I adore – I know, a funny word to use, but there really is some love there – the concept of a content management ecosystem, which Matt Thompson further outlines in this article. I had read a little about project Argo a while back and knew it was a great approach to large scale CMS issues. Being particularly interested in the problems of wysiwyg editors in CMSes, I know that finding ways to best store content which is used in multiple ways is the key. His main points are Capitalize, Synthesize and Harmonize.
The concept of an ecosystem is important because it jumps beyond the CMS. Certainly we look for boxed solutions to help us build our environments quickly. But when you start to look at large environments like those used in media production systems, there really isn’t a single product that can do everything. And in fact, many organizations are using multiple CMSes, frameworks and databases to solve their problems. I’ve been most impressed with what the Guardian is doing, by using solr as an API and a database, wrapping it around their legacy RDBMS and No-SQL systems like couchDB. This powerful model further demonstrates the idea of the ecosystem in that, regardless of where you store your data and which language you use to process and display that data, at some level, you need a common API that can provide access to your information. This is after all the key to content management. Too much emphasis on the system and not enough on the ecosystem will just mean you end up placing all your eggs in one basket, such that you will find migrating forward (from say an RDBMS to couchDB) an almost impossible task.