By Jim Rapoza  |  Posted 2004-08-02 Print this article Print

As we stated in our review of content management services early last year, Web content management works well in the ASP (application service provider) model. And when it comes to Web content management as a service, CrownPeak Technologys Advantage CMS is the clear leader.

Advantage CMS provides many of the benefits and capabilities that companies expect from an enterprise-class Web content management product, as well as what is still the best workflow-creation and -editing tool weve seen in this category. In addition, as a service, Advantage CMS eliminates many of the initial setup and deployment hassles that are common with server-based content management applications.

Looking solely at the interface, Advantage CMS hasnt changed much since we last reviewed it. The browser-based user interface is still very good, providing intuitive menus and work spaces for content creation and editing. One nice new feature let us see other workers in the application and initiate chats with them.

However, a weakness we considered minor in the first review is now much bigger: The Advantage CMS interface works only with IE. Security concerns about IE are growing, and weve spoken with many IT executives who have said that they wont implement products that support only IE, so Advantage CMS browser single-mindedness could be a significant deterrent .

The features for developers and administrators are still strong in Advantage CMS, including several new capabilities that ease the creation and management of site templates. Advantage CMS already-excellent workflow features have improved, with a new visual interface that made it simple in tests to create and follow even complex workflows.

CrownPeak also has been steadily extending the API for Advantage CMS, to make it possible for companies to integrate internal applications with the content management service.

Monthly fees for Advantage CMS start at $3,000, which includes 20 named users and 2,000 live pages. A typical implementation for a single Web site is $51,000 the first year and $36,000 the second year.

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Jim Rapoza, Chief Technology Analyst, eWEEK.For nearly fifteen years, Jim Rapoza has evaluated products and technologies in almost every technology category for eWEEK. Mr RapozaÔÇÖs current technology focus is on all categories of emerging information technology though he continues to focus on core technology areas that include: content management systems, portal applications, Web publishing tools and security. Mr. Rapoza has coordinated several evaluations at enterprise organizations, including USA Today and The Prudential, to measure the capability of products and services under real-world conditions and against real-world criteria. Jim Rapoza's award-winning weekly column, Tech Directions, delves into all areas of technologies and the challenges of managing and deploying technology today.

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