CMS/DITA Conference Session 9: Putting the M in CMS

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by David Kelly

This session was presented by Harv Greenberg, Principle Technical Project Manager from XyEnterprises. This presentation focused on the used of mechanisms within the CMS (XyEnterprise’s Contenta CMS, specifically) to develop management tools.

I think the purpose here was to show that CMSs contain a lot of information and capabilities that can be built around content as a way to enhance the value that management brings to a documentation project. Some of the possibilities presented were “well-defined project formation” (similar to the methodologies built into the S1000D specification), and the development of tools for “information quality” (term checking, customer feedback, knowledge base integration, workflow metrics).

The session featured a lot of participation by the audience in suggesting types of management capabilities that would be nice to have, and demos by Harv of Contenta’s capabilities along those lines. One interesting request he said they had had was the use of the CMS as an invoicing system. With a little tweaking they were able to capture hours worked for each portion of built-in workflows and create reports capturing the task/resource information.

I’m not sure I learned a lot with this one other than to try to think about other possibilities for the use of CMSes. And that makes sense – with all the information captured in these systems, there should be a lot of possibilities for doing things with documentation that we have not necessarily considered before.

One thing mentioned in one of the other sessions (maybe it was JoAnn’s) was that the accelerated interest in DITA had renewed people’s interest in CMSes. Perhaps with a stronger adoption rate for CMSes, this will lead to more people thinking about how they can get more value out of these (very expensive) resources.

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