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

Interwoven has long been one of the leaders in Web content management, and its TeamSite product shows that wealth of experience. However, maturity is often accompanied by a lot of baggage: Vendors of enterprise applications have to weigh the value of adding new features and improving processes against the need and ability to maintain backward compatibility and limit retraining.

In many ways, TeamSite 6.1, which was released in April, is a major step toward making the Web content management application a more streamlined and intuitive product without sacrificing its capabilities. However, all its previous interfaces have not been ditched, which can lead to confusion in use and management.

Probably the biggest new feature in TeamSite 6.1 is the ContentCenter interface. Using the browser-based ContentCenter, all levels of users gain an extremely powerful and surprisingly easy-to-use interface for creating and editing content and managing highly complex Web sites.

ContentCenter comes in two forms: Standard, which is designed for occasional content contributors and nontechnical managers, and Professional, which includes the more powerful authoring, versioning and workflow tools that one expects from a high-end content management system.

Both interfaces performed very well in our tests, and they were a clear improvement over the old WebDesk Pro interface. The Standard and Professional editions provide in-context content-editing options, and the new forms feature made it easy to create standard content . The Professional version adds version-comparison features that are among the best weve seen.

However, the fact that the old WebDesk Pro coexists with ContentCenter, at least in this version of TeamSite, may cause confusion. To include both interfaces makes a certain amount of sense, allowing users to ease into a transition to ContentCenter. But the TeamSite user guide often states that WebDesk Pro must be used for certain tasks, meaning that users will sometimes have to jump between the two interfaces.

TeamSite 6.1s configuration and customization capabilities are nearly endless, including the ability to customize the ContentCenter interface completely. But configuring TeamSite is in many ways similar to setting up an open-source application, as the vast majority of TeamSite administration is done by manually editing a wide variety of configuration files. Fortunately, the administration guide provides plenty of guidance.

TeamSite also includes a browser-based administration interface that let us manage some tasks, but many administration tasks that would occur on a fairly frequent basis cant be done in this interface.

TeamSite 6.1 has excellent XML and Web services support and integrates well with many third-party enterprise applications. The product also is a part of Interwovens larger suite of enterprise content management products.

Interwoven changed the TeamSite pricing model recently to address departmental and enterprise needs. Pricing for a departmental implementation of TeamSite, which is fully functional but limits the number of users and size of the Web implementation, starts at $49,000; the full enterprise version is priced starting at $159,000.

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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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