Content in the hands of the many

A Web content management system for mid- to high-end enterprises that promises to lighten the load for IT professionalswas launched in Melbourne yesterday at Microsoft's Tech Ed 2001, an event for developers and IT professionals.

The latest addition to Microsoft .Net enterprise Server family, the Content Management Server 2001 will put the powerto publish back into the content creator's hands and free up the IT team, Microsoft officials said.

Dave McNaughton, marketing manager, e-business solutions, Microsoft Australia, said: "We are seeing the contentmanagement sector becoming a distinct market. With Content Management Server 2001, the publishing power is back withcontent creators rather than the IT department." The server reduces the time to build content-driven Web sites andallows content providers to manage their own content because it lets the user import content from many differentplatforms, from Microsoft Word or HTML code, company officials said.

The server lets users create content, enter it into a workflow process and publish it to the Web, intranet or extranet,bypassing IT or Web site developers. Along with the IT department, the Web designer's workload is also lightened as itcuts out the mundane maintenance work and they no longer have to be a part of the editorial loop.

"[And] IT departments no longer have to be a pool of typists," McNaughton said. The Server is also suitable for ASPmodelS and can work on a hosting environment.

In a move into the content management space, Microsoft bought Vancouver-based developer of Resolution, NCompass Labs inmid-April, and repackaged the software as Content Management Server.

Microsoft has also widened what McNaughton labelled a niche market. He said Microsoft's two main competitors in thepublishing space, Interwoven and Vignette, held a niche market with their content management solutions. But withMicrosoft's Content Management Server 2001, content management is no longer a niche market for a couple of specialistsand is available to everyone using a Microsoft platform. Australia is the third most significant market for thisproduct after the US and the UK, McNaughton said.

Priced at about $90,000 per processor for the whole package, Content Management Server 2001 enterprise package will beavailable in Australia from September 1.

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