Introduction to Web content management

The Web content management capabilities in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 can help you communicate more effectively with employees, partners, and customers. By providing easy-to-use functionality to create, approve, and publish Web content, Office SharePoint Server 2007 enables you to get information out quickly to intranet, extranet, and Internet sites, with a consistent look.

What is Web content management?

You can use Web content management capabilities to create, publish, manage, and control a large, dynamic collection of content. Web content management, as part of Enterprise Content Management (ECM) in Office SharePoint Server 2007, can help streamline your process for creating and publishing Web sites.

Note: This article refers to an example SharePoint site created by Adventure Works, a fictitious company that manufactures bicycles, bicycle components, and bicycling accessories.

Adventure Works Marketing takes advantage of the site variation feature, which enables them to create and maintain Web sites in different languages for their global customers. Office SharePoint Server 2007 maintains a parallel structure across these different sites with respect to pages and child sites. When Olivier Renaud, a Marketing site owner at Adventure Works, adds a new page to the master variation site maintained in one language, the same page is automatically added into the structure of the international sites.

You can also use the Web content management features in Office SharePoint Server 2007 to:

  • Manage variations of content for different devices.

  • Publish content to intranet, extranet, and Internet sites.

  • Author Web content in a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) environment.

  • Manage site content, structure, and deployment.

  • Use document converters to convert Microsoft Office InfoPath 2007, Word 2007, and XML files.

  • Establish an approval process to ensure that content is reviewed before it is published.

You will learn more about these Web content management features in other articles.

Why use a Web content management system?

The Web content management features in Office SharePoint Server 2007 help your organization to do the following:

  • Author and publish content quickly and easily    Business groups can author and publish Web content in a timely manner with easy-to-use authoring tools and integrated workflows with minimal IT involvement. You can use the Approval workflow, for example, for approving and publishing content. Office SharePoint Server 2007 puts Web content management into the hands of site users, saving both time and resources while giving site owners and users more control. Editing tools similar to those in a word processing application help users to create content more easily.

  • Maintain a consistent navigation style throughout your sites    Maintain consistency by providing approved master pages and page layouts that enable branding and navigation of the site to be specified once and reused by content authors. This frees the author to focus on content instead of style and formatting. If you publish to different locations, such as to intranet, extranet, and Internet sites, you can customize or create master pages and page layouts that display the content according to the style and formatting you design for each one.

  • Lower deployment and management costs for your sites    Implement and manage a multi-tier infrastructure for creating and publishing content. For example, you can publish the same web content to intranet, extranet, and Internet sites. Web content management gives site developers and designers the ability to define branding, navigation, and organization of templates, as well as the ability to establish publishing rules within the site. You control the deployment and management of your Web sites without involving your organization's IT staff.

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