Introduction

The underlying power and versatility of CCM comes from its ability to let you reuse your content in multiple documents or websites. Simply put, CCM allows you to write something once, maintain or amend it in one place only, then reuse it anywhere and everywhere.

But before we look in more detail at the how this really works, it’s especially important to understand the key and crucial differences between document management (DM) solutions and CCM solutions.

A typical DM solution

DM solutions manage (and publish) company informational assets in the form of separate documents. When you need to change a document in a DM solution, you need to amend, review, approve and re-publish the whole document.

This type of solution best fits an organisation that creates and publishes standalone, static, documents, such as legal contracts, invoices, company records, and client data. In the case of product or services documentation (informational content that is often more dynamic and can change regularly), companies often make the mistake of going for a DM solution.

To elaborate: many companies continue to confuse the capabilities and benefits of a DM solution with the more powerful options that are now available for a much more productive and flexible way of building and delivering the information needed by all relevant parties in the business and developer ecosystem.

The rationale behind DM is simply that ‘if it exists as a document, and is available as a document, then the job is done’.

A typical CCM solution

CCM solutions work with informational content at a lower, more modular, level, in which a document’s constituent parts have been broken down into elements or components. These components are usually referred to as single source topics or modules. It’s this ability to manage and reuse content at a modular level that makes it so powerful.

For example, when you need to change or update a document, you only need to change or update those specific topics, press a button, and then all documents using those new or amended topics will instantly be updated and published, and, consequently, instantly available to the customer.

CCM solutions allow you to reuse those topics in clever ways, in different documents.

The ability to manage content at component level, rather than at document level, is of huge benefit to…

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