Using a Configuration Management (CM) System to Manage Web Content and Web-Based Distributed Software Development

Steve Henning, Continuus Software

As web sites become larger and more complex, they present a tremendous challenge in terms of content management. Although version control of individual documents is a step in the right direction, dependencies between these documents, managing the document approval process, and the testing and validating of a set of logical page changes prior to publishing them are additional needs of Internet/Intranet sites. Process-based Software Configuration Management (CM) systems can be employed to benefit the development and management of Web based content, whether it's to model and automate the approval process or quickly build configurations of thousands of web pages.

The benefits of using a process-centric CM system to manage web content will be examined in the context of Continuus Software Corporation's web site. The site is managed internally using Continuus/CM, Continuus' software configuration management product. The CM system's task based, process-centric approach allows considerable automation of time consuming content management tasks.

Evolving server and authoring technologies will require CM systems to evolve to keep pace with web content management issues. Future directions for web content management and web-based distributed software development using CM systems implementing the Distributed Authoring and Versioning (DAV) specification will also be discussed.