What a component content management system is not - A-Jour Net

premiumlexicographerInternet and Web Development

Dec 8, 2013 (3 years and 6 months ago)

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An introduction

… and why use
one instead
of a desktop publishing system,
such as
Word,
FrameMaker
, or
Dreamweaver
?


Our
objective

is to answer this question through acquainting
you with how a component CMS works, including:


the tools and processes that comprise
a component CMS


w
hat you gain from using a component CMS



...an end
-
to
-
end
solution that manages
content at a “granular”
level and facilitates
streamlined authoring,
reviewing, localizing
and publishing.





content

reusing

publishing

authoring

localizing

managing

storing &
tracking

…a
document

management
system: a
shared
computer system used to track and store
electronic documents.
Such systems usually
include:


storing various versions
of documents


tracking
who modifies them (history tracking
)


Such systems can range from a shared drive to a
purchased
suite that includes versions,
ownership, and
security.

…a
web

CMS, where a website manages its content,
user paths, forms, downloads, etc.


WEB
DESIGNER

CONTENT

DEVELOPERS

EDITORS

APPROVERS

HOSTED CMS
SERVER

WEBSITE
(
WWW.U.COM/URL)

SITE
VISITOR

…all activities “pass
through” the content
author, and full documents
are stored in a central
location

or perhaps on a
personal drive:

AUTHOR

DOCUMENT
STORAGE

In a desktop management
system, you have ea
s
e of use
and are relatively free to
work as you choose. You work
and think in terms of
whole
documents
. Sharing content
means providing access to full
documents and “pulling

out” what you need.

In a component CMS, you
have ease of access (central
content storage used by all),
reuse, localizing, and
publishing. You work and
think in terms of
chunks

and
function

intro, lists, topics,
etc.

The repository
(storage database) is
the cornerstone to a
CCMS because it
centralizes all aspects
of the

documentation

process.

content

reusing

publishing

authoring

localizing

managing

storing &
tracking

LIST

INTRO

…content is stored in chunks
in the repository, so that
each chunk can be mixed and
matched throughout
documentation.

Yes!

With rare exceptions, most teams adopting a CCMS have
existing content that they need for future iterations of
documentation.


User
Guide

GSG

Read

This

First

content

But:

Depending on what you currently use, you might have
to convert content from one format, such as Word or
FrameMaker
, to a common CCMS format, such as XML
or XHTML.


User
Guide


CCMS Format

XML

XHTML

DITA

User
Guide

DTP Format

Word

Frame

Dream
-

weaver

So:

Once your content is in an acceptable format, it can be
imported to your editor
and
your CCMS repository to
be used again.


User
Guide

CCMS Format

XML

XHTML

DITA

content

All
users have
immediate access to
the most recent (or
most appropriate)
version of any
content
chunk.


Assembly
section



July 21 2012 16:14:24



September 02 2012 11:27:02

Product A
GSG



March 17 2012 20:03:44



April 2, 2012 09:47:05

Maint
.

chapter



August 14 2012 14:41:29



August 16 2012 08:24:33

Ownership can be assigned
to specific content so that
only one person has
responsibility for a chunk,
also keeping your content
safer.

Access to the database is
restricted to those who
contribute to the content
development cycle,
which
keeps
your content safer
.

Mine!

The authoring environment in a CCMS might look much lik
e

your authoring environment today.

It has an editing application, quite often in a markup language
such as XML or XHTML, that is author
-
centric to a greater or
lesser degree.



Some CCMSs have an
authoring interface
integrated directly with the
repository, so when you
work on content, you work
directly in the database.

Other CCMSs have a
separate authoring
application, which means
that you must upload and
download content from the
database.

Regardless of how the authoring tool works with the
database, using a CCMS provides several benefits:


i
mproved reuse


w
orkflow management


direct localization access


m
ulti
-
channel publishing

We will look at each of these in more detail.

In a content repository, you reuse content in two ways:


y
ou can copy
only the necessary chunks of content within
the
repository


you can point to (reference) chunks
of content from one
point in the repository to another.





