Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Web (CMS) vs Enterprise (ECM) Content Management System - The Key Differences

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Technology world is not that complex, but at times it just sounds confusing. We love to use the three letter abbreviation in technology and this love often cause misperceptions between the terms who have difference features but sounds so similar. Same is the case between CMS and ECM. Although there are some similarities between the two, but there are some difference which should be cleared up.

One has to understand that there is huge difference between CMS (Content management system) and ECM (Enterprise content management). Let’s start with the definition and then go deeper in this subject to understand the core difference.


Its stands for ‘Content management system’ and it is a software which is used to create, edit, manage and publish content in a consistently organized manner.

                                                                             Image source: Wordofpie


The full form of ECM is ‘enterprise content management’. This technology helps to capture, store, organize, deliver content and documents related to process of the organization. ECM tools and strategies allow the management of an organization's amorphous information, wherever that information exists.

Now let’s look at some of the similarities as well as difference between the two. They both provide facilities generally termed as ‘Library services’, some of the noted difference between the two are:

Create & capture

CMS has built in editor which is integrated with MS office. However, in ECM there is a built in editor which is integrated with MS office as well as scanning or imaging. This gives an upper edge to ECM.

Management of the content

CMS offers library services and Meta data management with approval and editorial workflow. ECM has gone a step further in this also, it offers library services with metadata management in addition with records retention and disposal. The complex workflow is part of business process management.


ECM offers better and sophisticated storage management which includes the integration with storage hardware plus single instances or other de-duplicate technologies. Whereas CMS, only holds ‘work-in-progress’, ‘live’ and ‘staging’ environment in the same version.

Preserving the data

CMS stores snapshot of website and content whereas, ECM has long term archiving and better digital preservation. The whole software is integrated more with storage and has better functionality.


CMS delivers content to the web including mobile devices. However with ECM, you can deliver the content on to the mobile, desktop client, to other software system, directly to print etc.

If you consider all the points which have discussed above, it will be very easy to come to the conclusion that ECM is way better than CMS. But one also has to understand that it really depends upon the need of the organization. Consider all the factors before choosing final software for your organization or choose your technology partner to guide and develop enterprise application using top notch technology.

1 comment :

  1. Really nice information i get from your article. I share your article on stumble as well. Keep Sharing nice posts

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