The decision to acquire a content management system (CMS) is a big one, especially if you want to invest in a custom system that manages information for publication. Understanding the basic elements of a content management system can help you make your decision.
The content management system (.net cms) is designed to gather, coordinate, and publish bundles of information called content components. Your content management system will return this bundled information in the form of web publications, print media, and syndicated works. Behind the scenes, you may desire the ability to manipulate the database of the CMS to create custom publications for your audiences.
Web communities like Facebook and MySpace use templates to collect information from users. When this information is collected through web forms, the CMS converts that information in to a uniform format such as XML. Externally, the user can input information, choose from a variety of options, and publish a unique web page. If you can visualize the massive database required for managing millions of custom web pages in a web community, you can imagine the need for a comprehensive CMS.
Your business needs are probably smaller than a web community with millions of users. However, the question of how to manage your information is still crucial.
Bob Boiko, author of “Content Management Bibile”, describes the CMS as being composed of these major parts-a collection system that takes in raw information and transforms it in to content components, a management system that saves the components, and a publication system that takes the information out of storage and transforms it into published works.
One of the major distinctions raised by Boiko concerns the difference between information that a CMS collects. Namely, there is collected information that you control because you own this information, and there is information collected from other sources that you can manipulate with the proper permission.
For example, if your business is a web community, the input you get from individual users is not information that you can control. However, your CMS can receive user-inputted data through online forms, store the information, and process the relevant parts of the information for various publications. One type of publication is a report that breaks down the percentage of users living in each of the fifty states. That would be a simple calculation for a complex database.
Your conclusion may be that you can buy a product online that perform the functions your business requires. Or, you may decide that the key to increasing your publishing capacity is to hire a programmer to work with open-source CMS tools and build a basic CMS for your business. When you decide go to custom, to buy an existing product, or to build open-source code, be sure that the final product will be useful for managing your content.