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Cotendo Unveils Page Speed Automatic Open Source Technology Developed at Google

Cotendo, a growing provider of Content Delivery Network (CDN) and Value Added Site Acceleration services, announced the deployment of Page Speed Automatic, a new web site code optimization service that uses the optimization engine of the mod_pagespeed open source project developed at Google. Cotendo worked with Google to enhance the mod_pagespeed code to address massively scaled content delivery environments and deployment to multiple customers and various configurations in a service environment. This new service from Cotendo automatically optimizes code of HTML pages as they enter the CDN to provide maximum acceleration benefits to Web application and page delivery. Page Speed Automatic’s code modification methodology is built on a set of best practices that are designed to minimize page load time and enhance web performance. In aggregate, these code modifications, when rendered within Cotendo’s network, could reduce image size by 20% to 30% and page load time by as much as 50%. Cotendo’s Page Speed Automatic service automatically optimizes HTML on the fly. As part of Cotendo’s new service all new Google Page Speed best practice standards will automatically be incorporated. The new Page Speed service offered by Cotendo will be part of its proprietary new performance application platform Cloudlet, which is able to execute both open source and any proprietary code. 

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The Gilbane Group’s Publishing Practice’s Blueprint Study is Now Out!

Our Blueprint study is the first in-depth look into ebook-related issues from the book publishers’ perspective, tying digital considerations to the everyday book publishing processes (A Blueprint for Book Publishing Transformation: Seven Essential Processes to Re-Invent Publishing.) Book publishers across all segments are embracing ebooks, but they require guidance grounded in what they actually do, more than simply a focus on technology.

See my blog in Publishing Practices about some of our Blueprint findings.

And let us know what you think!

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Blueprint Study is OUT!

Our Blueprint study is the first in-depth look into ebook-related issues from the book publishers’ perspective, tying digital considerations to the everyday book publishing processes (A Blueprint for Book Publishing Transformation: Seven Essential Processes to Re-Invent Publishing.) Book publishers across all segments are embracing ebooks, but they require guidance grounded in what they actually do, more than simply a focus on technology.

Here is the figure in the study reporting on the book publishing segment breakout participating in the Blueprint survey that has trade publishers showing very strongly, at nearly one-third of respondents. This was a somewhat surprising showing to us, with our long and in-depth experiences with STM and education publishing. It’s good to get confirmation on claims we—and many others—have been making about trade publishing finally getting into ebooks in a serious manner.

Blueprint Fig 1.jpgOur expectations were thrown in other ways, too, and again because of The Gilbane Group traditional market focus, we’re we’ve been following content management platform development and helping with implementation in the enterprise for two decades.  We’ve seen a lot of software and hardware go into companies to make their content creation, handling, and distribution more integrated.  When it comes to book publishing, however, planning still starts—and, for many—ends with Word docs and spreadsheets. We believe this will change in the years ahead, and we certainly see a number of strong efforts toward integration of publishing processes out among the vendor community’s offerings.  Process integration must and will happen in book publishing, but we con only guess at the timetable for this, presently.

Blueprint Fig 7.jpg

One reason for our faith in book publishing process integration is that almost half of the surveyed respondents claim that they’re routinely working on print and digital versions concurrently, and this number goes to about three-quarters if the concurrent development is not necessarily routine, but pursued nonetheless. These numbers tell us several things, but the best news form them may be that book publishing is, indeed, seriously engaged in ebooks.  Technology has a fierce and deserved reputation for being over-hyped (and, yes, despite my best efforts to get into Heaven, I’m guilty enough of this charge myself, in too many instances over the years); ebooks are in early days, but the inflection point is solidly behind us.

Blueprint Fig 9.jpg

One proof of “early days” is the high level of confusion about ebook formats.  This confusion on the part of book publishers isn’t about what these formats are, but rather how to produce the various desirable (or market-demanding) ebook formats. While some publishing platforms offer flexible format production, many book publishers are using outside partners—like Blueprint sponsor Aptara—to take on conversion and production.


