CMS Report version 10 is released

CMS Watch recently released the 10th edition of the CMS Report.

It provides a comprehensive overview of Web Content Management products and best practices, including updated, 8- to 18-page comparative surveys of 29 Web CMS packages (22 in the Standard Edition), as well as short descriptions of 15 other products across 7 vendor categories. A special European Edition covers major vendors in that region as well as international players.

I think, the report would be useful to all the stakeholders for CMS projects. The major sections in the report cover:

  • Tips on creating a business case for web content management systems. This is usually a difficult part because calculating ROI etc for a CMS implementation is tricky.
  • A section on what CMS is? Very useful if you want to understand the CMS lifecycle and key features. There’s a section on the CMS landscape that’ll help you understand the differences and similarities between related technologies – DM, DAM, KM, ECM etc.
  • The main part that has detailed and exhaustive comparisons of many products in the market. It categorizes products by tiers (Enterprise, Upper tier, Open Source etc) and their lifecycle focus (Production oriented, delivery oriented and full cycle packages). There is a matrix that helps you pick up a shortlist based on these categories. For example, if you want an Enterprise Tier product that is production oriented, your choices are FileNet, Vignette, Documentum and Open Text. I’ll differ on some of the categorization but then it does give an excellent starting point to have your shortlist. The reviews are really exhaustive and when combined with charts and screen shots, they are very helpful in comparing products.
  • An excellent section on trends and best practices. This will help you in learning from others’ mistakes and making your projects successful

Overall it does a very good job of reviewing and comparing CMSs. Unlike some other analysts’ waves and quadrants, it does not give the “best” CMS because that obviously depends on your needs. I have a suggestion for the authors though – How about including a tool in the next edition, that helps one rate and come up with a recommendation based on specific requirements. An excel based tool with all the criteria in first column, weight in second column, description of how each criteria is implemented in that product and a score in the next column will give a ranking based on individual needs.
And I’m hoping the next edition will cover the Asian market as well 🙂

More information about the report.

Document Composition and ECM

Document Composition, as the name suggests is dynamic assembly of documents based on business rules and templates. Examples include creating insurance policies, credit card communications, customized investment advice, bill presentment and so on.

Many of our clients, especially in the BFSI space have been asking for document compositions solutions. Most ECM solutions do not have document composition features in place yet. Some of them do try and force fit their solutions but most of them work with niche products in this space. Interwoven for example, works with Whitehill Technologies and Perfectus Solutions. Other leading vendors in this space that I know of are:

Among the bigger vendors, Adobe leads the show.

I think document composition should be part Content Management systems. However, the integration with ECM products is still not very common. Based on the trends that I have seen, I think this is a feature that more and more clients would want to implement. Hence, the ECM vendors will certainly need to offer this feature to differentiate from others. They will either need to build this capability or buy niche products and integrate them.
In another post, I’ll write about how document composition differs from what most ECM systems already do – separate presentation from format and create templated output?