Content management seeks connections

Aiming to exploit the natural connections between content creation and related functions, new CM (content management) products from vendors such as Stellent Inc. and Interwoven Inc. are forging tight bonds with search and collaboration.

Stellent this week rolled out Version 6.0 of its Content Management product, featuring new collaboration tools designed to allow workers to set up digital workspaces for project-level collaboration within the CM environment.

The Collaboration Server component is similar to collaboration offerings from the likes of eRoom Technology Inc. and Intraspect Software Inc., but with a content-specific emphasis, according to Dan Ryan, senior vice president of marketing and business development at Stellent in Eden Prairie, Minn.

"A lot of times the ultimate result of collaboration is content that then needs to be managed within the project," he said. "We view collaboration as a step before content management."

Content Management 6.0 also includes a Connection Server, which allows users to push content to sites or individuals on a subscription or administrative basis; and the Extrasite Server, which resides in a J2EE application server for increased scalability.

Meanwhile, Interwoven and Inktomi Corp. later this year plan to roll out combined CM and search systems designed to address the complete lifecycle of content. Under the alliance, Interwoven plans to integrate Inktomi's next-generation XML-based search technology into the Interwoven TeamSite software. Additionally, Inktomi will integrate new Interwoven MetaTagger categorization technology into its enterprise search platform.

The explosion of information inside of corporate networks has made it increasingly difficult to locate and access high value content that can allow employees to be productive, said Troy Toman, vice president and general manager of Inktomi Enterprise Search Solutions, in Foster City, Calif.

"Organizations have dumped large amounts of documents and content [into repositories] without thinking that content creation needs to link into search infrastructure that allows you to easily access the content," he said.

The combined search-CM offerings are designed to tightly link the development and retrieval of information across corporate networks, which will result in boosted productivity, lower integration costs, and a consistent view of content across the organization, according to Toman.

"It is critical that those two pieces -- the development and consumption of information on the network -- are overlaid. Workers are not either developers or consumers of content, they are both," Toman said.

According to Frost & Sullivan Inc. analyst Jarad Carleton, in San Jose, as organizations seek to simplify IT infrastructure, content management will draw closer with related functions such as search and collaboration.

"There is a trend to get away from using multiple solutions to do one specific thing as it relates to Web publishing and content management. People are tired of having to manage multiple data repositories and are really looking for ways to consolidate a bunch of solutions into one," Carleton said.

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