Blueprint Fig 39.jpg

Speaking of ebook formats, our next study, now in planning stage, looks to describe the various practical approaches for book publishers wanting to master this often-confusing issue.  Working title: Ebooks, Apps, and Formats:  The Practical Issues of XML, ePub, PDF, ONIX, .AWZ, DRM, ETC.

Stay tuned. Drop a line.




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XMLSpy 2011 Adds Chart Creation Capabilities for Viewing and Analyzing XML Data

Altova has announced the availability of XMLSpy 2011, with new support for creating charts based on XML data. Version 2011 has added several customer-requested features including a new schema flattener, extended SOAP validation capabilities, and enhanced functionality for creating schemas. Altova XMLSpy 2011 includes the following new features: Chart Creation – XMLSpy 2011 adds support for creating line, gauge, and 2D and 3D pie and bar charts based on XML data; XMLSpy users can now visualize and analyze numerical XML and XBRL data directly inside the XML editor without having to export; Charts are created with a few clicks and include customizable data selection, titles and axis labels, fonts, colors, and more; Charts can be saved to the clipboard, printed, saved as an image, or saved in XSLT or XQuery code for use in other stylesheets or applications; Charts are dynamic, reflecting new relationships as soon as the underlying data changes; Users can create up to nine different charts on available tabs within the Output window to compare data quickly and easily; the SOAP Validation feature lets users check validity of SOAP messages against the SOAP specification or any XML Schemas referenced in the corresponding WSDL definition; The new schema flattener allows schema designers to write all the dependent files included in a schema into one file; Creation of Schema from Subset gives users the ability to create a schema from a subset of a larger schema. A complete list of all the new features added to XMLSpy 2011 and across the entire Altova 2011 product line is now available.

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Amazon Moves Into eBook Lending

Amazon has announced a plan to add a new feature to its Kindle range of devices, allowing users to share selected ebooks with each other. Known as ‘Lending for Kindle’, the new feature allows device users to lend their ebooks to other Kindle users for a 14-day period. In a posting on the Amazon Community Forum, a member of the Kindle team explained the terms under which ebooks can be lent: ‘Each ebook can be lent once for a loan period of 14-days and the lender cannot read the book during the loan period. Not all ebooks will be lendable, as the publisher or rights holder determines which titles are enabled for lending. Amazon said the new feature is expected to be launched in the US soon before being rolled out to the rest of the world.

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Amazon to Launch Kindle App for Windows Phone 7, Inc, announced that Kindle for Windows Phone 7 will be the first major eBook application available for Windows Phone 7. Kindle for Windows Phone 7 will be released later this year, and includes existing and new features built into a Kindle app, such as personalized book recommendations and the ability to send a book suggestion to a friend. Like all Kindle apps, Kindle for Windows Phone 7 will let customers Buy Once, Read Everywhere–across devices. Customers can sign up to be notified when the Kindle for Windows Phone 7 is available later this year. With Kindle Worry-Free Archive, books purchased from the Kindle Store are automatically backed up online in a customer’s Kindle library on Amazon, where they can be re-downloaded wirelessly for free.

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Open Text Acquires StreamServe

Open Text Corp. acquired StreamServe, Inc., which Open Text reports will supply the Open Text ECM Suite with complementary document output and customer communication management software. In addition, Open Text’s reach will be extended in the Nordic market while also enhancing its SAP partnership. The transaction, subject to purchase price and holdback adjustments, was valued at approximately $71 million. StreamServe specializes in enterprise communication products that allow organizations to process and deliver personalized documents in paper or electronic format. Specifically, the company’s products will enhance the Open Text ECM Suite by allowing the automation of business processes for business-to-business and business-to-customer markets.;

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Mergers, Acquisitions, and the Publishing Processes Integration Challenge

From our new study, A Blueprint for Book Publishing Transformation: Seven Essential Processes to Re-Invent Publishing:

[Today’s] publishing processes are replete with spreadsheets and ad hoc databases (many built in FileMaker and Microsoft Access). These are used for tasks as various as tracking and calculating royalties, managing contracts, tracking digital assets, and managing editorial and production schedules.

