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  • Content Management Systems Reviews - SDL Tridion

Content Management Systems Reviews - SDL Tridion

SDL Tridion is the leading web content management system. This solution enables organisations to deliver a consistent, interactive and highly targeted customer experience, in multiple languages, across multiple web sites and channels including email, mobile sites and print.
In addition to content creation, management, translation, delivery and archiving solutions, SDL Tridion provides brand management, targeted communication, multi-channel delivery and visitor interaction capabilities.
SDL Tridion integrations well with third-party software packages such as Google Enterprise Search and online metrics suites like WebTrends and Omniture.
Content Entities
SDL Tridion’s famous Building Blocks represent the core of this WCM solution. Building Blocks are Component and Page Templates, Component Presentations, Components, Pages and Schemas.
Content authors usually create Components based on certain Schemas (which define permissible content fields), followed by combining those Components with appropriate Component Templates, thus creating Component Presentations.
A Page may contain several Component Presentations. Every Page requires an appropriate Page Template in order to be rendered properly.
There are two types of Components: Components storing text and links and Multimedia Components handling binaries (.jpg, .gif, .swf, .doc, etc.)
Pages are created in Structure Groups (i.e., a website sections) in a corresponding Publication (i.e., website).
The system comes with a set of default Page and Component Templates. Customized Page and Component Templates will need to be developed to fit the layout and code of your particular web site.
Metadata can usually be handled either on the Structure Group/Page level, or through embeddable metadata Schemas.
From the development standpoint, all Schemas and Templates are created in a development environment and then transferred to test and production environments, using the tool called Content Porter, where they become available to end-users.
Content Versioning
Versioning is quite simple and can be used for two things: to view History and to Compare. The History feature provides data on all modifications on an item (user names and timestamps are included). Using the Compare tool, you can see the exact changes highlighted in various colors made to an item by comparing any two versions.
The basic workflow is Ready for Editing – Ready for Publishing, with the ability to modify and add other levels of approval.
You can create and customize your workflow in MS Visio with a Tridion plug-in.
There are additional modules that allow for inline and e-mail notifications. The standard, out-of-the-box version includes commentary capabilities. Tridion’s Event System can also be used to introduce a number of automatic (vs. manual) activities in the content management process.
Workflow is natively integrated into the GUI and Microsoft Outlook allowing a user to perform various activities from his/her inbox.
SDL Tridion offers the following products:
Content Manager (core product)
SDL Tridion’s Content Manager Solution uses proprietary BluePrinting technology that allows organizations to reuse and adapt content, layout, and other functionality for different pages and web sites. This ensures that companies can address target audiences in different regions around the world in a "same but different" manner. The technology enables the user to maintain centralized control of brand and message while allowing for local differentiation. This technology makes sharing complex content over multiple web sites fast and easy while maintaining centralized control and brand consistency.
BluePrinting technology has proven its value to organizations that have any of the following requirements:
  • globalized websites;
  • multi-website management;
  • translation management;
  • brand management;
  • target audience marketing;
  • multi-channel marketing.
Digital asset repository is managed through Multimedia Components that can store major binary extensions, which can be configured per your requirements.
Content Manager Explorer (main user interface to Content Manager) - provides rich functionality for basic to advanced content management tasks within a browser.
Delivers key contributors with a WYSIWYG, browser-based interface and a collaborative environment for many online communication tasks. It is easy to use, ensuring lower training costs and easy adoption. There is version comparison and roll-back to previous version. It allows to perform simple actions like re-arranging content blocks, adding new content, editing existing content and spell-check.
WebDAV Connector (Windows Explorer access to SDL Tridion WCM and content)
Provides access to SDL Tridion WCM content using Windows Explorer. Contributors can add, edit, delete, and use content in the same way that they would use the Windows file system using the most appropriate desk top application for the task they need to perform.
Word Connector (Microsoft Word-based word processing tool for content creation)
For occasional content contributors who need to create simple text for the organization’s Web site in the word processing tool that they know best, Microsoft Word. Authors can open, edit, and create structured XML content using Word and to save this content directly to Content Manager.
Multilingual Support
It is represented by Translator Manager and enables companies to configure their translation needs within their existing BluePrint structure. This includes defining both the source and target language of typical translation processes. Users can set up that Translation Manager for a certain publication and specify target languages, as well as use workflow to specify the translation process.
For each translation process users can set up criteria, such as which translation agency to use. When properly configured, users can initiate a translation in one or all Child Publications using Translation Manager, which will prompt a translation job creation at a chosen agency.
Translation jobs can be seen in the GUI right below the Publishing Queue. From the translation jobs list users can send the job to the TMS (Translation Management System) and check the status of the translation.
Content Delivery Architecture
Content Delivery is mainly based on two products: Presentation Servers and Dynamic Content Broker. In addition, there are other modules that are part of Content Delivery, including Dynamic Linking, Personalization and Profiling, Content Distributor and Content Deployer.
The separation of Content Delivery from Content Management ensures that only approved content goes outside the firewall. Delivery of both dynamic and static content is possible, using either the Dynamic Content Broker or the Presentation Server approach.
Dynamic Content Broker assembles pages containing dynamic content based on configurable queries. Content Broker’s API is public and can be used to retrieve published content using custom built applications. It allows organizations to deliver online content based on page context, queries and visitor profiles. Provides the ability to create the best balance between static and dynamic web site content.
On the static side, Content Delivery System (CDS) distributes published content from the Content Manager to Presentation Servers, where it is stored in either a file system or a relational database.
Presentation Servers provide storage management, link management and cache management to manage large, complex and high-performance environments. They also manage Dynamic Linking feature responsible for resolving and rendering of links between published content items.
All environments, with a possible exception of test/acceptance, require a dedicated machine.
Content Porter
Content Porter is a Windows client used to import and export code, content and other items from one environment to another (up and down the chain). Content Porter can connect to any OLEDB or ODBC data sources. It ensures a structured quality-control process for all online content. Allows organizations to transfer any type of content managed in Content Manager between different environments.
Archive Manager
Automates web site archiving processes, providing the capability to retrieve an archived wWeb page or entire site for a specific date, time and visitor profile and view these pages with the original content and layout. Enables an organization to comply with regulatory requirements and record all versions of web site pages.
Business Connector
Integrates with other applications, thereby allowing companies to include information stored in external systems such as product catalogs and inventories.
Content Distributor
For organizations with an international infrastructure that need to ensure reliable, scheduled content distribution to all web servers. It ensures content consistency and compliance through many different secure transport providers.
Personalization and Profiling
Personalization and Profiling module (which used to be called WAI) is aimed to create personalized web sites and web pages catering to specific audiences. It works with both explicit and implicit profiles, ensuring that content is personalized based on information that visitors have provided.
Communications Statistics
Tridion Communication Statistics module provides in-site views of how your content is doing. Users can track how their content is performing by viewing web pages with stats graphs on it in a staging environment.
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