Information Modeling

Metatorial Services can help you turn a mess of undifferentiated information into a rational and usable whole. By creating a comprehensive model, we give you the ability to automatically collect, manage and publish your information. Our content model specifies what sorts of content you have and how it all fits together into a manageable system.

Our idea of a content model owes a lot to the forerunner concept of a data model. Ever since the invention of the database, data modelers have figured out how to turn unstructured information into structured information that can be stored and retrieved. Any system that has a database has a data model. Good systems have a data model that is in close contact with the realities of the organization and can easily accommodate the inevitable changes that occur in the organization.

Any content management system should have a content model. Just like a data model, a good content model is designed to account for the specific uses of the content it models and is built to evolve as the content in the system evolves. The relationship between a data model and a content model goes even deeper. In the end, much of the content model becomes a data model. If your repository is built on a database that holds your content, that database has a data model for representing your content.

So a content model is a lot like a data model. The data model is strictly concerned with how information is stored; the content model, however, is concerned with what the information is. Thus, the content model is really above and more abstract than the data model. First, you figure out a content model; and then, when it is time to implement the CMS, you figure out what data model you need to store the content that fits into your content model.

A content model comes before and is above a data model.

Metatorial Services can help you define a complete content model that includes:

  • A content domain which is the overall universe of content that you have decided to manage. It defines, at the highest level, what your content is and helps you limit scope.
  • Access structures which specify the taxonomies and other ways you want your content to be categorized. You can organize content in hierarchies or with indexes, cross-references, and sequences.
  • Content types which are major categories of content within the overall domain that you have identified. You may, for example, have a content type calledServicethat fully describes one service that your organization offers. Content types define what your content is at one level lower than the content domain.
  • Elements are the major information constituents of a content type. For example, your Services content type may include a title, a service type (for example, consulting, technical support, or project management), and a service description. Elements specify what your content is in an even more detailed way than your content types.
  • Element types and allowed values specify what information is allowed to go into each element. For example, the Service type element is a list type, meaning that you choose values from a list. The allowed values for this element are consulting, technical support, and project management. Element types and allowed values specify in the smallest detail what your content is.

Let Metatorial Services help you turn your information mess in to an information mass. Our process of logical design helps you define and implement a content model. Let us help you build a model that is as robust as it is effective in delivering value to your organization.

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