New IBM Content Management Promises Streamlined Authoring

VARs can now design content input tools to best fit whoever the author is, said Michael Fromin, Ascendant Technology's practice lead for Web Content management.

"If you're the marketing person and need to add stories, I can streamline the interface you get, unclutter it. If you never fill in field five, why show it? I can make different fields read-write for you and read-only for me. There's a lot of granularity to secure and control the authoring environment," he said. Ascendant is an Austin, Texas-based content management specialist.

Also new to the release is support for the Java Content Repository (JCR). That support will help VARs devise portals that can publish Real Syndication Stream (RSS) or Atom news feeds with simple templates, the company said in a statement.

"Support for anything standards based is important," said Michael Porter, national prtal practice manager for Perficient, an IBM partner also based in Austin.

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Porter said this offering will integrate tightly and easily with IBM's WebSphere Portal and there is big opportunity in that.

Perficient which sells portal and collaboration software and related services, can set up the content management system with the WebSphere Portal in a few hours, Porter said.

"Surprisingly, I would say 40-50 percent of our portal clients do not yet use content management," he said. This offering is a natural fit for those customers, he said.

IBM Software now fields a sometimes-confusing array of WebSphere-, Workplace-, and Domino-branded content management, portal and collaboration software. Last month, it purchased Filenet and its document and content management stable, which may add another layer of complexity.

The pricing, using IBM's rather complicated new value pricing model, is about $40,000 per computer processor. IBM WebSphere Portal Enable and Extend customers can deploy this new version using value units under their current portal license.

For small and mid-sized businesses, IBM offers Workplace Web Content Manager Standard Edition, for $9,999 per processor (or $99.99 per value unit).