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About the CMS

CMS stands for Content Management System. A Web CMS is used to create, edit, manage, search, and publish various kinds of content on a Web page, for example: text, images, and digital media. A CMS does not require a user to have knowledge of HTML or CSS scripting. Instead, the focus is on developing rich and up-to-date content.

The CMS at New York University is called CQ5. It was created by Day Software, acquired by Adobe.

Why a CMS at NYU?

New York University’s Web site is one of the critical ways we present ourselves to the world, and it is a crucial tool for communicating with our audiences, both internal and external. Every year, more of NYU’s community, including prospective students, current students, employees, and alumni, are relying on the Web as a primary point of communication. Collectively, the pages within NYU’s Web site create an impression about New York University - who we are, what we do, and the impact we have regionally and internationally through research, outreach, and teaching.

As NYU's Web presence increasingly plays a crucial role in providing academic, administrative and community services to the University's constituents, it has become necessary to reevaluate the underlying infrastructure upon which it operates. The current structure of the NYU Web is a conglomeration of loosely affiliated sites created and maintained in isolation. It has become apparent in recent years that we must move to a platform that allows for more structured and organized Web operations. The ability to manage the core capabilities and integrations of Web services becomes doubly important in the context of cross-university initiatives and absolutely imperative in a global environment. In addition, it should no longer be necessary for those wanting to update information to know how to program HTML.

Since the time NYU first developed a Web presence, administrative units of NYU have enjoyed fairly wide latitude in setting up their individual Web sites and pages. Indeed, even when the University has periodically refreshed the look, feel, architecture, and navigation - the "user interface" - of, that new user interface started with the University's home page and other top pages, then sporadically trickled down as University units commissioned the Office of Web Communications (WebComm) to do work on their sites. As was the case with logos, this has resulted in significantly different looks and Web navigation as users move from one section of the NYU site to another.

In the period since the last upgrade and refreshing of in 2005, much has changed. New University priorities have emerged, the need to reorganize the Web site so that it will be more intuitive for visitors and users has grown, and new technologies have become more important or prominent. WebComm began an effort to create a new user interface for which took these changes into account. This time, the expansion of the new user interface and associated technologies was done in a far more deliberate, encompassing, and organized fashion than during previous redesigns of our Web site.

The new Web presence will for the first time be undergirded by a University-wide content management system (CMS), which WebComm and NYU Information Technology (NYU IT) have worked closely together to implement. The system confers a number of advantages, such as ease of posting new information and consistency of important University-wide data across NYU sites, in addition to providing a strong foundation for future university Web services.

What is a CMS?

CMS stands for Content Management System. A Web CMS is used to create, edit, manage, search and publish various kinds of content on a Web page, for example: text, images, and digital media.

Important features of a CMS include:

  • the ability to assign individuals and groups specific roles and responsibilities allowing access only to particular content
  • the definition of workflow tasks to ensure that content is approved before publishing
  • the separation of presentation from content so materials may be repurposed
  • the ability to track and manage multiple versions of a single instance of content, ensuring accuracy

CQ Background

A Content Management System (CMS) Task Force, made up of members of the Office of Web Communications (WebComm) and NYU Information Technology (NYU IT), embarked upon a rigorous discovery and selection process to evaluate and procure a CMS for the University.

After surveying existing tools at NYU and other universities, the CMS Task Force worked with consultants to define our requirements and needs. Although our criteria and focus was largely geared towards the needs of a central system, every effort was made to include school webmasters in the requirement definition.

After identifying the leading contenders, the CMS Task Force submitted requests for proposals from each vendor, including detailed responses to our requirements and quotes for all associated costs. Reviewing how well their stated capabilities matched our criteria allowed us to select our finalists. At our invitation, these vendors visited NYU and gave in-depth demonstrations to the CMS Task Force and various school representatives.

At the conclusion of the demonstrations, members of the CMS Task Force unanimously chose Day Software's CQ Web Content Management product as the best fit for NYU. The decision was reached in large part due to the specific capabilities it provided both system administrators as well content authors. Also important was its adherence to open standards and ease of use, which the Task Force felt would drastically impact the long-term utility and viability of the product.

Day Software

Day Software was founded in Switzerland in 1993 by dynamic, enterprising and innovative individuals who foresaw the dramatic changes the Internet would have on organizations, and the impact on interaction and communication between individuals and departments, and the way they do business.

Day Software is now part of Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) as of October 2010. It is the ECM pioneer that leading global enterprises rely on for their Web 2.0 content application and content infrastructure needs. Day's Content Repository Extreme (CRX) is the industry's leading Java Content Repository (JCR) that provides unique virtualization services to consolidate legacy repositories and unique cloud computing services to lower IT operational costs. Day's CQ5 platform combines industry-leading Web Content Management (WCM), Digital Asset Management (DAM), and Social Collaboration (SoCo) applications for business leaders in a single, unified suite and won the 2009 InfoWorld Technology of the Year Award for "Best Web CMS".

The company has been publicly traded on the SWX Swiss Exchange (SWX: DAYN) since April 2000 and has over 200 implementations for leading global organizations such as Audi, Canton Zürich, Daimler, DHL Worldwide Express, McDonald’s Corporation, National Health Service UK, Swiss Government, TNT Express Worldwide, Volkswagen and others.

What is Content?

Content is the core of the CMS.  Content is information - therefore - everything is content!

Content in a CMS may be reused (permissions permitting) across multiple pages, which ensures that the most up-to-date information is always presented.

In the CMS, content is separate from the page layout.  Page layout is determined through the use of templates. A template is a formatted design which defines the look and feel of a page. It may be reused many times.  Content is added to templates through the use of components. A component is a specialized content container. The component gets added to your page template and will display content in a particular way or for a particular purpose. For example, a text component will present text only. Adding in an image component defines a section of the page to display an image only.

Content type examples:

  • text
  • images
  • videos
  • PDFs
  • PowerPoint presentations
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