Mergers, acquisitions, and divestments have an impact on both processes and their associated systems and tools. A large publisher that acquires a smaller one might move quickly to have the new group adopt processes and systems used by the larger company. Or, seeing that the new group has unique needs and requirements, the publisher might leave their processes and systems intact.

Of the process areas we looked at, planning is one where investments in technology range widely. In regard to editorial and production processes, some publishers have gone so far as to specifically redesign this process with an eye toward “digital first”—the idea being to have digital products ready first—or sometimes “media neutral”—with the idea being print and digital products are developed in concert. Aptara, one of the sponsors of Blueprint, sees a lot of their recent business with publishers helping the publishers do just this. (Blueprint is also available from the Aptara site.)

While the desktop war has largely seen QuarkXPress cede more ground to Adobe’s Creative Suite in a lopsided two-horse race, the broader market for editorial and production systems is wide open, with a long list of small- and medium-sized vendors carving out corners of the marketplace.

Despite these many editorial and production tools and systems, the Blueprint survey results does shed light on some trends we have seen in practice at publishing companies. These trends include:

  1. Even print books have digital workflow and digital underpinnings.
  2. XML is gaining in usage, and being seen further upstream in the editorial process.
  3. Book publishers are taking more control of their assets.
  4. Outsourcing is the rule and not the exception in editorial and production.

We see this penetration of XML as highly significant, especially in a survey where trade and educational publishers account for two-thirds of the respondents and STM, Professional, and Legal accounts for only 22%. These latter segments, after all, represent the early adopters for XML usage upstream in the workflow (and SGML before that), and trade and educational publishers have traditionally lagged. It suggests to us that market forces are driving publishers to work hard at creating the kind of multi-channel publishing XML is best at driving.

Another of Blueprint’s sponsors is Really Strategies (you can download Blueprint from them, too), which offers R/Suite, a publishing-focused content management system that incorporates Mark Logic’s XML repository platform. There is a lot more for publishers to do to integrate their various publishing processes, but getting control of source files is the best first step.

Let us know what you think of the Blueprint study, and stay tuned for news of upcoming studies from The Gilbane Group Publishing Practice.

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Mr. Copy Launches DocuShare on Demand

Mr. Copy, a Xerox company serving California, announced its latest offering, DocuShare on Demand. DocuShare on Demand is aimed at helping small-to-midsize businesses manage the vast amount of paper and digital content created on a daily basis. This hosted Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solution enables document management, collaboration, review and approval as well as web publishing to support information sharing across a company by employees. When coupled with Xerox scan-enabled multifunction devices from Mr. Copy, DocuShare on Demand provides a complete document management solution from one vendor. DocuShare on Demand can save users up to 90 percent of operational and storage costs relating to document management. In addition, the new service should improve operational efficiencies by cutting the time it takes to find vital information. Compliance Ready and Easy to Deploy DocuShare on Demand takes the hassle of compliance away from the day-to-day operations of a company. Compliance for HIPAA, FERPA, Sarbanes-Oxley and 37 other state privacy laws are included in the package. In addition, DocuShare on Demand can be deployed in days or weeks instead of the months required for other solutions. With this digital solution, there is no infrastructure to purchase or maintain.

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EVN Solutions Announces Drupal Module for MarkLogic Server

EVN Solutions, developers of XML solutions for publishers, announced the release of their Drupal Module for MarkLogic Server. The module enables content managed by the Drupal Content Management System to be stored directly in the MarkLogic Server. Once in the MarkLogic server, content can leverage all the server’s capabilities. The module enables publishers to: Load already-converted XML files from existing workflow onto the MarkLogic Server, including validation during ingest; Create new content, leveraging the Drupal editing system and store it on the MarkLogic Server; Edit content currently on the MarkLogic Server using the Drupal editing system; List all content on the MarkLogic Server associated with the Drupal deployment; Transform XML content in any DTD/Schema on the MarkLogic Server into the style for display on the Drupal website; Leverage content from a single MarkLogic Server on several Drupal deployments.

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