RE: Content Management

Subject: RE: Content Management
From: David Handy <davidh -at- automsoft -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 3 Jul 2002 17:46:05 +0100


Mubeena,
During your internship you're interested in "devising a
content management model" for your employers
while "preparing technical documents for marketing
purposes from scratch". Phew! you've a busy
summer ahead. But it sounds like you have your
content mgmt concerns nailed down simply and
usefully. Well begun is half done, as the saying goes...

Regarding content management: you define it in your
company's terms as a means of ensuring that "any
person looking for information in the future has
access to information easily and readily." To
paraphrase, then, what you need is a means of
safeguarding documents from loss or unwarranted
edits? We use Visual Source Safe for that. Its main
asset is that it stores every draft of a given document,
so you can tag the version you want to circulate
publicly/to other staff and otherwise use (or ignore)
alternate versions.

I'm not cheerleading for VSS here by the way: what
it *won't* do, to my knowledge, is give you a
snapshot of the content within a document. e.g. the
images used within it (which I infer is one of your
requirements also). Others may tell you about
software solutions offering that sort of granularity. It
depends on what your CM priorities are.

If - thhis is a big if - you can rely on your co-workers not to overwrite
important docs, and if you're
principally concerned with a solution that catalogs the
discrete content elements used in given documents,
then a database application could suffice. But there
could be a lot of overhead in maintaining those
databases, particularly if yours is a large or busy
company and/or the there will be a frequent turnover
of the personnel maintaining them. Buying a more
sophisticated doc management/content management
application could work out cheaper in the long run.

My advice would be not to let this eat too much into your time. But yes, if
you can solve it, it's a great feather in your cap.

NB: I say this without knowing how large your
company is or what it does.

my two cents,

dh
automsoft


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