What is Web CMS or WCM System? (Web Content Management System)
Wikipedia defines a Content Management System as:
"A content management system (CMS) is a computer application used to create, edit, manage, and publish content in a consistently organized fashion so that it can be modified/delete/add. 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. The content managed may include computer files, image media, audio files, video files, electronic documents, and Web content." - Wikipedia
This is a fairly broad definition that does not really help that much as CMS seems to include all kinds of electronic files and a lot of different ways of dealing with documents, including functions which can be considered.
A subsection of Content Management is Web Content Management or WCM. A WCMS is a program that helps in maintaining, controlling, changing and reassembling the content on a web-page. Content is mostly kept in a database and assembled using a flexible language like XML or .NET. The user interacts with the system at the front through a normal web browser. From there he can edit, control parts of the layout and maintain and add to the web-pages without any programming or HTML skills. For this it needs to then provide some or all the following functionalities.
- Automated templates that can be changed easily on one place and then move all through the system
- Easily editable content
- Extensible feature sets, usually through plug-ins or extensions.
- Regular updates and adherence to Web standards
- Simple Workflow for processes like submittal, editing and authorization for release
- Lifecycle Management of content, from creation to final deletion
- Version control of whole web pages
- And more
A Web Content Management System often exists as a part of larger Enterprise solutions but can be equally effective for smaller-scale implementations. Most vendors have some sort of Web CMS components in their Software Suite, whether as proper Web Content Management to support the publishing and reuse of content or as web-enabled functionality of top of their more widely used content repository.
Web Content Management has been around since companies tried to find a more effective way of managing their internal and external website. These days Specialist WCMS vendors start including Web 2.0 based technologies like RSS feed, Social Networks, Tagging and others into their offering, further making the distinction between Web Content Management and Web-enabled Content Management difficult to make.