Enable an Integration between SharePoint and Web Content ManagementPrint This Post
Microsoft SharePoint is a simple fact of life in the enterprise. For document collaboration and publishing and for managing the document lifecycle, SharePoint is an effective solution for many large organizations. However, the advent of MOSS, which welded Content Management Server with SharePoint Services, hasn’t hastened the adoption of SharePoint as a web content management (WCM) system.
Inward- vs. Outward-facing Content
Most WCM practitioners know the reason for this is that SharePoint was designed to be–and is best suited to be–a solution for the lifecycle management of inward-facing content. Content that’s meant to spread the word about your organization and its products or services is another animal altogether and calls for different management tools.
In their best implementations, web content management (WCM) systems must empower content publishers like marketing departments to rapidly publish and iterate persuasive content for global use. This requires giving publishers a certain degree of freedom that can be difficult to balance with workflow and security required for enterprise document management.
The specific needs of the enterprise for Sharepoint-to-WCM-system connectivity vary by industry and business objectives. No doubt there’s at least one for every enterprise SharePoint group.
- Mortgage Company Title-agent Profiles: One very large mortgage company is planning to connect SharePoint to its WCM environment in order to bring its title agents from their old CMS into the new. Having a single interface between SharePoint and the WCM system would enable the concurrent update of both content repositories, while enabling workflow to occur in the WCM environment.
- Credit Union Product Catalog: A California credit union keeps its product catalog and the attendant workflow in SharePoint. The integration they seek would bring in the approved data to their WCM system but allow the approval process to remain within SharePoint, leaving a marker in SharePoint when data was brought in to the WCM directories.
- Financial Consulting Firm Collaborative Portal: One of the world’s largest financial consulting firms is setting up a SharePoint/WCM relationship in order to enable joint rendering of content from their marketing websites and their extranet for client collaboration.
Make SharePoint Connection a Factor in WCMS Evaluation
When choosing a WCM solution, then, it makes sense to add easy connection to and from SharePoint to your checklist of factors for evaluation. Specifically, a good enterprise WCM solution should make it simple and straightforward to:
- Browse SharePoint assets from the content management system (CMS) as if they were any other set of assets in the WCM repository
- Upload and publish those assets from SharePoint on web pages
- Browse the intranet and see any uploaded files or links to those files from SharePoint in the web pages being viewed, with one-click access to the file itself
- “Push” the file to another repository or file system location, such as the CMS, which can then control and manage links.