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SharePoint® Server 2010 Enterprise Content Management by Russ Houberg, Brett Grego, Chris Caplinger, Todd Kitta

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Chapter 1

What Is Enterprise Content Management?

What's in this chapter?

  • Defining ECM as used by this book
  • Gaining a historical perspective of ECM
  • Defining the components of an ECM system

Considering that this is a book both by and for architects and developers, devoting an entire chapter to talking about the enterprise content management (ECM) industry and trying to define it, rather than just jumping into the bits and bytes that you probably bought the book for, might seem strange. However, by introducing ECM as part of an industry, instead of describing how the SharePoint world perceives it, we hope to provide a perspective that wouldn't otherwise be possible if you make your living inside the SharePoint ecosystem.

ECM, within or outside of the SharePoint world, seems to be a much-abused abbreviation used to describe a variety of different technologies. Of course, people often adopt new or existing terms, applying their own twist to the original meaning, and this is certainly the case with ECM. The difficult part is determining which meaning is actually correct. Sometimes even the words representing the initials are changed. For example, in the halls of our own company, sometimes “electronic” is used instead of “enterprise.” In other cases, ECM is confused with specific technologies that are part of it, such as DMS (Document Management System), IMS (Image Management System) or WCM (Web Content Management).

Clearly, ECM means a lot of different things to a variety of people. ...

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