Those who work in content management systems (CMSs) know that the content creation process can often be time-consuming and unwieldy. Ideally, the best content management system should enable the user to post content to the web seamlessly, without having to click back and forth between different programs. After all, it’s difficult—or, at the very least, annoying—to be in two or three places at once. However, as wonderful as this utopian ideal may sound, it is very rarely the case. Web content creators are usually required to collaborate with one another in a wiki, edit images for the web in Photoshop or a similar program, and then upload everything into the CMS. Functionality is lost in the quest for a visually compelling website with top-notch content.
Ephox—a provider of software solutions that enable creators of web content in wikis and content management systems to achieve better productivity—addresses these problems with its suite of EditLive! products. On Sept. 10, the company released its latest update, attempting to streamline the content management and production processes one step further by adding enhancements to its EditLive! Enterprise Edition.
EditLive! is a browser-based, rich content HTML editor with a Word-like interface that is designed for nontechnical business users. It is integrated into WCM systems, including IBM, Vignette, Oracle, and RedDot. Its basic features include inline spell check, cross-platform support, and inline linking—tools that not only aid collaboration within the CMS but help to ensure that what’s being published to the web is high quality. Each of these features was already available in both the EditLive! base product (which is integrated in Ephox’s partners’ software) and the enterprise edition (an upgrade of the base product).
As an upgrade, EditLive! Enterprise Edition offers features that the base product doesn’t, such as track changes, a thesaurus, rich-text editing, and a mathematical and scientific equation editor. According to Andrew Roberts, CEO of Ephox, "I think the track changes feature is key; if a user wants to make a suggestion, the editor can pick up the username and the time and date the change was made, and either accept or reject those changes." He continues, "Customers aren’t using their CMS the way it was intended, but with track changes, our users can do more collaboration online right in the content management system."
Ephox’s newest release offers enhanced functionality to the enterprise edition, with new features such as inline image editing and autocorrect. Inline image editing is designed to keep content creators and web publishers from having to drift between programs in order to publish images to their site. Image editing features allow the user to crop and rotate images, as well as add effects such as drop shadows, reflection, and rounded corners to pictures—all right there in the CMS. "If someone inserts a large image, they can easily re-size and sample that image without having to go over to Photoshop," explains Roberts. "Just training people on how to fix images, add effects, and then put those images back in the CMS is a time-consuming process," he adds. "We decided to cut out the middle man."
Ephox aims to provide users with the tools to enhance the look and content of their website. And it allows them to do so in a functional space that doesn’t require much outside travel. Roberts notes, "Users can create a more visually compelling website in less time, and with less clicks."