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Vikas Kamat
 Vikas Kamat is a programmer- entrepreneur living in Birmingham AL. This blog is a complex mix of Indian culture, life in southern USA, computer sciences, and sports. Opinions are his own.
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Content Managed Email Durable Link to this BLOG
Content Managed Email

If you've read this blog before, you know of Content Managed Websites, which use sophesticated software called the Content Management Systems (CMS) to massage, correct, and apply presentation (formatting etc) to the stories people write.

People also write email messages. Other than WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) formatting, and spell-checking, there really aren't many tools to support writing of email.

As I worked on Remocon What's This? , it occured to me that perhaps there is a lacuna in this area. I need it -- because I often need to point to contents on the Intranet and on the Web, and there's no way I can remember the URLs of all the files and pictures I need to point.

Most CMSes support scripts written in a fifth generation language (I call it 5GL, because they can go one level on top of SQL, which is a 4GL ), so if I had the same tools to write my email that I have to write this blog, I could use all my shortcuts (a shortcut is a global replacement; so if I write [[Vikas Kamat]], the CMS would show Vikas Kamat, inserting links, pictures, etc.).

Sometime ago, John Robb had an idea (scroll to last paragraph). He wanted a mechanism by which if you attach a file to an email, it would go to a website, and only a link to it will be inserted into the message. I think that is brilliant -- as long as one addresses the security (because by definition email is private and a website is public). What I am implementing a subset of his idea -- I am making it easier to point to a previously published file in an email message -- by using SQL. So hypothetically, if John Robbs' CMS and my CMS had an arrangement to talk, to point to the above URL, I could write a SQL in my mail message as follows:
[[Linkto Select URL, BlogTitle from Blogs where Author='John Robb' and BlogContent like 'E-mail attachments are dead']]

There are many advantages to a content managed email system:

• An opportunity for the the company or individual to automatically inspect an outgoing mail for - broken links, viruses, spelling mistakes, possible automatic translations, possible timezone changes (I could write a message saying the Monday Night Football starts at [[8:00 PM]]. For the recipient in California the CMS will output 6:00 PM PST and for the recipient in NYC it will show 9:00 EST), possible language translations etc.,
• Most importantly, this means less burden on the writer to remember pointers to referenced files, policies, and products. Imagine how much work this would save for project managers and tech. support staff, who constantly have to answer the same questions over and over again via email.

Content Managed Guestbooks, Content Managed Chat

Of course, the natual thought is then to extend the CMS features to other writing environments such as Guestbooks, Discussion forums, and Chatrooms. Why not?

Update on March 17, 2002

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Tuesday, November 6, 2001
Last Modified: 1/30/2003

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