I was reading about CMS and ERP. And got confused at this point that whether a system can both be an ERP and a CMS? is it possible?

  • 1
    Are you trying to classify a particular application as one or the other? – JeffO Feb 25 '14 at 13:19

In a very theoretical sense yes. But in most cases this would not make very much sense. The basic functionality of an ERP system is business management. The data produced here may become part of the data displayed on a web site. But normally the data here is pure text and numbers, like definitions of products, orders, invoices and some statistical information.

An CMS main task is to provide information in a way that not only the content as such can be edited but often enough the representation and styling too. Its functionality is much more limited and the amount of data normally far less than in an ERP system.

In our company for example all our product and customer data is kept in an ERP system. Customers can login and search products, order them and see shipment and invoice data. All this they get directly from the ERP system. Some information in the ERP is specifically there for the web site (for example our product categories for the web site are slightly different from those used internally for statistical purposes). But this data is purely information. In theory this ERP system would have a lot of options to store even more information, even combined with some styling information. We don't use this.

Information that we do not actually need for business purposes is edited in a small CMS system for the web site. This includes things like a news section, some pages with company information and similar more text/style oriented data. We could store this in the ERP too, there are tables for such things, but it is more effort to code in the ERP area and then we would have more effort to display on the web.

  • What are we going to call this system which: - Allow customers to purchase item - All transactions will be recorded - And admin can also add, update, delete information on the website. ERP or CMS? – user121236 Feb 25 '14 at 12:50
  • Something like 'Ordering system' with admin CMS? It's no ERP (those are big things). I don't think there is really a name for this, it's just a specific combination of some typical features of a shopping web site. – thorsten müller Feb 25 '14 at 12:52
  • Yes. but what if there are features that are managing inventory (sale and purchase), generating reports and stuff – user121236 Feb 25 '14 at 12:55
  • Well, using ERP is still a big claim. Read the Wikipedia Article to see what it normally would need to do. Actually it would be the job of the marketing team to decide how to name things. I am not aware there is any commonly used word for a system that is a kind of 'reduced' ERP. – thorsten müller Feb 25 '14 at 13:04
  • Even though they have different functionality, CMS could be integrated into the ERP especially if you are billing or providing compensation based on the content published. Accounts payable and inventory management are just as different. – JeffO Feb 25 '14 at 13:22

Sure - you can program whatever you like. Whether it makes any sense is a different question.

As for whether having an ERP/CMS hybrid makes sense or already exists - I don't think so. There are some vague similarities and overlaps in that both will typically allow you to define your own entities with fields ("document types" in a CMS, "business objects" in an ERP) and present a web interface for data entry and publishing, but at heart they have completely different purposes.


An example, though maybe a contrived one but one I encounterd in the wild a long time ago:
An application was built that would store incoming documents pertaining to required reports sent in by customers of a financial services company.
The same application also served to automatically send out reminder letters to customers who were late sending in those documents, and as an entry point for the telephone support people in the company to look up customer information if customer called (or had to be called).

In that case both functionalities were closely intertwined. In other systems both functionalities might exist but not be as tightly linked (think something like SAP or Lotus Notes).


In most cases this would not make very much sense,ERP system generally use in business management.An CMS able to edit not only content but the entire design can be edited.Information that is not important for business prospective are edited by CMS.

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