The teams that developed Commerce Server and Content Management Server share the insight that the creation of an enterprise-level Web site, whether focused on e-commerce or on providing information or both, is the result of people with many different skill sets working together effectively. Depending on the context, working together effectively can mean different things. In some contexts, people with different skills need to perform their respective functions, one after the other. In other contexts, people making business decisions need to be able to directly implement those decisions without needlessly relying on technical people to help them.
Commerce Server achieves these objectives by creating different user applications that are each focused on different categories of users. Commerce Server Manager and Site Packager are the tools used by site administrators to manage and deploy Web sites based on Commerce Server. The Commerce Server Business Desk application, intended for use by business managers, allows these business managers to make decisions and put those decisions into effect without relying on site developers to help implement them.
One of the first tasks involved in setting up a Content Management Server installation is assigning the people involved in the effort into different roles. In a typical scenario, the largest group of people will be content authors. Fewer people, presumably with specialized training, will be assigned to the role of editor. Other more technical roles include resource manager, template designer, site programmer, and site administrator. In addition, within a particular role, different people can be assigned responsibility for particular areas of the Web site, and restricted from performing any tasks in other areas. The final piece of the puzzle is the built-in workflow, that will automatically "route" a page from a person in one role to someone in another role, allowing the construction of a page to proceed in a logical order from start to finish.
The next two chapters provide a closer examination of these two B2C products from Microsoft, including how each of them recognizes and accounts for the different roles played by the various people who contribute to the creation and maintenance of enterprise-level Web sites.