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Microsoft integrates content management with portals

Microsoft has released an integration pack designed to tie together its Content Management Server and SharePoint Portal Server products.

Available as a free download from the Microsoft Developer Network, the integration software allows SharePoint and CMS customers to consistently manage content throughout its lifecycle, according to Chris Ramsey, product manager at Microsoft.

Unifying CMS and SharePoint increases worker productivity by allowing the knowledge worker to stay in the portal environment while creating and publishing content to Content Management Server, he said.

"One of the major benefits is being able to easily get access to documents in SharePoint and publish them on the Web site in CMS while keeping the link between the managed repository in SharePoint for documents and the published version on the Web site live," Ramsey said.

First unveiled at the company's TechEd conference last month, the integration pack consists of engineered code and a prescriptive architecture guide with sample functionality.

Looking forward, the next version of CMS, due out in the second half of 2003, will feature tighter integration with ASP .net and Visual Studio.net in an effort to leverage Microsoft's .net Web services capabilities across multiple products, Ramsey said.

Stitching together the complementary CMS and portal products should help improve Microsoft's offering for document collaboration and content publishing, according to Larry Hawes, senior business advisor at Delphi Group.

"This is a matter of convenience for customers who are deploying both products. You want content management services in your portal, so if you have both why not make it easier to integrate?" Hawes said.

Furthermore, the move "fits into the whole Microsoft .net strategy, where they have all these different pieces they want to work together. This is really moving in that direction," he said.

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