Posted by: Admin at 7:59 pm on January 12th, 2014
CCMS technology helps technical writers.
What Is A Content Management System?
A content management system is made up of software and servers that support the full cycle of the information as it goes from creation to deletion. Depending on how folks wish to share or use information on the internet, a content management system (CMS) can serve almost any purpose.
Take a web portal for example. A web portal uses a CMS for authoring written content. The author then adds pictures and figures, and may insert videos also. When the freshly assembled web page is ready for publication, the CMS stores the data, plugs it into a template format it and publishes it. At this point the web page and the information on it is ready for people like you and me who wish to view it. Later on when the information on the page becomes outdated or less popular, it may be moved to a less prominent location on a web site, or it gets archived away where it cannot be accessed any further.
If you want to, you may click here to read some more about a CMS.
This article isn't about CMS technology. This intends to take the concept of a CMS a little further.
Component Content Management System
For several hours a day, my computer screen projects a seemingly complex set of structured information trees on one pane. On the other side is a pane into which I type some plain text. This is the editing portion of a specialized CMS made just for technical writers. It's called a component content management system - or CCMS for short.
As the name implies, a component content management system has something to do with components - instead of entire documents. With an established trend toward paperless systems and user demand for content sensitive end userhelp (say for example on medical devices: read more about this by clicking here) - we are seeing an ever-growing trend toward publication of documents comprised of "chunked" or component-based pieces of information.
Of the several advantages of component-based information is the ability to offer product users smaller pieces of information. This stand in contrast to being offered all the information available for the entire product.
In the case of end-user assistance that accompanies medical devices, rather than force the device operator to scour through a printed document − or even an entire 500-page PDF − the user can view on-screen help relevant to only the procedure they are invoking on the instrument.
For example if the medical device operator gets stuck by forgetting what kind of configuration to enter on the device settings screen, they can invoke another screen that provides them with some assistance. This information is given to the user as small relevant chunks of information having only to do with the screen they are manipulating .
This kind of "granular assistance" is one of many things a component content management system can offer.
I will be writing more about CCMs and CCMSs later. Click here to see the full listing of articles covering this.
Published by John Meléndez
John Melendez is a journalist, technical writer, and photographer.