Print Will Never Die
Automated workflow is another key feature to look for. This makes certain all contributors are on the same page, by providing a process for creating, reusing, reviewing, translating, approving and publishing content.
Through checkpoints, each contributor is notified of their project status, and the required next step via e-mail. Some workflow features are more sophisticated than others, allowing organizations to create complex workflows graphically.
Because it's critical for organizations to have content available in print and electronic versions, the content management system should provide a single source for cross-media publishing.
This means there's a single repository that stores both structured and unstructured content. This enables organizations to maximize content reuse, while saving time and money. They can update or edit content once, and changes are automatically applied to relevant content enterprise wide.
Most technical documentation is packed with graphics and illustrations. A cross-media content management system should provide digital asset management, meaning it can handle multimedia assets such as audio and video.
Multi-language translation management with full Unicode character set support is also strategically important. The system should be able to automatically identify where content has been changed, and notify translators of what requires translation. Doing this at the component level minimizes translation costs.
Don't miss the big picture when choosing a content management system. While there are hundreds of content management systems on the market, only a handful support true cross-media publishing. Of those, only a few offer component-level reuse.
Even as we start the 21st century, more content is being produced as print than the Web, wireless, CD-ROMs and DVDs combined. Clearly, print isn't dying. Rather, it's the one constant in an ever-expanding, ever changing cross-media universe.
Bret Freeman (BFreeman@Vasont.com) is field support manager for Progressive Information Technologies, in Emigsville, Pa.