Frequently Asked Questions About Component Content Management Systems

With over 20 years as a leading provider of content management systems and software, Vasont Systems appreciates the many questions that businesses of all sizes often have when considering the switch to better document management through the integration of a CCMS — Component Content Management System. To help you make sense of this process as well as make the best choice for your business — such as choosing the Vasont® CCMS to cost-effectively handle the volume of technical documentation your business produces — the following answers to frequently asked questions are offered.

What is a CCMS?

A Component Content Management System (CCMS) is a content management database that manages data at a component, or sub-document, level. With the use of XML to provide structured formatting, content is broken up and stored singularly by components such as topic, section, or procedure. This breakdown enables the maximum reuse of material for publishing to multiple media channels, like websites, mobile devices, and print assets.

What is a CMS?

A Content Management System (CMS) is a widely used term for database software that supports the creation, management, and modifications of content throughout collaborative business networks. Through the organization and consolidation of pieces of digital content like text, multimedia clips, graphics, and XML or HTML tagging schemes, content is stored efficiently for multiple subsequent reuses. CMSs exist in different forms to accomplish specific support functions, such as web content management, digital asset content management, component content management, and more.

What is DITA?

DITA, or Darwin Information Typing Architecture, is an XML data model used in the process of information typing to serve such purposes as publishing content through topic-based authoring. In this manner, content is sub-divided into topics like tasks, references, and concepts. Through mapping, these topics are arranged sequentially in the order in which they will be published in any given document. DITA is maintained and defined by the OASIS DITA Technical Committee.

What does SaaS mean?

SaaS stands for Software as a Service. It is a software delivery and licensing model that hosts content on a centralized Internet location, such as a data center in the cloud to be viewed by users over an Internet browser. The software can be accessed on a subscription basis for applications such as content storage and translation management.

What is XML?

The Extensible Markup Language, or XML, is a markup language with a set of rules for content encoding. XML allows you to tag content in a standardized manner similar to HTML but also enables you to define your own customized tags and determine how these tags should be displayed. As a metalanguage, XML can be used to create a custom language that can be viewed and edited across different types of systems with easy readability by both humans and computers.

What is an XML CMS?

XML CMS is merely another name for CCMS — a content management database which uses XML to provide a granular structure for effective content storage and delivery to multiple media channels.

What is XSL?

The Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL) is a stylesheet language created explicitly for use with XML files. XSL documents contain rules that describe how XML content should be displayed, making it ideal for XML projects that require precise formatting. XSL separates a document's content from its stylistic characteristics, allowing it to be more easily displayed on different types of devices to users' unique preferences.

What is XSLT?

XSLT, or Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations, is a language developed to transform XML content into plain text, other XML content, HTML documents, or XSL Formatting Objects, which can themselves be converted to PNG, PDF, or PostScript. XSLT doesn't change existing content but instead creates new material that you can then convert into another format.

What is XML used for?

The structure and flexibility of XML enable both machines and humans to easily grasp the meaning of XML content, which allows for easy portability across complex systems, such as cell phones and tablets, with higher efficiency in reading, editing, reviewing, and publishing content. Also, through Unicode support, XML can support multiple human languages for efficient content translation.

What is DITA used for?

DITA is particularly useful for managing highly technical content like product support, training manuals, and user guides across platforms, but it can also be used for labeling, packaging inserts, and other applications across numerous industries. Any industry interested in repurposing content across applications can benefit from DITA.

What is the difference between a CMS and a CCMS?

A CMS is a general service that supports the creation, editing, and repurposing of content at a document level. A CCMS, on the other hand, is software developed to create, store, edit, and manage content at a modular level, and it focuses more on the small details of your content rather than on the files themselves.

What is the difference between a CMS and a Web CMS?

CMS is a general term for database software that can be used for various functions such as web content management, electronic records management, and other types of content management solutions. A Web CMS is a type of content management system specifically designed to allow you to create, edit, and publish website content even with little knowledge of programming or markup languages.

What is a headless CMS?

A traditional CMS combines content with a way to view that content, such as a website. However, a headless CMS focuses entirely on the content and user interface without tying these materials to a specific domain, allowing for greater flexibility in content viewing. The term "headless" refers to the cutting off of the "head" — aka the website — from the content. Instead, you can access your material via an API that can be displayed across any device, such as on a web browser or mobile web browser or in a native mobile app.

What is the difference between a cloud-based CMS and a headless CMS?

A cloud-based CMS operates on a cloud-computing model rather than through an on-premise, locally installed CMS. A headless CMS — which can function as either a cloud-based or on-premise CMS — refers to a back-end only CMS model that operates without a specific content-viewing platform.

What is a subscription-based CCMS?

Subscription-based CCMS services use a subscription-based pricing model, allowing you unlimited use of the CCMS for a specified amount of time after paying a set price.

What is Vasont® Inspire?

Vasont Inspire is a web-based CCMS that allows you to reuse, repurpose, and publish your content across multiple programs. Through Vasont Inspire's simple web-based XML content editor, you can review, edit, and distribute your content anywhere in the world without having to copy and paste to transfer material across channels.

Can Vasont Inspire be used with structures other than DITA?

Yes! The Vasont Inspire CCMS can be integrated with the tools that you're currently using for your business.

Which tools are compatible with the Vasont CCMS?

Using Vasont Extensions, our CCMS can be easily integrated with some of the leading publishing, editing, and translation software, making it easy for non-technical users to work with XML data. Available extensions include the Vasont Universal Integrator, which integrates editing tools directly into the main menu of oXygen, XMetaL, Adobe® FrameMaker®, and other popular software.

Is Vasont Inspire only sold as a subscription?

No, you can purchase the Vasont Inspire CCMS as either a SaaS or an on-premise solution.

How do I choose the right CCMS for my organization?

Choosing the best CCMS for your business requires a thorough assessment of your needs, your priorities, and your budget. To learn more about what a CCMS can do for you, check out our Crash Course for Content Management, read some of the case studies and white papers on our website, or contact our team directly.

Since 1992, Vasont Systems has provided the top content management solutions for numerous industries and applications. From providing you with critical knowledge and information to helping you develop and integrate your CCMS plan, we're with you through every step of the content management process. Contact us to learn more about any of the topics above or get more information on implementing the ideal content management solution for your business.