A Content Management System (CMS) is a collection of procedures used to manage work flow in a collaborative environment. These procedures can be manual or computer-based. The procedures are designed to:
- Allow for large number of people to contribute to and share stored data
- Control access to data, based on user roles. User roles are used to define each use as to what information they can view or edit
- Aid in easy storage and retrieval of data
- Reduce repetitive duplicate input
- Improve the ease of report writing
- Improve communication between users
In a CMS, data can be defined as almost anything – documents, movies, pictures, phone numbers, scientific data, etc. CMSs are frequently used for storing, controlling, revising, and publishing documentation. Content that is controlled is industry-specific. (Entertainment content differs from the design of a fighter jet). There are various terms for systems (related processes) that do this. Examples include: Web Content Management, Digital Asset Management, Digital Records Management, Electronic Content Management (and others). Synchronization of intermediate steps, and collation into a final product are common goals of each.
Types of CMS
There are six main categories of CMS, with their respective domains of use:
- Enterprise CMS (ECMS)
- Web CMS (WCMS)
- Document Management System (DMS)
- Mobile Content Management System
- Component Content Management System
- Media Content Management System
Web-content-management system (WCM, WCMS or Web CMS) is content management system (CMS) software, implemented as a Web application, for creating and managing HTML content. It is used to manage and control a large, dynamic collection of Web material (HTML documents and their associated images). A WCMS facilitates content creation, content control, editing, and essential Web maintenance functions.
The software provides authoring (and other) tools designed to allow users with little knowledge of programming languages or markup languages to create and manage content with relative ease.
Most systems use a database to store content, metadata, or artifacts that might be needed by the system. Content is frequently, but not universally, stored as XML, to facilitate reuse and enable flexible presentation options.
A presentation layer displays the content to Web-site visitors based on a set of templates. The templates are sometimes XSLT files.
Most systems use server side caching boosting performance. This works best when the WCMS is not changed often but visits happen on a regular basis.
Administration is typically done through browser-based interfaces, but some systems require the use of a fat client.
Unlike Web-site builders, a WCMS allows non-technical users to make changes to a website with little training. A WCMS typically requires an experienced coder to set up and add features, but is primarily a Web-site maintenance tool for non-technical administrators.