The Web, the Workplace, and IBM’s Updated Content Management Software
September 25, 2006 Dan Burger
Without mentioning specific numbers, IBM is pleased to report that its Workplace Web Content Management (WWCM) software revenue grew 68 percent in 2005, and that during the first six months of 2006, revenue jumped another 52 percent. Those are excellent figures, no question about it. But a small group of users can make otherwise meager revenue gains look spectacular in terms of percentages. We can’t say for sure, but let’s call it a hunch that most of you have not had your hands on Web content management software, whether it was delivered from IBM or some other vendor.
Web content management systems are considered collaboration tools. That’s why IBM’s version is designed and marketed under the Workplace brand name. Its purpose is to provide control over the creating, updating, approving, and organizing of Web content. WWCM provides tools to apply business rules to content so it adheres to corporate standards, can be secure and access can be controlled, and can be deployed to various applications (Web sites and portals) and environments (development and production). If you’d like to immerse yourself in this topic, see the IBM white paper titled Understanding IBM Workplace Web Content Management Software.
Last week, IBM announced the latest upgrade for its Workplace Web Content Management software. The highlights of version 6.0 are the customization tools designed to accelerate content creation and provide integration with WebSphere Portal. The most important aspect of this latest version is the simplification of authoring, acquiring, or otherwise accumulating content for publication. Because it makes sense to put these tasks into the hands of non-technical users whose job descriptions fit in with the goals of the Web site or portal content, IBM has concentrated on features such as menu-based personalization tools that allow users to customize forms based on a role or function. Additionally, a choice of rich text editors and wiki-like editing features help users edit objects and data on-the-fly.
According to Rob Will, chief architect for IBM Portal Solutions, WWCM 6.0 was designed to interoperate with other content authoring packages. As an example, Web content is stored in a Java content repository, which allows authors to publish content as a Real Simple Syndication (RSS) or Atom feed using templates. Linking content to other Web content authoring systems (companies that have made investments in these areas are not likely to flush those investments) is a plug-and-play operation, Will says. Ease-of-use improvements for non-technical authors include “in-context” editing within the Web site view to see edit results and avoid switching to a less-familiar software program. There is also a link management enhancement to protect against broken or non-working URLs to referenced Web site links.
IBM Workplace Web Content Management is available both as a stand-alone product or packaged with the company’s WebSphere Portal 6.0. Purchase six units of WebSphere Portal and you’ll find one unit of Workplace Web Content Management added to the deal without charge. New customers, including IBM Portal Server 6.0 customers, can purchase Workplace Web Content Management Version 6.0 for approximately $20,000 per computer processor. IBM WebSphere Portal Enable and Extend customers can deploy WCM anytime using earned value units under their current portal licensing terms.
Two IBM partners with experience using WWCM are Ascendant Technology and Perficient Solutions. Either company would be a good resource for additional information on implementing and deploying the software.