Tuesday, 16 January 2007

Who will provide decoupled content management services? MySource 4.0 will.

CMS Watch has posted a new article about decoupling content management services. The article talks about the ability for customers to use a CMS but also use 3rd party products to provide services that the CMS would normally offer natively.

Mediasurface, Stellent, Documentum and many other vendors have successfully decoupled their repository search capabilities from their underlying CMS. Other observers have asked for decoupling of other services like security, and I have often seen customers asking if they can use their own choice of workflow software, version management software, and so on, instead of using features embedded in the CMS.

The article goes on to say:

To allow decoupling (or even loose coupling) of services, most of them [CMS vendors] would need to re-architect their products.

Very true.

To use MySource Matrix as an example, if we were asked to integrate a 3rd party workflow system into the product, the only solution would be a very messy trigger-based setup or a custom CMS product for that client. Workflow is so tightly integrated into the core product that removing it, or replacing it, is not practical.

Enter MySource 4.0.

One of the primary goals we had during the early planning phase of MySource 4.0 was to completely decouple the core. Services like workflow, versioning, status, metadata and permissions have been designed to be independent services with either no, or very loose coupling to each other. This goal was focussed on providing customised CMS solutions to our clients, allowing them to remove or replace these core services.

For example, workflow adds a level of complexity to the publishing process. If a custom does not require complex workflow rules, the workflow system can be removed completely without affecting the functionality of other core services. Similiarly, if the default workflow engine does not work for a customer's organisation, a new engine can be written and the default can be replaced.

This core architectural feature makes MySource 4.0 ideally suited to the integration of 3rd party services into the core. We have already anticipated support for 3rd party search engines, but it will be interesting to see what other core CMS services our customers would like replace.