The primary functions of the Publication step are:
• assembly of assets
• distribution and delivery.
Publication is the final step in the Content Management process. It includes preparing and delivering the ultimate output, often a Web page tailored to a particular end user. However, if captured correctly and supported by the Content Management System, a single asset can be used in many different publication paths, for example a printed catalog in addition to an online catalog. Core Content Management ensures that assets are captured correctly and uses an open publishing model to ensure assets can easily be repurposed.
Assembly is the act of combining assets into an aggregate publication, based on their asset types, relationships and metadata. The assembly will be performed differently by different publication mechanisms. Personalization is the act of tailoring the assembly mechanism or aggregate based on characteristics of the end user making the request.
Staging mechanisms provide a preview of the data in a copy of the production environment for review and quality control. Distribution and delivery consists of getting the data into the production environment and then to the end-user.
Programmers and Web designers are the primary users of the Publishing step. These people are highly technical and expensive, making them sub-optimal for the task of content maintenance. However, they know the organization's technical environment well and can design a framework to efficiently assemble assets and present them according to corporate standards.
Given the infinite number of publishing paths, content management tools that include publication functionality can only include a subset of the possibilities. Indeed, many systems support only Web publishing, severely limiting the potential cost savings possible with asset reuse. Enterprises need a more flexible system to maximize return on their investment in content.