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The Emergence of Content Management Standards

The development of content management systems seems to follow the same trajectory as relational databases. The initial step is the consolidation of multiple vendors into a few major players. The next step is the introduction of interface standards. These steps are sure to open up vertically integrated vendor solutions into separate content repository and content application layers. The introduction of various Content management standards enable users to easily mix and match the best of breed content applications and to integrate multiple content repositories.

The World Wide Web Distributed Authoring and Distribution standard (WebDAV) is one of the most important Content management standards. WebDAV Content management standard provides a standard infrastructure for asynchronous collaborative authoring across the internet. In addition, the WebDAV Content Management Standard provides a standard interface between a range of authoring tools and WEB content. The interface supports version management and locking and management of metadata such as author and the last date the content was modified. In effect WebDAV supports universal collaboration over the Internet.

Content management standards are rapidly emerging. The Content management standards enable portlets to be used by any compliant portal server. Portlets are used by portals, as pluggable user interface components to provide a presentation layer to information systems. Organisations can use standardized portlets to access compliant web services, provide services for any number of portals and share portlet code. Web Services for Remote Portlets (WSRP) standard 1.0 is a Content management standard that provides interoperability between .Net and Java-based portal elements, which enables organisations to share a hosted portlet.

Java Specification Request (JSR) 168 is a specification defines a set of application programming interfaces (APIs) for portlets and addresses standardization for preferences, user information, portlet requests and responses, deployment packaging, and security. The JSR 168 Content management standard enables interoperability among portlets and portals. Both the JSR 168 and the WSRP Content management standards are widely supported by the major players of the content management industry. Most of the leading vendors have started to release products that support these standards. As a result, these standards will play a key role in opening up portals to the resources of a growing community of portlet developers.

Content application developers are forced to adapt to a wide range of proprietary APIs to work with multiple content repositories, due to the consolidation amongst content vendors. The JSR 170 is a Content management standard that allows developers to use the same API to access all the content repositories. JSR 170 also has a strong industry support with Apache, IBM, SAP, BEA Systems and Oracle all serving as members of the expert group. Other leading industry participants include, Documentum, Filenet, Vignette, and Venetica.

The common interface provide by the JSR 170 Content management standard supports read/wirte access to repository content and metadata, facilities to create versions of any content and retrieve these versions, monitoring and notification of content events such as changes made to a document, and full-text search and filtering of content. In addition, the common interface of the JSR 170 Content management standard provides a unified, extensible, access control mechanism, standardized access to the locking and concurrency features of a repository, and a standard mechanism to soft/hard link items and properties in a repository and provide a mechanism to create relationships in the repository. The JSR 170 Content management standard is mainly designed for the J2EE environment. The usefulness of the JRS 170 Content management standard enables it to be extended to non-Java environments as a web service.

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