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ECM Components

    As I mentioned in my last post, ECM combines five components: capture, manage, store, preserve, and deliver.
     
    Capture of content in the content management environment is usually performed using content management system. I will talk about content management systems in my future posts.
     
    After content has been captured, it moves to the "manage" component of the process. As I mentioned in my last post, "manage" component includes document management, web content management, collaboration, documents workflow, and records management. Let's look more closely into these components.
     
    Document Management
     
    Document management includes functions like check-in and check-out, version management, search and navigation, and organizing documents. Check-in and check-out are also are called the library service.
     
    The library service is responsible for taking in and storing information from the Capture component. Check-in and check-out functions allow for the document to be checked out for editing and then to be checked into the system after the editing of the document is completed. This allows for version management of documents. Every time a document is checked out and then checked in, a content management system will register that there was a change in the document and will assign the consecutive version number to the document. The library service generates logs of information usage and editing, called an "audit trail."
     
    Version management allows to keep track of different versions of the same document. The document can be returned to the previous version if necessary.
     
    The library service works in concert with the manage components' database to provide the necessary functions of search and retrieval.
     
    Search and navigation ensure that documents are accessible and can be found via two access points: searching and browsing.
     
    Organizing documents allows for the search and navigation to work. Taxonomy is used for organizing documents.
     
    Collaboration
     
    Collaboration component helps users to work with each other to develop and process content. ECM systems facilitate collaboration by using information databases and processing methods that are designed to be used simultaneously by multiple users, even when those users are working on the same content item. They make use of knowledge based on skills, resources and background data for joint information processing. Administration components, such as virtual whiteboards for brainstorming, appointment scheduling and project management systems, communications application such as video conferencing, etc. may be included. Collaborative ECM may also integrate information from other applications, permitting joint information processing.
     
    Web content management
     
    Web content management (WCM) component is used to present information already existing and managed in the ECM repository. The information is presented using Web technologies - on the Internet, an extranet, or on a portal.
     
    Documents Workflow
     
    Documents workflow allows for documents to move through the process of creating, revising, and approving with few people involved in the process. Workflow management includes reminders, deadlines, delegation, and other administration functions as well as monitoring and documentation of process status, routing, and outcomes.
     
    Records management
     
    Records management refers to the administration of records, important information, and data that companies are required to archive. Some of the functions of records management are: file plans and other structured indexes for the orderly storage of documents; indexing of documents, supported by taxonomies, thesauri, and controlled vocabularies; management of record retention schedules and deletion schedules; protection of documents in accordance with its characteristics, sometimes down to individual content components in documents; use standardized metadata for the identification and description of stored documents.
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