What is a Content Management System (CMS)?

A Content Management System (CMS for Web publishing) is a combination of large database, File System,  and other related software modules which are used to store and later retrieve huge amounts of data. These web publishing systems are different from the databases in the sense that these can index text, audio clips, video clips, or images in a database.

Users of the web publishing system can find relevant content from within a database by searching for keywords, authors, date of creation, etc. Web Content Management Systems can be used to create information portals which serve as the backbone of data management. Along with the database handling facilities, the software modules also allows anyone to contribute information to a website via a graphical user interface (GUI). They are usually based on a pre-written template that acts as a platform for each page in the site as those pages are created.

At the company level, Content Management systems (CMS) store and manage an organization’s electronic document and Web content so that the employee of the company can reuse the information across different applications. The web published content can also be distributed to customers and business partners outside the organization. The core application of the CMS is to manages content during its entire lifecycle i.e. from creation through publishing. The content of the CMS can also be shared by e-commerce and customer relationship management systems (CRM). Web Publishing system enables you to establish a consistent look and feel throughout your site, but gives your non-technical content authors the power to publish and update their own content using simple, but powerful, browser-based tools. Some of the CMS systems integrate with content delivery applications to deliver the content via a web site.

There are three basic participants in the web publishing CMS system:

  • Content Editors (Decide what content to publish and where)
  • Content Publishers (Publish the content on the web)
  • Content Authors (Create the content for the web)

A Web Publishing CMS allows non-technical authors and editors to easily and quickly publish their content which is otherwise done by technical programmers. A web publishing CMS establishes defined publishing processes and specific publishing rights to various individuals. By using these facilities, the company can save the time for training, while facilitating more people to publish. It also reduces the daily stream of calls to the IT department for changes to the website. A web publishing management system reduces time-to-publish, allowing you to get content published faster. This is an important issue for the modern organization. The quicker you get key content published, the more value and emphasis it creates. A wide range of content can be published using the system.

This can be characterized as:

  • Simple pages for normal presentation
  • Complex pages, with specific layout and presentation
  • Dynamic information sourced from databases and will change on regular time intervals
  • Training material
  • Online manual
  • General business documents
  • Thousands of pages in total for different categories of customers
  • Extensive linking between pages
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