First and foremost, Mambo is a Content Management System (CMS). It is the engine behind your website that simplifies the creation, management, and sharing of content.
There is an excellent article on How to evaluate a Content Management System (written by James Robertson) that covers the features of a good content management system in great detail.
As each day in development goes by we are getting nearer and nearer, while at the same time building a solid core which can be extended by third party developers. In the hands of a custom developer, this makes Mambo a powerful platform for a wide variety of Internet applications that go far above and beyond the simple creation of content.
While Mambo can be modified or extended to provide this style of site this is not the goal of the project. Mambo is aimed at the more squarely at corporate websites or sites for small to medium businesses, families or personal sites.
The Mambo Development Team focuses on building a solid application framework rather than on add-ons that are typically found in many portal solutions. This keeps the Mambo core extremely lightweight and efficient, thus making it easier for anybody to extend Mambo through custom third party component and modules that directly serve their needs.
This is the functionality required by the authors (content creators) using the CMS.
Without an effective authoring process, use of the CMS will wither and fail within a year of implementation.
Key requirements may include:
Integrated authoring environment
The CMS must provide a seamless and powerful environment for content creators. This ensures that authors have easy access to the full range of features provided by the CMS.
Separation of content and presentation
It is not possible to publish to multiple formats without a strict separation of content and presentation.
Authoring must be style-based, with all formatting applied during publishing.
The CMS will have many simultaneous users. Features such as record locking ensure that clashing changes are prevented.
Single-sourcing (content re-use)
A single page (or even paragraph) will often be used in different contexts, or delivered to different user groups.
This is a prerequisite to managing different platforms (intranet, internet) from the same content source.
(This is a complex requirement that warrants a whitepaper of its own.)
Capturing metadata (creator, subject, keywords, etc) is critical when managing a large content repository.
This also includes keyword indexes, subject taxonomies and topic maps.
Authors will create many cross-links between pages, and these must be stable against restructuring.
Authors must not be required to use HTML (or other technical knowledge) when creating pages.
Ease of use & efficiency
For a CMS to be successful, it must be easy to create and maintain content.
The core of most CMS solutions is a central repository, supported by a range of tools for manipulating and managing the content.