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

In the world of low-end content management, Ektron is king.

For years now, the company has offered a wide assortment of affordable content management products that are perfectly geared toward easing the creation and management of simple informational Web sites and intranets. But the companys reach often extends outside these areas, and its eWebEditPro rich-text editor is found in many competing Web content management products, including several high-end products.

With the release of CMS300 4.5 in June, Ektron has continued to build on its core strengths—namely, ease of installation and simple user interfaces that wont intimidate nontechnical users.

One of the most obvious new features is a completely revamped user interface, which is clearly targeted at users most comfortable in Microsofts Office applications. We especially liked the new forms features, which made it simple to create basic forms to deploy to our Web sites. The ability to post events and scheduled content has also been improved in the calendar features in CMS300 .

However, as CMS300 was designed with ease of use in mind, we were surprised not to find any context-sensitive help in the interface.

Administration features for CMS300 are probably best described as basic but capable. Management tasks are always easy to figure out, and the product provides good permissions options for determining who can access what content.

Rather than standard workflows, CMS300 uses approval chains, where content has to be approved by a chain of editors before it can be published. With this version, we had the option to force all approvers.

Pricing for CMS300, which works with both IE and Netscape, is a big selling point for the product. A standard license with 10 named users starts at $6,600.

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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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