Content management made strategic

By Martin LaMonica, InfoWorld |  Software

One is, how is information structured? Any need to managing content requires the content to be properly structured. Before XML...the only way that people really thought about structuring information was to think about the capabilities of a relational database or a large database. So XML offers a great, great, great opportunity to really structure information properly. This is not a new idea. SGML was designed to serve that same purpose, right? But unfortunately it was too complicated and didn't get widespread use.

At the same time, this information always has to be put to some use. There is some application behind that information, and that application requires business logic. That's where Java comes in.

So XML is part of the structure, and Java is part of the application.

B.C. Krishna, Open Market

Job title: CTO

Biggest challenge: Evangelizing content management and avoiding confusion in the marketplace

Biggest success: Going from having a good idea to being a player in a hot market in only five years

Favorite escapes: Plays squash ("You hit the ball hard!"), reads voraciously

InfoWorld: What is the appropriate architecture for a content management system? Is it a centralized model with all of the content in one place, or does it make more sense to have a more distributed architecture?

Krishna: I think that centralization is required, but not because centralization is good. Centralization is required because it forces standardization. Once you standardize on an approach, you can then replicate that out to different divisions within the organization, for instance.

As we all know, centralization comes with its problems, and now you're going to one central place for all your requests, all your requirements. But essentially, as the organization grows, you run into stress points within that centrally organized and managed infrastructure.

InfoWorld: Do you see an opportunity for peer-to-peer technology here?

Krishna: I think it's early, but the p-to-p has promise. It has promise indeed in the content management area. We've got our own sort of brainstorming efforts in that area. P-to-P is, unfortunately, as the name suggests, decentralized in the extreme. And it is a great way for individuals to share information. But I just wonder about the lack of control it suggests. In an enterprise business environment, people do need to have some level of regulation and control. It doesn't need to be Communist-like control, but certainly some level of control is required and desired.

InfoWorld: What's the best way to think about content strategically?

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