Microsoft Content Management Server (MCMS) 2002 Technical Overview

Content Management Server

October 2002

Applies To
     Microsoft Content Management Server (MCMS) 2002

Summary:   Learn about user roles, components, new features, and the setup and configuration for Microsoft® Content Management Server (MCMS) 2002.


User Roles
MCMS 2002 Components
Software Requirements
New Features of MCMS 2002
Performance and Abilities
For More Information


Microsoft® Content Management Server (MCMS) 2002 is an enterprise Web content management system that enables companies to build, deploy, and maintain highly dynamic Internet, intranet, and extranet Web sites, quickly and efficiently.

MCMS 2002 stores content as objects, and Web pages are assembled from a smart server cache upon request. This enables specific content to be reused and served to different devices, audiences, and individuals without complex coding or duplication of effort. With MCMS 2002, businesses can easily share Web content with partners, suppliers, and customers regardless of platform or programming language.

User Roles

The roles defined by MCMS, both the general categories of users and the specific roles defined with respect to setting access rights, are not directly related to the process of defining and designing your Web site. Users in all of the categories will often have valuable contributions to make to the definition and design process.

The following table lists the four general role categories and responsibilities of MCMS users within an organization, and the main features that MCMS provides to these users.

User Category Responsibilities Primary tools and user interfaces
Site developer Builds the infrastructure upon which the MCMS Web site will rely.

Implements the templates upon which Web pages will be based, the organizational structure for templates into template galleries, and the navigation scheme for the site.

Microsoft Visual Studio® .NET, and at some stages of development, all of the other tools and interfaces.
System administrator Establishes and maintains site security, including the configuration of authentication, often in conjunction with site developers.

Deploys the Web site from intermediate versions where changes are staged and tested to the production environment from which the Web site is used.

Database Configuration Application (DCA)

Server Configuration Application (SCA)

Site Manager (for deployment functionality)

Site Stager

Site manager

Implements the visible site structure in terms of channels, and the site asset management structure in terms of resource galleries.

Assigns rights to users.

Site Manager
Site author Writes and edits content.

Publishes content.

Web Author

Authoring Connector

MCMS 2002 Components

The following figure shows the architecture of MCMS 2002.

In addition to the Microsoft Content Management Server (MCMS) processing engine, Content Server, which dynamically generates Web pages from content objects and templates, other components included with MCMS 2002 increase productivity for business and technical users. The components, or tools, speed site development, simplify integration and interoperability, and provide rapid deployment. The following list provides a brief description of each MCMS component.

  • Web Author: Enables authors and editors to create, edit, and publish Web content. An organization can update a large Web site quickly with current information because multiple users can work on different parts of the Web site at the same time. The Web Author is a browser-based tool that requires no additional client software.

    The browser-based Web Author offers the benefits of configurability by way of the Web Author console. The Web Author console is a menu of options that authors and editors can use. Template designers can customize this console using Microsoft Visual Studio .NET.

  • Authoring Connector: Enables content creators to author and edit documents in Microsoft Word 2002 and to submit them for approval and publication to an MCMS Web site. The author creates a document in Word and uses the MCMS Authoring Connector Wizard to send the content to the site. The content created in Word is stored in a placeholder on the page. The user must supply some publishing details, such as start and end times for publishing the document, but does not need to learn the functional details of MCMS, or to know how to publish on the Web.

    Custom properties, which are developed by a template designer, can be used by the content creator to present aspects of a Web page in a particular way. For example, the custom property of a page can set a "high importance" flag on certain material so that it will appear in a predefined and prominent place on the Web site.

  • Site Manager: Enables MCMS site managers and channel managers to perform administrative tasks involving organizing containers, organizing user roles, and controlling user access. Containers include channels, resource galleries, and template galleries. The container hierarchy you arrange in Site Manager determines the structure of a site.

    For the channel manager, the tasks performed include creating and managing the channel, resource gallery, and template gallery hierarchies. For the site manager, tasks include establishing and managing rights groups, and accessing the site deployment functionality.

  • Site Deployment: Enables MCMS administrators to update MCMS Web sites using an export and import package transfer method. Site deployment is invoked through the Site Manager.

    Site deployment supports having separate development and production environments. This enables content to be created and tested on one or more computers, and then deployed to a production cluster. Site deployment operations, such as exporting and importing, are provided through a user interface that is available from within the Site Manager.

    Developers can set up a schedule to deploy the site, or a portion the site, at a specific time using ASP scripts.

