Design & Technology December 08, 2011
Not all content is right for a CMS
It sounds an odd thing to say but no all content should be managed in a CMS tool. Storing data that updates very regularly or in very large volumes probably isn’t right to be edited in standard CMS interfaces.
We’ve seen implementations that try and store the prices and availability of 1000s of products in the CMS. It’s quickly obvious that it isn’t practical for content editors to maintain this data in the tool – and in fact there are other business applications that do this job well – however, there’s still a desire to store this data with the other product information in the CMS. Software and modules are then designed and written integrate the systems and to make this happen automatically.
These types of integrations invariably work – but usually at the expense of platform performance or stability – both crucial features for end users.
Instead create relationships between the rich (usually marketing led) content that belongs in the CMS and the data stored in other systems through shared keys or ID values. Then create integrations in the published website, or through a shared API or web service that combine the information from both systems.
It saves effort in the short term and provides greater flexibility in the long term for reuse of these services and APIs or for expansion when new data sources become available.
So when analysing the data to be stored in the CMS think about the volume of content and crucially how regularly it needs updating and ask yourself whether the CMS is really is the best place to store it.