The Meta CMS

This was sent in Issue #6 of Squirrel Notes on April 9, 2018.

I’ve spent some time with Akumina lately, which is a intranet system built on top of SharePoint. In this sense, it’s a “Meta CMS” – a CMS built on top of something else that might itself be considered a CMS (SharePoint, in this case). A Meta CMS usually spins the underlying CMS in a specific direction for a specific use case.

We can fall down the rabbit hole a bit more to say that any CMS is a Meta CMS in the sense that it abstracts and enhances an underlying datasource. Episerver, for example, is a Meta CMS on top of SQL Server.

Does this make Akumina a Meta Meta CMS (on SharePoint, on SQL?). Was SQL a CMS in the first place? Clearly no, and there’s the underlying question: when does a data source “become” a CMS? When do we layer enough functionality on it that we cross a magic line and can say, “Yep, it’s a CMS now.”

(I tried to define this 10 years ago. Funny to read that now.)

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