content management interoperability services

What Are Content Management Interoperability Services?

Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS) is an interoperability standard supported by OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards),  which is a technical committee of organizations that use or provide Enterprise Content Management (ECM) or Content Services Platform systems. The technical committee (TC) included Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) and integrators who build applications that support multiple content management systems.

History of CMIS

CMIS is backed by an industry group consisting of ECM system vendors, including Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, SAP, and Adobe. 

The OASIS CMIS TC was set up in the year 2010 to standardize a web services interfaces specification that will enable greater interoperability of Enterprise Content Management (ECM) systems. 

CMIS uses web services and Web 2.0 interfaces to enable various types of information to be shared across Internet protocols in vendor-neutral formats. Its goal is to provide a centralized platform for different document types, publishers, and repositories, within an enterprise and between companies.

Content Management System (CMS)

Open-source headless CMS and hosted DIY are a few content management systems (CMS) that can help you build a website. WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Adobe Commerce, and Squarespace are the most widely used CMS.

CMIS defines a domain model that can be used by one or more CMS making interoperability seamless. 

CMIS Model 

CMIS allows content stored in different vendors’ repositories to be accessed, viewed, and sometimes modified. CMIS provides a data model and web services for defining ECM capabilities, such as a querying facility at the repository level.

This allowed the developers to create custom applications for CMIS-compliant content management systems without the burden of understanding the specific system.

Before CMIS, businesses had to build or purchase custom application connectors, migrate content from one system to another, or use existing content-sharing standards, such as Java Content Repository.


The most common application of CMIS is that it allows content from one repository to be retrieved from the other. If CMIS is established and used by two applications, the content can be read by users in an Enterprise Social Network and kept in the ECM.

Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS) provides a querying framework for Enterprise Content Management. This is analogous to what SQL did for relational databases. It provides queries to interact with ECM repositories. 

The CMIS framework is:

  • Language-independent programming languages.
  • Independent of the platform.
  • Adaptable enough already to deal with differences in repository instances.
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Implementation of Content Management Interoperability Services

The CMIS specification has mandatory and optional features. Microsoft implements some mandatory and optional components of the standard. 

Data Model

The CMIS data model establishes a repository that encompasses all of the other CMIS data kinds, such as object types, version control, files and folders, and querying functionality.

CMIS Repository

The CMIS data model is contained in the CMIS repository. Since Microsoft joined the technical committee, it has implemented the document library of SharePoint. The CMIS repository’s document library is the same as Microsoft’s SharePoint.

CMIS Framework

A client application first accesses the repository. A CMIS repository has numerous document libraries that contain the document type and other details, such as version number. The CMIS specification provides a required service, called get Repositories, that retrieves all valid repositories (document libraries)from the CMIS repository.

A programmer can connect to repositories using the get Repositories Info services. A get Repositories Info services returns the correct document from the user-specified repository.

CMIS framework document file object type specified by version control capabilities. And the transaction is done using  CMIS query capacity, which uses a SQL-like sentence construction to query CMIS repositories for specific information.

CMIS Query

The Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS) query has a SQL-like syntax. Since every query in CMIS is zoned to a single repository, all query results are delivered from that single repository. When you perform numerous queries against various repositories, each query delivers results from one repository, giving the impression that you’re getting data from multiple repositories.

Content Management Interoperability Services - Working
Content Management Interoperability Services – Working

CMIS in Content Marketing

The job of a content marketer does not limit to just content creation for blogs on websites. It extends to creating content repositories and drafting content strategies with the content manager and strategist.

Repository-to-Repository Communication

Within an organization, different content marketers contribute content, each of which can use a different CMS. A CMS has a content repository, which is a database of content with an associated set of data management tools.

A CMS has a content repository, which is a database of content with an associated set of data management tools to search and access the content. It allows application-independent access to the content. A content repository allows for content modification in addition to searching and retrieving.

There are times you want to talk directly between content repositories. As a content marketer, you might wish to publish a document from one system into another or manage records from one centralized system.

The solution is to interact with the content repository through the CMIS interface. The web or social media can be your content marketing platform. You have whitepapers, PDFs, newsletters, and blog posts to be published. 

When you publish using any of the CMSs, the content is integrated into the website and published. Implementing Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS) interface on both ends – the server and the user makes the repository work as a centralized content hub.

Application to Repository Interaction

Another challenge for a content marketer is integrating Enterprise applications.  Enterprise application is the integration of social media channels and collaborative technologies into a company’s business processes. 

On the grass-roots level, the integration of social media marketing channels and the CMS is used by the business to reach the B2B and B2C markets. As an organization, different applications are used for client communication and to maintain the payroll. Each industry also has a specific application for its workflow.

For instance, a pharmaceutical company maintains software for storing drug details, and a mining company requires different software. This vertical-specific software is known as Content Enabled Vertical Applications.

All these software applications are inevitable in the workplace. CMIS provides an interface to interoperate between three types of software.

Enterprise software is an application that aims to serve huge organizations in data analysis, sales, and marketing management, customer service, and many others. These software applications are highly scalable and interoperable.

The purpose of CMIS’ interoperability is to flatten and democratize a business’ communications with its audience, customers, business partners, and employees.

Federated Data Repositories

The Federated database integrates different stand-alone databases, offering services as a single database.

Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS) framework suits where the CEO or the top management wishes to monitor the organization.

The HR repository, clients and project repository, and operation repository are integrated as a single repository and can be accessed through the CMIS interface. The CMIS query fetches the result for the respective repository, bundles it, and transfers it back to the application.


1. What is a Content Management Interoperability System?

It is an open standard for controlling content and document management systems and repositories using web protocols. It was introduced to tackle the overwhelming requirement that arose in the 2000s for content management systems for publishing content on the web.  

2. What is the purpose of a CMIS framework?

There are a lot of different vendors for Enterprise Content Management (ECM) systems, and each has its own set of interfaces. Searching for content in all the repositories is virtually impossible, and the content ends up lying dormant in the repositories as no one can access it.

3. What is an enterprise?

An enterprise is a large-scale business enterprise that can be a large-scale or an SME. The employees in the organization require access to a vast amount of information or functions to carry out their job roles. They work on different data, such as sales, customer, and employee policy, to measure the KPIs and accomplish the SOP.

4. How does a content marketer benefit from using a CMIS?

Content marketers can integrate software applications and tools that they use to create content, publish, and track results. The editing software, worksheets, websites, social media platforms, and data analytics tools they use for content management are integrated into one platform.

5. What are the benefits of Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS)?

– CMIS solved the problem of integrating content that is stored in different repositories. It is difficult and expensive to develop and maintain a separate application that integrates with different repositories. 
– It eliminated the problem of a ‘content silo’ where useful content remains as a separate island without any accessibility.
– CMIS specifies an interoperability interface for content management systems, so generic applications can access any CMIS-compliant repository.

Final Thoughts

A content marketer requires different types of tools to create content, publish it on the appropriate platform, and track results. In an organization, the content marketer coordinates with other employees, such as graphic designers, SEO strategists, and HR consultants. 

Organizations either design or buy proprietary software to integrate the workflow process. In case of upgradation or interoperation with the new applications, data migration becomes a challenge. CMIS framework was developed to overcome this challenge and provide a standard through interfaces.

CMIS gives solutions for integrating interoperable tools. It solves the problems that content marketers face in different CMS. There is one centralized repository from where content can be accessed and modified. It has eliminated the need to learn a configure a new tool.

Are you interested to learn more about Content Management Interoperability Services, Content Management Systems, and Content Marketing? Read our blogs to know what content can do for your business.

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