Content Mangement System

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Content Mangement System

A content management system (CMS) is a program used to provide a structure for material featured on a Web site or enterprise portal. A CMS is data-driven, meaning that it uses a database and templates to create and manage pages. The CMS allows the designers to define both the graphical user interface and the functionality of the site.

There are hundreds of content management systems available. Some are based on open-source software, or software with code that is publicly available. Others are proprietary, meaning that they use code that is not public. Prices for a CMS can range from free (for some open-source systems) to hundreds of thousands of dollars.


There are many reasons businesses choose a CMS to run their organization's Web site.

  • Efficiency. A CMS makes updating a site faster and easier. Due to the data-driven nature of the CMS, content creators and site designers will not have to touch every page when making an update. Instead, the site's designers and editors can make a single change that can then be pushed out sitewide. This saves time and money.
  • Process. A CMS also offers a process for publication. This drastically reduces the chance that something unintended will be published. Usually, a CMS has permissions set so that only authorized individuals can publish content. A CMS also generally provides documentation of what was published, by whom, and when.
  • Definition of roles. Many content management systems allow for an improved workflow, which in turn makes staffing more efficient. Each person is able to focus on his or her area of expertise. For example, an editor can focus on creating content, while a Web designer can create a global look and feel that will easily be applied. Each of these specialists can work separately within the CMS to maintain a professional Web site.


There is a dramatic trend toward consolidation of CMS vendors, especially among enterprise content management systems providers. Large software companiesincluding Oracle and IBMhave acquired multiple smaller vendors at a rapid pace over the last decade. The overall goal of

these acquisitions has been to assemble and provide CMS customers with a comprehensive package of services.

Partially as a result of this consolidation, companies often can find a solution that addresses all aspects of content within the company, including such items as internal document management, Web content, and security and business-process management. Buyers should take into account the most important features for their organization and ensure that any system they choose will seamlessly integrate with their existing technology processes.

In summary, a CMS can provide important data-management services for almost any organization. Choosing a CMS can be one of the most challenging decisions made by an organization but one that will typically reap rewards in terms of efficiency and productivity. It is important to understand the overall content management vision and, especially, the issues most important to overcome when selecting a CMS.


CMS Watch.

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Johns Hopkins Institutions Content Management System. Johns Hopkins Institutions.

OSCOM: Open Source Content Management. Available from:

Robertson, James. Top Ten Mistakes When Selecting a CMS. OpenSourceCMS, May 2008. Available from: <>