A lesser well known type of system, a component content management system (CCMS) is known for its ability to store small items or ‘components’ which comprise a document rather than the actual document itself.

This is defined as managing content in a ‘granular approach’ in which it is broken down into smaller units such as a word, image or link rather than a complete document.

This includes graphics, photos, set of links, a single word or even a complete paragraph of text. All of these are used and re-used when creating a document and are the subject of discussion within this section.

Every component is stored for one time only within the CMS which is a guarantee of a safe, reliable item of content. This component is then re-used in a single or range of documents, for example a company logo which ensures a consistent look and feel across the entire set of documentation.

A CCMS operates in the same way as any other type of CMS in that it employs a series of processes to manage content. In this case each item of content has its own lifecycle which means that it can be monitored individually or as part of a larger set of content.

This lifecycle includes name of content author/owner, version, approved and usage.

Advantages of a CCMS

The main advantage is that of being able to re-use content in multiple documents. This applies to a single word or image through to a section of text, e.g. overview section.

This removes the need for endless copying and pasting and improves both the quality and professionalism of the documentation. It also helps to ensure a consistent approach.

Another advantage is the ability to use a component in a particular context and then re-use it in a different context. A good example of this is the issue of translation: a CCMS can translate a piece of content into a different language which is then used within a variety of settings. This doesn’t apply to content such as links and references. This is particularly useful for companies who are expanding into international markets and need to translate their content into a variety of languages, appropriate to these markets.

Other advantages include:

  • Cheaper to maintain
  • Reduces translation costs
  • Content only has to be translated once
  • Consistent, high quality content which aids usability
  • Removes the need for repetitive updates, creation, copying and pasting and frequent reviews.
  • Ensures that standards and corporate branding are adhered to across the board.
  • Improved use of staff time and resources
  • Reduced costs from the improved processing of the content.

Component CMS is ideally suited to companies who have a wide range of content which is aimed at a diverse audience. This includes training/support, advertising and marketing, human resources etc and requires a CMS such as this which takes into account the multi-channel approach of a business or organisation.

A CCMS can be used as a standalone system or as part of a larger structure such as a web content management system (WCMS).