  • Database Configuration Application (DCA): Used to select and populate a Microsoft SQL Server™ database, to specify the virtual Web site and to select a system account and initial administrator for a new installation. Once installation is complete, the DCA is used to configure the database on an ongoing basis.
  • Server Configuration Application (SCA): Used to view and change the configuration values for the MCMS 2002 Server. Tuning these values optimizes site performance. Tasks that can be managed with the SCA include pruning containers to establish viewing rights, changing the background cleanup settings, changing the location and size of the disk cache, changing the size of the memory cache, setting multiple Web entry points, changing user authentication, changing cookie settings, turning guest access on or off, and viewing product identification information entered during installation. These tasks are performed by the system administrator, the site manager and the channel manager.
  • Publishing Application Programming Interface (API): Enables developers to build highly customized, dynamic Web sites that integrate easily with other applications. The Publishing API provides programmatic access to the MCMS object that is available in the ASPX file (and its code-behind files, if any). The Publishing API is also used by the code in the placeholder controls to access the version of content that is appropriate for displaying in either presentation or authoring mode.

Software Requirements

Microsoft® Content Management Server (MCMS) 2002 requires the following minimum system configuration:

Content Server:

  • Microsoft Windows® 2000 Server, Professional, or Advanced Server and Service Pack 2 or later (Microsoft Windows® XP Professional Service Pack 1 can be used as an alternative to Windows 2000 Server for developing the site, though it should not be used in production)
  • Microsoft SQL Server™ 2000 and SP2
  • Microsoft .NET Framework and SP2
  • Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) 5.0 and IIS security hotfix MS02-018
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer® 6.0 or later
  • Internet Explorer WebControls v.1.0


  • SQL Server 2000

Developer tools:

  • All server software (Microsoft Windows XP Professional Service Pack 1 can be used as an alternative to Windows 2000 Server)
  • Microsoft Visual Studio® .NET

New Features of MCMS 2002

Microsoft Content Management Server (MCMS) 2002 includes numerous improvements that affect how users in various roles perform their tasks. This is especially true for site developers, who now perform much of their work within the Microsoft Visual Studio .NET environment. This topic summarizes the new features in MCMS 2002, and describes how the product is different from MCMS 2001.

  • Support for the .NET Framework and ASP.NET
  • Integration with Visual Studio .NET
  • Simplified publishing process for site authors
  • Increased separation of authoring and site management tasks
  • Site deployment enhancements
  • WoodgroveNet sample site
  • Role-specific tutorials

Support for the .NET Framework and ASP.NET

MCMS 2002 takes advantage of the Microsoft .NET Framework to provide standards-based interoperability across platforms and languages. MCMS provides the following .NET-based technology:

  • .NET-based Publishing Application Programming Interface (API). The MCMS Publishing (API) is wrapped for use in the .NET environment, so that it can be easily called from any of the Common Language Runtime (CLR) languages.
  • Improved authentication model. MCMS 2002 can use the authentication model provided by ASP.NET; it also includes an API for customized authentication schemes. MCMS 2002 authentication provides support for mapping externally authenticated logon accounts to Microsoft Active Directory® directory service accounts, enabling code customization to support third-party applications.
  • Improved caching and performance. MCMS 2002 uses the caching features built into ASP.NET to provide improved Web site performance. If you add an OutputCache directive in your ASPX template file, all of the pages you create from that template are then cached according to the rules in the directive. MCMS 2002 provides new VaryByCustom parameters that enable the caching of pages based on MCMS rights and on the role of the user who is viewing the page.
  • Improved event model. Using the ASP.NET event model, MCMS 2002 provides event classes that make it easier to extend the workflow model for MCMS. For example, you can add approvers to the workflow, or integrate e-mail notification, and integrate these extensions into the MCMS Web Author and MCMS Authoring Connector.
  • Improved multilingual support. Developers can now use the features of the .NET Framework to add support for multiple cultures. After developers complete the initial application, no further development is needed to produce localized versions of the site. To add a new language, you need only translate the resources for the target culture. MCMS 2002 offers a complete set of features for publishing multilingual content on dynamically generated sites. Authors can create content in any language that is part of the Unicode standard.
  • Web services. Because MCMS 2002 integrates with ASP.NET and the .NET Framework, and because the MCMS Publishing API provides complete access to the underlying content and structure of an MCMS Web site, developers can build XML Web services that provide or consume Web services, typically as a way to share content with their partners.
  • XML support. Because MCMS 2002 is built using the .NET Framework, MCMS 2002 provides support for XML-based content. With a new XML placeholder, MCMS 2002 supports XML content with XML Schema Definition (XSD) validation and Extensible Stylesheet Transformation (XSLT). MCMS 2002 also provides interfaces for the import, export, and storage of XML content.

