (for example, a content creator submits a story, which is published only after the copy editor revises it and the editor-in-chief approves it.);

d) Ability to track and manage multiple versions of a single instance of content;

e) Ability to capture the content (e.g. scanning);

f) Ability to publish the content to a repository to support access to the content through different search and retrieval techniques;

            Besides the above, a CMS may also have the following provisions:

g) Communication application such as video conferencing;

h) Administration components such as whiteboards for brainstorming, appointment scheduling, project management, etc.

A CMS has the following advantages over other paper based information sources

a) Reduction of paper handling and error-prone manual processes;

b) Reduction of paper storage;

c) Reduction of lost documents;

d) Faster access to information;

e) Online access to information that was formerly available only on paper, microfilm, or microfiche;

f) Improved control over documents and document-oriented processes;

f) Streamlining of time-consuming business processes;

g) Security over document access and modification;

h) Providing reliable and accurate audit trail;

i) Improved tracking and monitoring, with the ability to identify bottlenecks and modifying the system to improve efficiency.

            In the following paragraphs a few widely used CMS are discussed in brief.

a) Drupal: Drupal is a free and open source content management system (CMS) written in PHP and distributed under the GNU General Public License. The Drupal contains basic features common to most CMSs. These include user account registration and maintenance, menu management, RSS-feeds, page layout customization, and system administration. The Drupal core installation can be used as a brochureware website, a single- or multi-user blog, an Internet forum, or a community website providing for user-generated content. Website: http://drupal.org/

b) Joomla: Joomla is a free and open source content management system for publishing content on the World Wide Web and intranets. It includes features such as page caching, RSS feeds, printable versions of pages, news flashes, blogs, polls, search, and support for language internationalization. Website: http://www.joomla.org/

c) MediaWiki: MediaWiki is a popular free web-based wiki software application developed by and used on all projects of the Wikimedia Foundation, as well as on many other wiki websites worldwide. The first version of the software was deployed to serve the needs of the free content Wikipedia encyclopedia in 2002. Now it is deployed by many companies as a content management system for internal knowledge management. Website: http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki

d) Zope: Z Object Publishing Environment (Zope) is a free and open-source, object-oriented web application server written in the Python programming language. Zope is used for building web applications, content management systems, and dynamic websites of all kinds. Website: http://www.zope.org/

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