A Content Management System (CMS) is a middleware software application (usually running processes in the business logic and presentation tiers) that is geared toward providing tools for the gathering, sorting, storing, creation, dissemination, and sharing of content. There are three basic types of CMSs:
A file manger
This is a personal CMS used to navigate through, accesses, and use files in a file system. Today all file managers are GUI based navigational file managers. File managers present records in top-down linear hierarchy tree views in which each record (often called a branch or a node) can have a number of nested sub-records. A node can be expanded to reveal sub-records, if any exist, and collapsed to hide sub-records.
A network-based CMS
These are sometimes also referred to as Enterprise Content Management Systems (ECMS) as they are geared toward managing content on an organizational level. ECMSs are usually client-side presentation level applications that contain several business logic sub-systems for handling the core content management processes. In modern organizations these processes include: document management, records management, business process management support, business intelligence support (DSS), and user interaction management (knowledge management).
Until very recently ECMSs were enterprise level versions of desktop file management systems mainly designed to deal with existing records. For that reason, the vast majority of existing ECMSs still use top-down linear hierarchy tree views in order to organize records for retrieval and use, while more advance systems use branching hierarchy views.
These differ from ECMSs in one very important aspect – whereas ECMSs are mostly concerned with managing existing records in centralizes networks, Web Content Management Systems (WCMS) are mostly concerned with the creation and sharing of hypermedia pages on the web. For that reason, while ECMSs are essentially robust record management platforms, WCMSs are online web page factories.
Administration of the content management operations in WCMSs is conducted via Web User Interfaces (WUI). These WUIs use two models to handle and structure content:
1. Pure linear array in which each web page is interlinked linearly to the page that precedes it and the page that proceeds it (e.g. blogs).
2. Top-down linear hierarchy or branching hierarchy tree views (e.g. XML documents, Outliner applications, etc.).
IncrediCube takes a radically different approach to the structuring of content within the system. Using a combination of a new information workflow engine to structure the content, and a unique Mosaic UI to allow users to manage it, it becomes possible to radically improve and extends the ways in which content is collected, stored, preserved, created, disseminated, and shared.
* This post is part of a new ongoing series entitled: ‘Basic definitions for non computer experts’.