• Covers all stages of the workflow, from something being commissioned to it being published (in print or on the web)

  • Is happy with copy, print layout, web page layout, and images (as well as other media)

  • Shows the relationship (if any) between these elements, and between print and web versions of the same story

  • Allows metadata (such as copyright status) to be accessible at all stages of the workflow

  • Has the option to add custom metadata fields

  • Allows restrictions to be placed on those fields, eg a maximum character count

  • Includes a persistent ‘notes’ function so that instructions and explanations can be placed at any point in an article or layout

  • Offers full versioning both of draft and live stories (and layouts), including date, time and author

  • Allows the user to revert to a previous version

  • Allows changes to be made to a live web story without having to pull the story first

  • Makes it impossible for two people to unknowingly work on the same thing at the same time and overwrite each other’s changes

  • Can prevent an article being progressed in the workflow unless certain actions are completed – for example filling in particular metadata fields

  • Auto-saves and restores

  • Offers web-based access for remote working

  • Has a spellchecking facility for all stages of copy workflow, with the option to use a shared, customised dictionary

  • Can prevent individuals from making changes at certain stages in the workflow, without locking them out completely

OK, I’m sure there’s more but that’s enough to be going on with. I’d love to hear other people’s ideas.

Oh, and feel free to follow me on Twitter; I’m @engineroomblog