Content Management System

John J. Lee jjl at
Fri Mar 31 02:28:46 CEST 2006

Jeff <dont_bug_me at> writes:

> Water Cooler v2 wrote:
> > I know what it is, and yet the knowledge of what a CMS is, is so vague
> > that I find myself asking this question every now and then. I've
> > googled and read the resources too. However, the knowledge is still not
> > clear. It is so vague.
> > 
> > 
> > Me: Just what is a content management system?
> There's many different CMS sytems out there. How they work vary widely. 
> But basically it's about making the site maintainable. Creating pages ad 
> hoc on your desktop can lead to variations in a website depending on 
> when and who made that page. That can cause problems as a site expands.

I hope your fellow programmers here know about separation of concerns
already (!).  But I suppose it's useful to start by pointing out that
the rest of the world rarely thinks about that.

Still, the OP was instead asking about what distinguishes a "CMS" (a
term in danger of meaning all things to all people) from just about
every other database program ever written for a non-techie audience,
and you go on in the rest of your post to sensibly explain the
concrete details.

I guess what people most often mean by it is (maximally condensing
what you wrote, really):

 - generic framework + tools, NOT designed for a specific field or market

 - the hope is that somebody dragged at random off the street will be
   able to use it (because nobody else in the office wants to do the
   data entry, presumably ;-)

 - web-based (duh)

> Common and necesary features are:
[...snip appropriately concrete details...]

Looking at it another way, a CMS is a trap-door for your
organisation's valuable data <0.75 wink>


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