Enterprises have several software systems to manage their huge volume of data. The two most common ones implemented are document management systems (DMS) and content management systems (CMS). Although both of them perform similar functions, there are some key differences between them. The enterprise will determine the type of system it is going to invest in based on its needs and goals. DMS stores and manages documents while custom CMS website development is done using a content management system. CMS web development can be achieved without writing any code. The system can also manage all the text, images on a website, track user sessions, handle search queries, and collect visitor feedback. This article dives deep into features of CMS and DMS, similarities and differences between them.
What is CMS?
A CMS or a Content Management System is an application that enables users to create, publish and manage digital content on a website. CMSes implement a graphical user interface (GUI) that can be even used by non-technical users without coding knowledge to publish, edit and manage content. The two main components of CMS are:
- The content management application or CMA is the intuitive interface that users can view, add and manage their content.
- The content delivery application, sometimes known as CDA, is the back-end infrastructure that assembles, saves, and displays code to users as needed.
A web content management system or WCMS is a type of CMS that is exclusively used for CMS web development, dedicated to website content. Web content management systems have become the digital center point of CMS website development companies through which brands can store and manage personalized content in digital formats on websites and other digital platforms.
Content management systems also offer users control over storage, access, and distribution of primary content formats such as videos, logos, audio files, and documents. Experts consider CMS as one of the digital components that can help oversee customer experience along with management of digital assets, customer data platforms, social media, CRM, and so on.
What is DMS?
A DMS or Document Management System is used to store, manage, and track digital and electronic documents such as emails, voice files, and images. It can also track and manage scanned pictures of paper documents. The typical capabilities of a DMS are:
- It processes the digital images of scanned paper documents to capture their content. Optical character recognition (OCR) software is used by most DMSs to turn digital photos into editable and readable text. Other advanced capabilities include handprint character recognition and optical mark recognition.
- Some DMSs have a workflow module or have the ability to interact with third-party workflow management software.
- A DMS allows administrators and users to view current document versions or resort to an older version if needed.
- A DMS enables users to tag the content by type, category, and keywords to aid in better search, sharing, and organization.
DMS also store, capture and retain documents and provide functionality such as drafting, document intake, versioning, generation templates, security, collaboration, access rights, search, archiving and so on.
*Enterprise Document Management (EDM) is a related term that refers to the strategy of supervising electronic and paper documents within an organization for quick retrieval during a legal or a compliance audit. *
Similarities between CMS and DMS
DMS and CMS systems overlap in a certain sense that they both are components of the overall Enterprise Content Management Strategy. They both perform the following functions:
- Offer content security
- Manage digital assets
- Offer a centralized storage system for the content
- Create, manage, and distribute information
- Simplify the process and information search and retrieval.
- Automate workflows
- Both systems are available as cloud-based SaaS applications.
Differences between CMS and DMS
Although there are some similarities between CMS and DMS, they cannot be used interchangeably. Here are the key differences:
Type of data
The main difference between a DMS and CMS lies in the type of information handled by both. For organised data and documents such as Word documents, PDF files, and PowerPoint presentations, a DMS is ideal. It can digitize these files and track them through their lifecycle. On the other hand, a CMS can manage both unstructured and structured content in the form of Word documents, PDF files, and PowerPoint presentations. Apart from the documents that a DMS can handle, a CMS can manage media such as video, audio, and web content as a part of CMS web development.
The primary goal of a CMS web development company is to store, retrieve and publish content on websites while DMS services focus on maintaining regulatory compliance and workflow management.
DMS includes advanced scanning and imaging capabilities such as Handprint Character Recognition (HCR), Optical Character Recognition (OCR), and Optical Mark Recognition (OMR). CMS offers AR/VR capabilities, digital kiosk experiences, and personalization.
DMS can interact with enterprise systems like Enterprise Resource Planning and Customer Relationship Management software. CMS offers integration with digital asset management tools, eCommerce, and marketing automation.
Ultimately, DMS excels in preserving and organizing enterprise documents, and CMS handles content presented on websites.
Common Benefits of CMS and DMS
Given below are a few of the common benefits of Content Management Systems and Document Management Systems:
- Reduced physical document storage space as no more physical cabinets will take up office space or file rooms that can be used for other purposes.
- Advanced imaging and scanning capabilities are available as more data is uploaded with each document and it can be more searchable as well.
- Enhanced security can be achieved through passwords and user-defined restrictions that can protect data from security breaches.
- Documents can be quickly and easily found within just a few seconds.
- Version control of electronic documents can be achieved that can help the user track document edits and go through their version histories.
- Automation retention timelines and schedules for certain documents can be set through these systems.
- System workflows allow users to better route and collaborate on documents irrespective of their physical location.
- Enhanced regulatory compliance can be achieved through automatic tracking of documents, facilitating audit trial reporting, and compliance.
- Well-maintained digital documents ensure better backup and recovery, unlike paper documents that are impossible to replace in the event of unintentional damage or destruction.
- Easier access to documents without needing the user to be present in the same room as the documents facilitating access to crucial business data from any corner of the world.
DMS can be seen as a digital version of a physical filing cabinet including the intelligence and advanced capabilities it provides compared to paper documents such as workflow, real-time access, electronic routing, and auditing.
CMS’s role is more inclusive when compared to DMS as it contributes to enhancing workflow capabilities and business processes. For a small business, it is difficult to spot a clear difference between DMS and CMS as they don’t typically have complex web content and document maintenance needs. However, at the enterprise level, where there is a huge data distribution, CMS may seem a better fit.
When they begin to embrace digital transformation, many companies initially adopt Document Management Systems. Once they migrate to the digital document environment, they gradually move to Content Management Systems to boost workflow and efficiency through CMS web development.