Review: Tridion R5 Web content management shines
R5 trumps other WCM software with outstanding usability, depth
Not long ago, there was a general perception that enterprises needed one central system to manage all their business content -- the philosophy behind enterprise CMSes (content management systems) from Open Text, EMC Documentum, and others. For some businesses this strategy still has merit. But the complexity of melding records management, Web content management, digital asset management, and document management has many organizations questioning this one-size-fits-all approach.
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R5's core Enterprise Content Services (based on Microsoft Windows .Net technology) lets you easily create, manage, and then deliver content to the Web, e-mail, RSS, and print. Importantly, Audience Manager helps you provide customized content based on users' interests. Additionally, you can use information from a CRM system directly in Audience Manager. Although R5 isn't as open as some pure J2EE-based solutions, Tridion has portal and business connectors to bridge the gap. Moreover, the Presentation Server, which delivers Web content, runs on top of standard application servers, including IBM WebSphere and BEA WebLogic (as well as Microsoft Internet Information Server).
Stake your site swiftly
Tridion offers extensive out-of-the-box functions, most of which I tested for several weeks. This was more than enough time to create a Web site with workflows and personalized content, reuse content in separate multilingual sites, build several e-mail campaigns, and review various metric reports. Tridion customers I contacted said their typical deployment of more complex sites was a very respectably eight to 12 weeks.
The relatively short build-out cycle is largely because Tridion provides two browser-based interfaces: Content Manager Explorer and SiteEdit. These services run on a Windows server behind your firewall. I used Content Manager Explorer's rich text editor to enter and format a variety of content, including product specification sheets and press releases. Because Tridion is based on XML, advanced users can also produce and edit content assets with authoring tools such as Altova XML Spy.
As with other .Net-based WCM solutions, such as Ektron CMS400.NET, Tridion provides a convenient Windows Explorer-like view of content and display templates (XSLT [XSL Transformation ]style sheets). If your editors are running a WebDAV-compliant desktop OS, they can open and save content directly from Microsoft Office applications or drag and drop content (images, PDF files, XML schemas) into Tridion's repository using Windows Explorer.