2.7c Content Management Systems (CMS)
A content management system (CMS) assists users in the process of administering a Web site's content. It facilitates the organisation, control and publication of a large body of documents, images, multimedia resources, etc. without programming knowledge. It also enables programmers to rapidly customize a Web site’s structure, menus, layout and page functionalities.
To manage their Web site users access the CMS through their Web browser.
Why use a CMS?
A CMS may also manage the collaborative creation/editing of documents. Some CMSs offer collaborative components such as Wikis and blogs. Many CMSs also manage content workflows.
Content Management Systems are sometimes called Web Content Management systems or (WCM systems). This is to differentiate them from CMSs that exclusively manage and store electronic files: text and/or images, audio, video, etc. These are sometimes called Document Management Systems (DMS).
First generation CMS at FAO
The following CMSs were built by FAO for specific needs.
Distributed Web site Management System (DWS)
DWS is a content management system developed by KCT years ago that has been used to construct FAO internet and intranet Web sites. CIO is currently replacing DWS with TYPO3.
Community Directory Service (CDS)
CDS is an application framework developed to facilitate the creation of multilingual, thematic portals and communities of practice. The framework is built on Lucene, a powerful open source search engine API, allowing it to efficiently search both metadata and free text. The CDS has a powerful information syndication mechanism allowing it to render information published in almost any Web system or database searchable and navigable in one place. The CDS allows for administration and data entry via Web forms. Editorship and peer review can be devolved and distributed around the world, eliminating the editorial bottleneck. The CDS supports control over visibility of information down to document level; versioning of documents and topics; e-mail notification of changes at the document or topic level; ontology integration and many other features. Sites built using the CDS are:
The Forestry Information System (FORIS)
The Forestry Department's Web site is managed using a custom-designed CMS. FORIS links subject pages with FAO's forest-related databases to generate continuously updated information. Specific subject pages are created and maintained directly by FAO forestry officers. See the Forestry Web site.
Fisheries Global Information System (FIGIS)
The FIGIS system provides users with access to dynamically-generated information, statistics, data, fact sheets and documents on fisheries. It promotes effective and focussed cooperation to share and exchange information using harmonized and streamlined standards.
News and Events Management System (NEMS)
The NEMS system was developed many years ago by KCE to manage the news sections of FAO Web sites. NEMS is no longer in development or being integrated as this function is now being supported by the news extension features of CMS.
Since 2005, FAO has been investigating various open source CMSs, particularly Drupal, Joomla, TYPO3 and OpenCMS. Open source software permits users to use, change, improve the software, and to redistribute it in a modified or an unmodified form. The ‘Collaborative Tools’ Wiki records the experience of FAO staff who have evaluated and compared open source CMSs.
TYPO3 has been selected as the open source CMS supported by CIO as its robustness, scalability and architecture are able to support the users and features required at the corporate level.
An example of an FAO Web site that is maintained through an open source CMS is the Web Guide Web site. The Web Guide team login through the CMS's administration page to manage the Web site online, from any computer. The CDR Guide for Users [internal] and the Web2forDev - Participatory Web for Development Web site are two further examples of CMS Web sites.
If you would like more information on using TYPO3 please contact CIOK on firstname.lastname@example.org.