A Framework for Web Content Management System Operations and Maintenance

By Souer, Jurriaan; Honders, Paul et al. | Journal of Digital Information Management, August 2008 | Go to article overview

A Framework for Web Content Management System Operations and Maintenance


Souer, Jurriaan, Honders, Paul, Versendaal, Johan, Brinkkemper, Sjaak, Journal of Digital Information Management


1. Introduction

Since the end of the nineties several web modeling methods have been developed, varying from E-R based to UML based, from conceptual to architecture design and from web to hypermedia application orientation. However, these methods focus on the design and creation of web applications from scratch rather than building web applications based on a platform with a focus on managing the information--or content--of the web application. These web applications are known as Web Content Management Systems (WCMS) and are specifically designed to anticipate on the ever changing demand of Internet visitors [27]. A WCMS can be defined as a group of business rules and editorial processes applied to content by people and organizations to align efforts of online publication with the business goals [6]. With experiences of more than five hundred industrial implementations of WCMS software, we found that although WCMS help organizations from a technological point of view, a lot of organizations are struggling with the business processes surrounding the WCMS.

The research area we are addressing in this paper is Web Engineering which is defined as "the application of systematic and quantifiable approaches (concepts, methods, techniques, tools) to cost-effective requirements analyses, design, implementation, testing, operation, and maintenance of high quality Web applications" [16], p.3. The existing research provides useful insight into Web Engineering in general but the operations and maintenance of Web applications are underexposed. We present a WCMS Process Framework for organizing web content management which can be used in conjunction with existing frameworks such as ITIL, ASL and BiSL ([1], [19], [21], [24], and [25]).

The WCMS Process Framework which we presented in [35] detailed the processes of the operations and maintenance phase of web applications. In this paper we will re-address the foundation of this framework in more detail. We will provide more insight into the integration of our framework with the complementary frameworks as well as another case description. Furthermore, we added an expert validation based on three industry experts and compare our research to related research.

The paper is structured as follows. The next section discusses current issues in operation and maintenance within the field of Web applications. We then give an overview of a generic IT Management model which is the foundation of our WCMS Process Framework and describe how our WMCS Process Frameworks is integrated in the generic model. In section 3 we describe the validation of the framework through an expert validation and new case study. Section 4 elaborates on related work. We end this paper with some conclusions and point out future research.

2. A framework for Web Engineering operation and maintenance

Our WCMS Process Framework is based on the assumption that web engineering is different than traditional IS development. The authors in [17] and [15] critically examined these differences and concluded that web development methods are not radically new but merely extensions or variations of fundamental dynamics which have characterized information systems since the inception of the discipline. There may not be one single characteristic which is unique to web development; the collection of characteristics definitely is [2]. Methods proven for traditional information systems should however not be disregarded. Our WCMS Process Framework therefore uses existing models when possible and only differentiates where specific web related issues arise. In [35] we detailed these web specific issues: 1) identifying the user groups and the fit with their needs and requirements; 2) definition and implementation of a content maintenance strategy; 3) keeping the content valid, accurate, current and complete; 4) coordination of operational content management activities; and 5) management of external content providers. …

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