on 5 November 2002
This is a very comprehensive book which manages to be both technical enough to keep developers happy and yet clear enough to be understood by managers. As a web developer with experience of working on a number of intranet and extranet projects under a variety of managers I would thoroughly recommend this book to all those involved in any aspect of managing a content-driven website or intranet.
A Content Management System, whether it’s an actual application or a set of procedures, is absolutely essential for the delivery of a large amount of content in a consistent and structured manner. Once a website or intranet reaches a certain size, the benefit of having a rigid application in place as opposed to relying on people following procedures becomes clear. Every single piece of information on the system is catalogued, it is known who is responsible for it, and it can be easily found. Even when a website is small, adopting a content management system early means that the growth of the site is tightly controlled. Furthermore, there is a clear division between content and presentation, so that they can be changed independently of one another, which is an essential business requirement. And of course, the ultimate benefit of a CMS is that the responsibility for putting new content live and maintaining existing content can be handed over to the business users whom the content is meant to serve, thus freeing up valuable web developers for other projects.
A CMS can be a very complex beast, which must be tailored to the exact requirements of an organisation so that it best serves their needs. Additionally, an organisation must clearly define their needs and be prepared to modify their business procedures around the proposed system. This book goes into detail about how to go about how to help an organisation define their requirements and proposes a number of operating models for them to consider.
The question of whether to buy an off-the-shelf solution and customise it or develop one in house is one which lies at the heart of most systems management decisions – and CMSs are no exception. Which option to go for depends on a number of factors which are unique to each organisation – this book discusses these factors in detail, then goes on to describe all the things to consider when buying or building a CMS.
And that’s still not the end of the story! Once the system has been purchased or built, it still needs to be implemented and the existing data needs to be migrated. This is a process that needs to begin long before the system is complete. This book shows how to divide up the responsibilities for migration and implementation, and discusses all the relevant issues.
Take a look at the authors’ section, and you will see that this book has been put together by people with a serious amount of experience and expertise in this field. It has been thoroughly well researched and really does cover the entire process of choosing, building and implementing a CMS.
I will stress again, it is a must-read for all those involved in deploying content over the web!!