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  • Content Management Systems Review - Vasont

Content Management Systems Review - Vasont

    Vasont is a component content management system. It has powerful capabilities to store, update, search, and retrieve content. It offers version control, integrated workflows, project management, collaborative review, translation management, and reporting to manage content and business processes.

    Vasont provides opportunities for multi-channel publishing and editing in your favorite applications. In addition, it provides an advanced editorial environment built to maximize, manage, and measure content reuse. Unicode support enables multi-language implementations. It also integrates the ability to process content with reusable, event driven business logic as an integral part of the system.

    Content is stored in an underlying Oracle database and can be imported, exported, and stored in a variety of formats, including XML, SGML, HTML, as well as other formats that are required as input documents or deliverable formats. This is possible because Vasont can store content separately from any specific tagging structure.

    Vasont can be used to store and manage embedded multimedia in structured content. It can also be used to provide a consistent organization and hierarchy to unstructured business documents and other digital assets to provide an overall document management solution. Vasont stores both component-level graphics and unstructured business documents as multimedia components.

    Content can be stored at a document or sub-document level and with any content assets such as graphics and references. Vasont has great power at the component level with content organized using XML as input and output. Content can be manipulated and reused at any level of granularity. It is easy to add metadata to existing content and take advantage of the richness that metadata can provide.

    Vasont also excels at integrating XML and non-XML traditional document content to provide powerful content applications that can cross departmental or functional boundaries. It is effective in a variety of content scenarios or in combined scenarios, including:

    * highly structured XML or SGML content;
    * structuring unstructured information assets such as in regulatory environments;
    * documents, especially linked to workflow and business logic;
    * digital assets such as graphics.

    Vasont allows the building of content within and among these content relationships and content scenarios. It provides the power to model information in an organization and share it across different divisions. It stores all types of content in one repository. For example, structured content (i.e. XML, HTML, SGML, text and pointers), multimedia files, unstructured documents (i.e., Word, Excel, PDF files, graphics).

    In Vasont Administrator, an administrator can set up the rules of structure and apply any processing options needed to transform, validate, or redirect data. The administrator can store settings for loading, extracting, editing and viewing data; user permissions; and workflow. Administrative responsibility can be assigned to specific Associate Administrators so that multiple groups or departments can share the system and yet control their own setups.

    The system includes Vasont Universal Integrator (VUI) for Arbortext Editor, Adobe FrameMaker, JustSystems XMetaL, Quark XML Author, or Microsoft Word. The VUI allows authors to work in a familiar environment and provides a frequently used subset of functionality available in Vasont to simplify the editing process.

    Vasont High-Level Application Architecture

    Main parts are User Navigator and Content Navigator. Users, their roles and permissions are set up using User Navigator. Content Navigator includes content definitions, content instances, workflow definitions, load and extract views, and business logic which is processing options.

    There is Vasont Application Programming Interface (API) for advanced customization and integration. The Vasont API allows for development of custom user interfaces;

    * custom user interfaces;
    * web access to Vasont;
    * processing options;
    * Daemons.

    Vasont Daemon Programs provides background processing routines that automate repetitive tasks such as extracting and loading content. Some customization is required to implement it.

    Content Model

    The content model and the corresponding rules of structure are defined by the administrator in the Vasont Administrator. These rules usually correspond closely to the structure rules defined in a Document Type Definition (DTD) or schema, but they may differ somewhat or may support multiple DTDs for different outputs. Structures may also be defined in Vasont, independent of a DTD, which is useful when storing documents and other digital assets that may need to be organized in a specific way but are not structured XML or SGML content. The rules of structure help guide you through the editing process by allowing you to place components in only the appropriate locations in a collection.

    The Vasont Administrator is also used to define the big picture of how collections will be organized in Vasont, through the creation of content types and collection groups. These categories are represented in a tree or list view in Vasont and have symbols that represent them. This screen of a tree view shows the sequencing and grouping of collections.

    The detailed items in a collection are called components. The top component in each tree view is called the primary. Normally a collection will contain many primaries.

