What is Web CMS (or WCM)?

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.

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What is Web CMS or WCM System? (Web Content Management System)

Content on web pages must be managed like all other content. Web Content Management (WCM) is used to create, manage, store and display content on web pages.

Web Content Management, or WCM, is a lot like content management in that it manages the integrity, revisions, and lifecycle of information – except it specializes in content that is specifically destined for the Web.

A Web Content Management System (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 the web pages can be edited while maintaining control on parts of the layout.

The key features of WCM systems are:
  • The ability to design and organize Websites to provide efficient and effective access to relevant and up-to-date content
  • The ability to control and prepare the content for publication, including orchestrating and controlling content evaluation and approval before publication on the Web site, and
  • The automation of key parts of the publishing process.

Most systems today are designed to allow users with little knowledge of Web programming or markup languages to create and manage Website content with relative ease. Typically, they use a database to store page content, metadata, and other information assets that might be needed by the system, and administration is usually done through browser-based interfaces.

WCM comes into play whether the site is intended to be used internally by organizational personnel (an intranet), externally by business partners and other outside-but-business-critical parties (an extranet), or publicly on the Web itself (on the Internet). The Web content being managed may be different, however. For instance, Intranets are generally as secure as any inside resource, and, in fact, need not even connect to the outside Internet at all. They typically contain:
  • Work content to help people do their day-to-day jobs, including accounting, IT, phone/email directories, and conference room scheduling
  • HR information like benefits, employee newsletter, vacation requests, and training availability
  • Corporate material including annual reports, governance, and press releases
  • Social content such as regarding social events, company sports, and charitable activities

As is the case with other information management system, not every WCM solution provides the same functions as every other, or the same level of depth.  So depending upon what you need, and what you anticipate needing in the time ahead, it is smart to consider the alternatives in terms of how different capabilities can be activated or added later on. Among these are:

  • Configuration: the ability to turn built-in features on and off, universally or selectively, by changing administrative settings
  • Extension: the ability to install modules of new functionality to the original solution, as when plugging new capabilities into an application platform
  • Customization: the ability to take what you’re given and programmatically form-fit it to your specifications via supplied or purchased toolkits or Application Programming Interfaces
  • Integration: the ability to tie the WCM solution to others that have already been installed, either programmatically or by leveraging interoperability methods such as Web services.

Note: The basis of this information was taken from the body of knowledge that comprises AIIM’s Certified Information Professional and from Wikipedia.

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