Integration with Visual Studio .NET

MCMS 2002 is directly integrated into the Microsoft Visual Studio® .NET development environment. That integration provides developers with a powerful environment in which to build and debug MCMS templates. These templates have been re-factored so that template functionality is provided by a combination of information stored in a database (the MCMS Content Repository) and stored on the file system. The resulting benefits include:

  • Developers create templates using Visual Studio .NET projects.
  • MCMS placeholders are implemented as ASP.NET server controls (called placeholder controls), enabling them to be added to templates by dragging them into ASPX files (called template files). This model provides easier debugging than was possible in previous versions of MCMS, and also provides a straightforward way in which you can extend MCMS with new types of placeholders.
  • The code associated with MCMS templates, such as the code that provides Web site navigation, can be written in either Microsoft Visual Basic® .NET or Microsoft Visual C#™, and is stored in ASPX files (template files) that reside in the file system. By maintaining code in files, developers can use source control tools, such as Microsoft Visual SourceSafe®, to manage code in multi-developer environments. User interface extensions to Visual Studio .NET enable developers to more easily perform many of the tasks associated with template development. These tasks include the definition of custom properties and configuration information associated with placeholder controls.

Simplified publishing process for site authors

MCMS Authoring Connector is a stand-alone tool, new for MCMS 2002, that simplifies how site authors publish Microsoft Word 2002 documents directly from Word onto a Web site. A user with minimum authoring rights can quickly install Authoring Connector on multiple client computers. Authoring Connector can be used as an alternative to the Web Author, when the content can be created, or already exists, in a Word document.

Increased separation of authoring and site management tasks

In MCMS 2002, you use the Site Manager (previously know as the Site Builder) exclusively for administrative tasks. Site managers and channel managers use Site Manager to create and manage the channels and galleries (containers) on the MCMS Web site, and to set up roles, rights, and rights groups, and to control revision tracking. Template designers (site developers) and resource managers can also use Site Manager to manage resources and resource galleries.

Note   In MCMS 2002, site authors can no longer use the Site Manager for authoring. They must use either the Web Author or Authoring Connector.

Site deployment enhancements

MCMS 2002 includes a new Site Deployment API that supports incremental deployment. Using this API, developers can create site deployment scripts to deploy MCMS-managed assets incrementally. Other changes to site deployment in MCMS 2002 include the following:

  • Significant performance improvements
  • Concurrent exports
  • The ability to back up and restore rights groups and user lists

WoodgroveNet sample site

MCMS 2002 includes the WoodgroveNet sample site, a unilingual external .NET-based site. You can use WoodgroveNet as an example or as a starting point for developing your own site.

Additional Woodgrove sample sites that demonstrate different ways in which MCMS can be used to develop a variety of Web sites are available at

Role-specific tutorials

MCMS 2002 provides tutorials for each of the four major categories into which users of MCMS can be divided: site developers, system administrators, site managers, and site authors.

Performance and Abilities

Performance counters are provided in Microsoft Content Management Server (MCMS) 2002 to help manage your server. The counters are listed and described in the following table.

Table 1   Performance counters

# Counter Target Explanation
1 Active Enterprise (AE) Node objects PSS Number of active MCMS COM objects on the server
2 AE Node objects/sec PSS Number of AE node objects created per second
3 Guest sessions Customer Number of guest sessions on the server
4 Guest sessions/sec Customer Number of guest sessions per second
5 Authenticated sessions Customer Number of authenticated sessions connected to server
6 Authenticated sessions/sec Customer Number of authenticated sessions per second
7 Edit sessions Customer Authoring or editing sessions connected to server
8 ISAPI sessions PSS Number of ISAPI sessions opened by server
9 ISAPI sessions/sec PSS Number of ISAPI sessions opened per second
10 Master cache nodes Customer Number of items in internal MCMS master cache
11 Shared nodes Customer Number of items/nodes referenced by server, including master cache items
12 Shared nodes/sec PSS Shared node created per second
13 Cache hits/sec Customer Rate of cache hits on master cache
14 Cache misses/sec Customer Rate of cache misses on master cache
15 Data access ops/sec PSS Number of data access operations executed per second
16 Exceptions thrown PSS Number of exceptions thrown by server
17 No. of MCMS connections PSS Number of open CMS application connections
18 MCMS connections/sec PSS CMS connections opened per second

These counters can help you identify and troubleshoot bottlenecks in server performance.

It is important to test your site to set a baseline that can be used for total cost analysis (TCA) and for preparing a high availability system. The testing should cover the following performances:

  • Latency/throughput
  • Site log analysis/usage profiling
  • Site scale out
  • System scale out
  • Failover

For More Information

For more information about MCMS 2002, see or MCMS 2002 Help. MCMS 2002 Help is available from the following sources:

  • The product setup screen
  • The documentation folder on the CD
  • The Site Manager menu selection bar Help option