Justin Cormack recently completed a three part series on the future of CMS that I think nails it. I might be biased because it’s what we’ve been building towards at CIM for the past few years. Go read: “CMS technology choices”, “Content Enabled Vertical Applications and taking the CMS apart”, and “Content enabled vertical applications (composite content applications) – executive briefing” – quote from the second link:
At the application layer, as Stéphane says, everything is a mashup, content from different systems, content from other APIs, this is the we application layer. It needs to be content aware, very much so, but it needs to be an application development environment. This is where most people will see the value added in the content management business, although in fact the value here is in implementation, design and integration services, not the technology itself. Application development environments no longer make a lot of money, and again they are dominated by open source (think Java, Eclipse, JBoss, Django).
Once you take out content infrastructure and application development, and the other tools like search, workflow, there is a core of tools for working with content, to support reuse, refactoring, cleaning, import and export, that one might call a Content Workbench. There is a lot of potential value if these types of tools are the value added end of the business, as they can differentiate vendors and add value. Interfaces for merging changes and so on would be part of this type of toolkit. This is the stuff where good UX means timesaving for content workers, but it is difficult to build on a customized per-project basis, so this still offers value from a particular vendor.
Overall then we see a picture where the monolithic CMS starts to break apart into infrastructure, application and toolkit layers, that can perhaps gradually be mixed and matched together to build content applications. We are just seeing the beginnings of this now.
Peter Monks had a reply to his pieces here: The Future of CMS Technologies.
Meanwhile, NPR is live with a CMS solution that resembles this. Read NPR’s Daniel Jacobson’s guest post on Programmable Web: “COPE: Create Once, Publish Everywhere”.
Content Here’s Seth Gottlieb explains how this approach might be too much for those who need less capability still, he concludes:
…at the very least, every publisher needs to start thinking on this level: creating and storing content in presentation neutral way to keep options open.
This conversation was kicked off by Julian Wraith. Check there for more.
I plan on doing my own round-up, as there are many, many interesting posts worthy of sharing. In addition, I think I’ll share some of my own thoughts as well. Would be great to contribute to the discussion Julian Wraith started instead of staying meta for once 🙂
Who said conversation doesn’t happen across bloggers anymore ?
And on another note, the CMS Myth just had its second anniversary: Two Years On: Still Puncturing Myths & Taking Names