    Vasont has several classes of components and components can be broken down into smaller chunks, depending on the needs of the organization. The level of chunking is called granularity. It is essential to understand how your Vasont system has been configured so that you can find and edit the relevant material and maximize reuse. Granularity describes the smallest chunk of content stored in Vasont. A high level of granularity means that content is stored in large chunks. For example, you may have Book, Chapter, and Section components with no components defined at a level lower than Section. On the other hand, a very granular setup stores content in very small chunks, typically broken down into paragraph-level components or the equivalent.

    Content types are the highest level of organization in Vasont and often serve as major divisions in content. Typically, different content types store content with very different content models, such as content used in different divisions or groups within a corporation. Content types are set up in the Vasont Administrator.

    Content in each content type is organized into collections and optional collections groups. Inside of a content type called Publication, a collection such as Manuals is a grouping of similar content that follows the same structure. Depending on how similar the content model is, collections and collection groups within a single content type may share content. Collections in the same content type have similar content models so that content can be reused, moved, and referenced. Content in collections from different content types may be reused if the content types share similar raw components. Pointers are allowed from components in one collection to components in another collection and the collections can be in different content types.

    Components are reusable chunks of content defined in the rules of structure for each collection. Although not required to, components usually correspond to elements in a document type definition (DTD). The three types of components are: text, multimedia, and pointer.

    Metadata, or information about your content, helps you automate business logic and categorize, locate, filter, and extract content. Traditional types of metadata for topics include index entries that describe content or identifiers that can be used for cross-referencing or mapping context-sensitive help in software applications. Other examples of metadata include labeling content that applies to a particular customer or vendor, whether content should be published to an online help system or a printed manual, or other types of classifications. Metadata can be information that helps perform automated business logic through the use of Vasont Processing Options.

    The Vasont Navigator provides an intuitive way to view, edit, reuse, and search content within a collection. Its hierarchical structure represents the organization of content in the system and icons indicate the state of items, including whether they have been included in a log. Components may be opened and closed individually or in groups. Open multiple Navigator windows to drag and drop content easily from one location to another, either within or across collections, rather than scrolling up and down the tree view.

    Vasont provides powerful search capabilities to find and reuse content across the entire organization. The search function allows to search for content across collection boundaries. When performing a cross-collection search, you are prompted to select the collections to search and then specify query criteria for the content desired.

    The Vasont Content Ownership feature gives a designated user the right to assign ownership to an individual user, or a group of users which provides the exclusive right to alter specified content. The designated user will have the right to assign ownership to a Primary component. Once ownership is assigned, the Vasont CMS then recognizes users who have permission to perform add/delete/change actions to the content, and prevents those who do not have ownership permissions from making changes to the content.

    Each and every piece of unique content is stored in the raw material only once. Vasont compares content in the same raw component or in aliased raw components to determine if the content has been used in more than one instance. If the text of the components is the same, it is stored in the raw material as a single component. Vasont's ability to automatically reuse content where it can, without any specific setup, is called implicit reuse.

    Depending on your setup, you may explicitly reuse content by referencing or “pointing to” relevant content from different contexts. For example, you may have a collection of shared procedure components that you can point to rather than storing the entire procedure in multiple locations.

    Vasont can be used to store and manage embedded multimedia in structured content. It can also be used to provide a consistent organization and hierarchy to unstructured documents and other digital assets to provide an overall document management solution. Vasont stores both component-level graphics and unstructured documents as multimedia components.

    Vasont offers a Translation Package that enables users to lower their overall translation costs by minimizing the amount of content that needs to be translated. This is possible because it keeps track of content that has already been translated and insures it is not re-translated. It also measures the amount of savings for each translation project by identifying the percentage of words that have already been translated.

    It offers Translation Management that helps users manage projects and sub-projects by tracking dates, vendors, languages and status information. A translation project is a module of content that is being translated into multiple languages (i.e., a topic that is being translated into French, German, and Chinese). The sub-projects are each individual language to which the module is being translated (i.e., the specific French translation is a sub-project of the topic translation project).You can submit your projects for quote or send them for translation directly from Vasont's translation window. This window also provides word counts for each translation project.

    Integration with translation vendors can be used with this package for an automated content delivery back and forth from Vasont. The translation package is used to consolidate the status information for all your translation projects in one place so you can keep your projects on schedule and lower your costs.

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