[BOOK]


[CHAPTER]
NATIVE TEXT


[INTRO]
REFERENCED


[TOPIC]
REFERENCED



[LIST]
REFERENCED



[INDEX
] NATIVE TEXT

LIST

BOO
K

C
O
P
Y

r
epository

a
uthoring

environment

Content
reuse in a CCMS is more
integral than
in
DTP
because it is easier. Ease of reuse occurs because:


all users have access to completely centralized content


content is
stored in more granular chunks
that can be
reused an updated for all instances at one time


search and retrieve allows you to identify specific
pieces of content, rather than a full document


Consistency

Documentation becomes more
consistent across documents and
document sets, writers and
reviewers,
which
contributes
to
improved customer ratings



corporate
standards

style
guides

editing
rules

BOOK

Author once

You author once and use
multiple times, reducing
rework/repurposing efforts

User
Guide

GSG

RTF

2
X

In a CCMS, workflows
are

handled within the repository,
usually in an interface component dedicated to workflow.

Using integrated workflow benefits a documentation
team (or a company) by:


providing clear information to all users of what is
currently assigned to whom and the status of each
assigned task


reducing
“dropped” assignments


providing
early warning of schedule

problems



Each user has an assigned
function/role, and content
modules can be assigned
checklists, tasks, due
dates, etc.


When
a user completes an
assignment,
a notification
is sent to
the next person
who needs to handle it.

u
ser role

a
ssigned function

The next designated
user then finds the new
workflow in his/her
workflow interface.


Depending on the CCMS, other
useful options
are
available for
managing workflows and
schedules
.

If a checkpoint or deadline is missed, the project
manager is “flagged” through an
automatic
notification.
The workflow for that project is also

flagged,”
making it clear at a glance that a
project
deadline
is at risk
.

Combined with appropriate
security (remember roles
and functions determine access)
and
workflow,
localizing within a CCMS:


r
educes cycle times


d
ecreases translation costs


c
reates more consistent translated content


k
eeps your content safer


Because localizers can access the content directly in
the repository, there is no need for external hand
-
off
processes, thereby increasing process efficiency.

localizing

content


s
ource language


t
ranslated
langs

Because content
is managed as modular chunks,
localizers download only
the content that has changed
since the last translation
effort, reducing the cost of
localizing.

TMs

translation

QA

processes

So, instead of releasing entire documents to a localization
house, the content development team releases only
updated content. Instead of the localization house needing
to run the entire set of content against a translation
memory, they run only the changed content.



[BOOK]


[CHAPTER]


[INTRO]


[TOPIC]


[LIST]


[ITEM1]



[ITEM2]



[ITEM3]


[ITEM4]


[INDEX]

Loc

House

Publishing is arguably the most significant contributor to making
adopting a CCMS worthwhile (though it runs a tight race with
localizing) because it:


v
irtually eliminates desktop publishing of various output
types


a
llows you to author once and publish to multiple output
types at once


c
reates consistent formatting and content handling for each
output type, respectively, which contributes to improved
customer satisfaction ratings



In a DTP system, you
often have to maintain
multiple copies of source documents to get
multiple output types, such as PDF, online help,
and XML.

GSG

s
ource

file

OLH

s
ource

file

ePub

s
ource

file

GSG

PDF

DTP model

WRITER

PUBLISHER

Sometimes, you might
be able to author once, tweak the
content several times, and get multiple output
types

but it
nearly always requires human intervention
.

And that final tweaking is only
after

your desktop publishers
have
already formatted
, styled, and fine
-
tuned the content
multiple times in the course of content development

before
review, after changes are added, after copyediting, etc.



source

file

GSG

PDF

Best
-
case

DTP model

PUBLISHER

But in a CCMS, you can
author your content once and
publish to multiple formats at
the same time, without
tweaking your content. This
reduces desktop publishing
time and costs dramatically.


Output, regardless of type,
is automated, whether
created during
development milestones or
for final delivery.

source

file

GSG

PDF

AUTHOR

In summary, using a CCMS is ideal for any
documentation team looking for:


s
horter
cycle times


customer experience consistency


i
ncreased process efficiency/productivity


l
owered costs