We can find in the market:
- Web Content management platforms (like Joomla), usually called "Content Management Systems" , will be referred here as CMS
- Conferencing tools (like webex, MS Live meeting)
- Learning management tools (like moodle) , additional common names are "Learning Management Systems" (LMS) or "Learning Content Management Systems" (LCMS) or "Course Management Systems" (CMS, confusing term with the CMS from above). We will refer them here as LMS.
- Social platforms. (like facebook).
What they usually do and what they lack:
In each category of the above, there are dozens of applications in the markets. In this document we will mention the major or best players in the markets, and we will base our examples on those who are considered "top of the line" or have largest market share.
Common features found in CMS may be:
- Automated templates
Create standard output templates (usually HTML and XML) that can be automatically applied to new and existing content, allowing the appearance of all of that content to be changed from one central place.
- Easily editable content
Once content is separated from the visual presentation of a site, it usually becomes much easier and quicker to edit and manipulate. Most WCMS software includes WYSIWYG editing tools allowing non-technical individuals to create and edit content.
- Scalable feature sets
Most WCMS software includes plug-ins or modules that can be easily installed to extend an existing site's functionality.
- Web standards upgrades
Active WCMS software usually receives regular updates that include new feature sets and keep the system up to current web standards.
- Workflow management
Workflow is the process of creating cycles of sequential and parallel tasks that must be accomplished in the CMS. For example, a content creator can submit a story, but it is not published until the copy editor cleans it up and the editor-in-chief approves it.
- Document management
CMS software may provide a means of managing the life cycle of a document from initial creation time, through revisions, publication, archive, and document destruction.
- Content virtualization
CMS software may provide a means of allowing each user to work within a virtual copy of the entire Web site, document set, and/or code base. This enables changes to multiple interdependent resources to be viewed and/or executed in-context prior to submission.
Real world examples
Common features found in LMS may be:
- Content authoring/editing.
- Ability to acquire and ingest externally developed assets.
- Centralized repository.
- Assessment development and online exams.
- Versioning and history.
- Metadata / taxonomy support.
- Publishing of web, CD, print, presentation requirements associated with e-learning or ILT.
- Elearning standards support (such us SCORM).
- Course registrations and management.
- Dynamic delivery interface.
- Student administration tools.
Common features found in Web Conferencing software may be:
- Presentations .
- Live video streaming between participants (via webcam or digital video camera)
- VoIP, or other method of talking to each other (using the computer, phone, etc.)
- Web tours - where URLs, data from forms, cookies, scripts and session data can be pushed to other participants enabling them to be pushed though web based logons, clicks, etc.
- Recording of meetings and sessions.
- Whiteboard with annotation (allowing the presenter and/or attendees to highlight or mark items on the slide presentation. Or, simply make notes on a blank whiteboard.)
- Text Chat- For live question and answer sessions, limited to the people connected to the meeting. Text chat may be public (for all participants) or private (between 2 participants).
- Polls and surveys (allows the presenter to conduct questions with multiple choice answers directed to the audience)
- Screen sharing/desktop sharing/application sharing (where participants can view anything the presenter currently has shown on their screen. Some screen sharing applications allow for remote desktop control, allowing participants to manipulate the presenters screen, although this is not widely used.)