As the shakeout of poorly thought-out ASPs continues unabated, I still see a few new services from application service providers that make a little sense for corporations. One I recently took a look at was Atomz Corp.s Atomz Publish, a hosted service for Web content management.
Content management systems can be very costly, complex and resource- intensive to implement, which makes them a good fit for an ASP. With Atomz Publish (at www.atomz.com), a business can set up a content management system for its site in a matter of days, rather than weeks or months. The product includes many of the features expected of content management systems, such as check-in/check-out capabilities and simplified content publishing. Atomz Publish also has one of the best template-creation features Ive seen in any content management system, as its templates are just plain HTML. Also, although Atomz can host a site, the product works best as a hosted staging server, with final approved changes sent to the actual site server on a scheduled basis.
The feature set in Atomz Publish is similar to that found in low-end software packages such as Ektron Inc.s Empower, and, like many low-end systems, it has limited workflow capabilities and only allows users to be assigned two roles (editor or administrator). Security may also be a problem for some sites because log-ins are not secured in any way. And, like many other ASP offerings, the service, starting at $50,000 per year, is overpriced.