Back to Glossary

CCMS (Component Content Management System)

A CCMS (Component Content Management System) is a special type of content management system that manages content in granular components rather than static documents or pages.

In a CCMS, content is broken down into small components where paragraphs, images, procedures, tables, and even individual words can be a component. These components are then assembled into larger documents.

A CCMS uses XML as the source (see also structured authoring) because the flexibility of that markup language allows for the rich semantic content and metadata required to make the components as granular and reusable as possible.

The componentizing of content makes a CCMS ideal for content reuse and single-sourcing, since each component only has to be written or created once, but can be used in many different contexts and documents. This ensures consistency, accuracy, and quality, and reduces cost significantly for producing and updating large volumes of content.

The CCMS will also typically be able to publish from that single source of content to many different outputs, such as print PDF, web, eLearning, support knowledge bases, apps, and many more. Because XML can easily be transformed into other formats, the list of output formats can also be extended if needed.

This means a CCMS is fundamentally different from what is usually intended when using the term “CMS” (which normally refers to a Web CMS, i.e something like WordPress, Drupal, etc), and the use case is usually also very different. Whereas a (web) CMS is mainly used to create unique pages for a marketing website, a CCMS is mainly used to single-source content and produce and publish large volumes of documentation.

Read more about the differences between a CCMS and a CMS here.

Key features of a CCMS

  • Content is managed in granular components
  • Centralized single source of truth
  • Easy content reuse
  • Personalization of content
  • Version control
  • Management of where content is used
  • Workflow management
  • Collaboration features
  • Separation of content and layout (reducing cost of formatting)
  • Traceability
  • XML-based source content (structured authoring)
  • Automatic link management
  • Translation management
  • Strong searchability through rich metadata
  • Multi-channel publishing