An organization that produces enough content to benefit from a component content management system (CCMS) is likely to have a significant amount of identical information between products or product lines. Managing the content at the component level, as well as providing the ability to publish to multiple outputs, known as multi-channel publishing, makes good business sense.
Creating technical documentation—the output could be as varied as Help files, a linear document, or Web files—usually consists of topics that get repeated in multiple places. A CCMS lets you re-use that content without any cut-and-paste. The content is created and saved in topics, and those topics are attached to one or more TOCs. Whenever a topic is updated, all the TOCs draw the updated content from the topic.
Tracking your content this way makes sense, particularly when managing subtle differences between products, translating content, or re-using content between training or customer support.
Known as single-sourced content, multi-channel publishing, or even object-oriented documentation, this method of creating, controlling, manipulating, and generating content has been shown to be an effective way of managing content.