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Content management system

A content management system (CMS) is a system used to organize and facilitate collaborative content creation.

CMSs allow end-users (typically authors of some sort) to provide new content in the form of articles. The articles are typically entered as plain text, perhaps with markup to indicate where other resources (such as pictures) should be placed. The system then uses rules to style the article, which separates the display from the content, which has a number of advantages when trying to get many articles to conform to a consistent "look and feel". The system then adds the articles to a larger collection for publishing.

The systems also often include some sort of concept of the workflow for the target users, which defines how the new content is to be routed around the system.

A good example would be a system for managing a newspaper. In such a system the reporters type articles into the system, which stores them in a database. Along with the article the system stores attributes, including keywords, the date and time of filing, the reporter's name, etc. The system then uses these attributes to find out, given its workflow rules, who should proofread the article, approve it for publication, edit it, etc. Later the editors can choose which articles to include (or ignore) in an edition of the newspaper, which is then laid out and printed automatically.

More recently the term has been associated almost entirely with programs for editing web sites. Such systems span a wide variety of needs, from small systems with almost no workflow for small user-groups and such, to large database-based systems for running large, very active web sites such as those for a newspaper.

Perhaps the best example of such a system is the one you are probably using now, the WikiWiki. Wiki software includes logic that allows authors (such as yourself) to edit the content of the site online. When you have completed your changes, the wiki software tracks what changes you have made, and updates the page. Wikis also allows many more than one person to edit the target page at the same time, solving simultaneous write conflicts as they arise.

Examples of content management systems include:

See also

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