Web Content Curating and Publishing (WCM) in Documentum and Alfresco

After upgrading Alfresco for one of our financial clients, we started looking at how to improve the tools and process they use to manage web content for multiple external sites. Beginning with an informal survey of how our other customers curate and publish web content it became apparent that each one handles it slightly different. This post will summarize seven different clients and how they are adding, reviewing, approving, and publishing information to the web.

Our WCM clients come from multiple industries and manage web content for varying purposes leading to almost as many different types of WCM solutions. There are clients in retail, professional associations, manufacturing, museum collection curation, non-profit education, government and financial services.

  1. A retail client is using Alfresco to publish news releases. A simple custom form in Share will capture all the necessary content and information about the news release as metadata. Users can also upload and publish other content types and formats such as PDFs and videos. The content can then be formatted differently as needed providing a very flexible solution available through a standard browser and mobile app.

  1. An association TSG began working with in 2012 is crowdsourcing the collection and indexing of anonymous medical images. Members can upload their collection of images into Alfresco and after a review cycle they are queued for indexing by other members of the association. Final images are published to a secured area of the association’s web site providing immediate access to a valuable clinical resource.

  1. New York Philharmonic is digitizing its extensive history, as content is added to Alfresco it routes through a review process and is then queued for publishing to the publicly accessible archives web site.

  1. One of our vehicle manufacturing clients uses Documentum WebPublisher to push information to its network ensuring the sales groups have the latest information as soon as possible.

  1. United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Chicago uses a combination of Alfresco, LifeRay, and Adobe Connect to deliver tools, content, and resources to students and teachers. Electronic books, videos, and electronic applications, and the formation of communities improve access to information and provide a support structure where teachers can share their experiences and rate tools and content that they find most valuable.

  1. Several of our clients use OpenMigrate or Documentum Site Caching Services to push content from Documentum to internal portal sites or external web sites. Once the content reaches a specific state or document status, it is copied to a location where an external system can access it. The document metadata can also be published to a search engine such as Solr.

  1. A new TSG client  will be collecting and classifying content from around the world.  Similar to a few other WCM solutions TSG has worked with, the information will be reviewed and indexed using a workflow process in Alfresco before publishing to web sites or consumed by other applications.

If you are interested in the technical detail, this post describes differences between the Documentum and Alfresco WCM products. Alfresco also offered new WCM features in version 4.0.

Working with our clients we are continually reminded that finding the right process and publishing mechanism for web content is a unique endeavor.

  • Adding content has to be simple and it has to easily fit into the routine of the content creators.

  • Timing is critical: reviews and approval must be fast, accurate, and traceable.

  • Content does not live forever, it must be pulled back or removed just as easily as pushing it out.

We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section.