If you are looking for a community solution, then Telligent (news, site) is one of most well known. But it may not contain all the functionality out of the box that you would like -- we're speaking of content management here.
So it's good to have partners like Four Roads to come alongside and fill in the gaps in functionality. CMSWire took a look at the content management capabilities this company provides Community Server, known as CS Publisher.
On its own, Telligent Community Server does not offer content management related capabilities like workflow, versioning and such. So Four Roads developed CS Publisher, a simple web content management solution that integrates with the community platform.
A Community Server Partner
Four Roads is dedicated to producing solutions that integrate with the Telligent Community Server solution. They have several offerings currently including:
- CS Publisher: Content Management
- Four Roads Commerce: eCommerce
- Nexus: Facebook Integration
Our interest was with CS Publisher and what kind of functionality it adds to the Community Server platform. With the help of Michael Trefry, Chief Product Officer, and Robert Nash, CMO, we ran through the functionality delivered with CS Publisher.
A Look At CS Publisher
The first thing to know about CS Publisher is that it installs on the same server as Community Server. Installed as an add-on, you see all the functionality of this content management solution integrated directly in the Community Server environment, so you really can't tell they are separate solutions.
CS Publisher - List of Managed Pages
As you can see by the figure above content management within CS Publisher is based on pages.
For each page you have all the standard elements such as title, page name, tags, revision notes, SEO options (metadata), comments and ratings with moderation and review, and a WYSIWYG page editor.
Page tagging is integrated with the tags created for Community Server. One advantage of integrated tagging is that content pages are indexed with Community Server and show up as part of the search results overall.
CS Publisher - Create Page
You also have several additional capabilities to enhance your pages:
Widgets: You can add sidebar widgets to your page to add additional features such as Related Content, Shortcuts, Active Users or a Tag Cloud. These widgets are Community Server widgets.
CS Publisher - Page Sidebar Widgets
Code Blocks: Code Blocks are snippets of ASP.Net code that you can insert into your pages. You create them at the Administration level -- and only administrators can add them -- and then selectively add them to pages.
An example of a code block is a list of blog entries to display inline with a page. To do this, you simply add one line to your page where you want the code block to be rendered.
Four Roads is developing a library of code blocks that can be included within content pages.
You can also select the location in the Community Server navigation hierarchy to place your page. Pages are assigned to a single location only.
CS Publisher - Page Navigation
For each page created there is a full version history. You go back and view each version saved for the page, when it was created and by whom. You can also edit any version of the page and publish it. If you publish an older version of a page, a new version is automatically created and published.
CS Publisher - Page Versions
There are four states a page can be in:
- In Progress
- Ready for Review
These are the typical workflow states for an approval workflow. When a page is ready for editing, the author submits it for review. An email is sent out to everyone in the Publisher role.
There are three roles available for CS Publisher:
- Content Editor: Creates and edits pages
- Content Publisher: Creates, edits and publishes pages
- Content Administrator: Includes administration functionality in addition to creation and publishing roles.
CS Publisher Permissions
CS Publisher permissions are shown alongside other Community Server permissions and can be modified, although you probably wouldn't change them.
CS Publisher offers the same multi-lingual capabilities as Community Server. Different language versions are stored in resource files and each file has to manually translated to provide a different language.
Four Roads provides the capability to import and export content into and out of CS Publisher. This makes it easier to move content from one environment to another -- such as from Staging to Production.
Future Functionality on Its Way
As Four Roads is a Telligent partner, they do get requests from Telligent to add additional functionality to their solutions. In this case, the CS Publisher will be getting future dating capabilities in the near future. Currently you cannot future date content.
Pricing for CS Publisher
CS Publisher is only about one month old. It is built on Microsoft ASP.NET. There are several installations of the solution occurring in the next few months. You can purchase Personal, Professional and Enterprise versions of the product. Currently the Personal Version will cost you US$ 99.00 and the Professional version US$ 1,099.00. The differences between versions is related to number of pages and key functionality.
Similar Content Management Offerings
Since CS Publisher is built specifically for Community Server, you can't really compare it to other simple content management solutions. No other web cms integrates with the Telligent product that we know of.
That being said, if you are familiar with Telligent's Graffiti Web CMS, you are going to see a lot of similarities with CS Publisher. They aren't identical and Graffiti is built as a standalone solution, but the capabilities are very similar.
Which should certainly lead one to ask if Telligent has plans to integrate their own Web Content Management solution into the Community Server platform on its next release. We don't have the answer and neither does Four Roads (or at least they aren't admitting they know).
It will be interesting to see what Content Management capabilities -- if any -- come with the next version of Community Server. Fours Roads says they are ready for the competition if it does come to be.