CMS Starter Kit


Top Component CMS Features

The top component content management systems (CMS) sport many advanced capabilities to help writers manage and publish XML content. You need to narrow your list of tools down to the leading CMSs that have the features that will address your pain points and make your organization most productive, therefore saving you time and money. But, what are the most valuable features to hone in on when shopping for the best CMS?

A content management system can help you meet the technical, workflow, regulatory, and other unique challenges your organization faces. Determining the optimal set of features for your content management system will require careful consideration of a number of factors. The specifics of your industry in general will play a large part in establishing your priorities.

A content management system can help communications companies and electronics manufacturers organize and store highly technical content, such as help documents. It can help healthcare organizations make information accessible to auditors and end users, while remaining in compliance with CFR Title 21 guidelines.

Other industries that can benefit from specific CMS features include finance, government, travel and transportation, and more. Keep browsing our website to learn more about how our sophisticated CMS platforms are helping prominent clients in a wide range of sectors.

Knowing what a CMS can and can’t do is the first step in determining the best system for your organization. Below is a list of situations that writers and technical communications managers typically encounter and the corresponding features that can be found in the best content management systems that improve those issues. Pick the ones that apply to your organization and make a list of the corresponding features to look for. Then, ask these top tier CMS vendors to demonstrate the features for you.

What to Look For in a Content Management System

Situation                      Features to Look For in a CMS
Content is scattered throughout the organization, resulting in contributors creating similar or duplicate content. Single-source functionality – each chunk of content is stored only one time in a single repository, enabling maximum content reuse and eliminating duplicate content.
Content is duplicated in multiple documents, making it difficult to find and accurately update all instances of content. Content reuse - ability to reuse content across multiple documents without duplicating it and to have immediate access to reused content.
Editors rely on manual processes to cross-reference content. Bi-directional link management - automated tracking of cross-referenced content allows users to automatically update all occurrences of any piece of content across all publications and prevent inaccurate content.
Writers and editors are comfortable with current XML editing tools and may be reluctant to learn yet another software program. Integrations with editing tools - editors take advantage of the CMS functionality through a menu on the toolbar of their favorite authoring/editing software.
Content is published in several formats, including print, Web, and PDF. Full Unicode support - unique character sets, such as Japanese, Russian, and Arabic, are supported in the system.
Content is published in several formats, including print, Web, and PDF. Multichannel publishing - content is easily repurposed for publishing to multiple media formats.
Our content is complex and requires unique editorial processes. Extensibility - the CMS is flexible and configurable by the user to make customizations without additional costly programming.
Users must manage and find graphics and multimedia files in addition to text. Digital asset management - users store and organize graphics and multimedia files within the CMS and search for them based on assigned metadata.
Remote content contributors work from home or different office locations. Remote access - remote users access the system through a secure Web interface.
Some content is confidential and requires high security. Authorized access control - system administers assign user privileges and roles, allowing users to only access the content they are authorized to use.
Our review process is inefficient and overly complex. Graphical workflow - managers create a graphical representation of the workflow process with checkpoints and email notifications to alert users of the project's status and next step.
We produce numerous versions of documentation for a large line of products, making it difficult to ensure the accuracy of the content. Global change capabilities - users change content in one instance and automatically update it everywhere else it appears (i.e., change a warning that appears in 20 documents once, rather than 20 times).
Our business needs are constantly evolving. Structural flexibility - ability to change a data model (i.e., DTD) and/or manage multiple models simultaneously without major changes to the system.
We need to ensure this investment will be usable in both the short and long term. Corporate stability - stability in company history, financials and management team that would suggest viability as a long-term partner.
Our staff is inexperienced with content management technology. On-site training and ongoing customer support - implementation goes smoothly and future questions get answered.


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