The following is a list of some basic questions your agency can use to develop a request for proposals for a Web content management system. Depending on the size of your organization, the purpose of the WCM system (intranet, extranet, portal or general document management), your requirements will vary widely.
Is the platform based on an open Web architecture; is it based on Java or .NET Web services?
Does it provide a Web-based client for managing and checking in content, or does it require a desktop application for each user?
What types of content editing tools does it support? Does it provide direct integration with common HTML and electronic document authoring tools? Does it support collaboration tools such as Macromedia Contribute?
Does the product support file check-in via WebDAV?
What portal platforms can the system publish to? Does it support the Java Community Process's Java Standard Request 168 for Portal Integration?
What enterprise content management systems can it integrate with for access to a common document repository? Does it support JSR 170, the Java Content Repository interface standard?
What workflow features does the product support? Can it enforce specified content requirements, such as classification and compliance with Section 508, at document check-in?
Does the product support e-mail alerts for content awaiting approval?
What types of content does the product support? Can it automatically convert files for presentation on the Web, for example by converting Microsoft Word documents to Portable Document Format or HTML format?
How many Web sites can a single instance of the product support? How much throughput, in terms of documents submitted and processed, can it handle per day?
How does it meet federal records management requirements? How does it provide for classification and lifecycle management of content?
What security models does it support for handling FOUO or classified data in an Intranet/portal environment?
How is licensing of the product structured? Is it priced on a per-server, per-user or per-site basis?
Is the license perpetual, or does it require annual renewal?
Is the code base available for evaluation? Are developer seats/kits available?