Writing for WindowsIT Pro, Paul Thurrott reports that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has reached agreement with Microsoft on a license change to Microsoft Office that may have far-reaching consequences in several arenas of interest to Gilbane Report readers.
Microsoft has reached an agreement with Massachusetts that will result in the software giant easing its license restrictions for its Office 2003 document formats in return for the state dropping a previous requirement to only use document formats based on open standards. In early 2004, Massachusetts announced that it would require all state agencies to create and store information in document types based on open standards like HTML… The goal of the format requirement was to ensure that the state could read digital documents in perpetuity and not have to worry about document conversions down the road if they adopted a format that was later abandoned by its maker. However, under terms of its agreement with Microsoft, Massachusetts has revised its requirement to include so-called “open formats” such as the XML-based document types supported by Office 2003 applications such as Word and Excel.
Thurrott goes on to say that this compromise with Microsoft should be viewed as a blow to open source advocates, who would rather see governments adopt open standards for document archiving. Thurrott has a good point; I know from my own consulting that government archivists would love to have open, high-fidelity document formats to choose from. On the other hand, it is potentially good news that Microsoft will be loosening its licensing restrictions on the schemas that underlie the ubiquitous document formats.
Last fall Ernst & Young published the results of a survey on trends in the implementation of internal controls,
focusing in particular on the progress that companies were making in meeting
Section 404 deadlines for Sarbanes-Oxley. Since the publication date was
last October, this isn’t breaking news … but the existence of the survey was
news to me and I found it useful and interesting. (You can get to the
Acrobat file by clicking here.)
The general message is (surprise!) that companies were finding that it was
taking much more effort than they expected and that they were not, in general,
sticking to the schedules they had put into place earlier.
But there are also findings that are a more surprising. Here is an
example: 59% of the companies surveyed said that they were tracking their
testing and remediation work in an Access database or an Excel spreadsheet ( !!)
. The implication is that these companies are not at all able to provide
real-time information about remediation across the organization. Bummer.
Here is another one: nearly 30% of the companies surveyed had not yet
selected a technology platform for 404 compliance implementation. Since
these companies will have, in general, met their initial deadlines without
making a platform commitment, that suggests that there are a good number of
companies that have worked through the first round of 404 issues without making
a big technology buy. These companies are in a good position to bring
clear expectations and requirements to their planning and purchasing.
2005 is the year that Section 404 internal controls become required for all
SEC filers, not just the accelerated filers. It is a pretty good bet that there
will be more companies coming to terms with the issues highlighted in the
E&Y survey. It is worth a look if you haven’t seen it.
RedDot Solutions announced the launch of the RedDot LiveServer 2.2, a personalization and integration platform offered specifically for the midmarket. The new RedDot LiveServer features improved functionality for personalization, search and integration. RedDot LiveServer 2.2 now features: improved personalized search with Verity K2 5.5 technology; official certification and registration as an SAP SAP2EE Application; faster integration of pre-existing Web applications; integrated Web applications can now be “content aware”; extended integration with directory services using LDAP; and a new editor toolbar and additional display functions. www.reddot.com
Altova announced that a new dedicated differencing utility has been added to its product line. Altova DiffDog 2005 is a synchronization tool that facilitates the comparison and merging of files, folders, and directories for application developers and power users. DiffDog 2005 is available in both Standard and Professional editions. DiffDog 2005 Standard and Professional editions allow users to quickly compare source code files, HTML files, or any text-based files then merge changes with a click of the mouse. Both editions deliver comparison and merging options for all file directories as well. DiffDog 2005 Professional Edition also provides advanced XML-aware differencing and editing capabilities based on those popularized in Altova XMLSpy. DiffDog 2005 integrates with any version control system that supports external differencing applications. Intelligent syntax-coloring, line numbering, indentation guides, folding margins, and other innovative features are provided to assist in comparing source code and XML files. Special XML differencing capabilities in DiffDog 2005 Professional Edition include DTD/schema-based validation, well-formedness checking, intelligent entry helpers, optional entity resolution, and attention to attribute and child element ordering. Developers can compare XML files in either an advanced text view or enhanced grid view. Altova DiffDog 2005 is immediately available for purchase in both Standard and Professional Editions with (USD) prices for a single-user license starting at $69 and $129 respectively. www.altova.com
Cadmus Communications Corporation announced the release of a Macintosh client for its RapidRights digital rights management (DRM) software. The Mac client will run on Mac OS X v10.3 or higher and will use Preview, the built-in Mac Viewer for PDF. RapidRights allows publishers to deliver protected PDF files and is a DRM solution that does not require a separate download or plug-in to open the protected files. RapidRights is the electronic delivery component of Cadmus’ ArticleWorks, a comprehensive content delivery and digital rights management system with complete e-commerce functionality that enables publishers and other content providers to deliver content on demand in either printed or secure electronic formats. www.cadmus.com
Interwoven, Inc. announced the introduction of the Interwoven LiveSite Content Publishing Server. Powered by new WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) content publishing technology, LiveSite empowers business users to easily create and publish dynamic websites – including public sites, intranets and extranets – while still providing IT with the tools to maintain a high degree of control and security. In a related announcement, Interwoven also introduced the new Interwoven Intranet Solution based on LiveSite technology. Fully integrated with the Interwoven TeamSite Web Content Management Server, LiveSite leverages TeamSite’s workflow, version control, staging, rollback, and preview capabilities. Key product features of Interwoven LiveSite include: WYSIWYG Publishing, Component-Based Page Assembly, Point-and-Click Customization, In-Context Review and Edit, and Single-Point Deployment and Delegated Administration. Interwoven LiveSite is generally available now. www.interwoven.com
FileNet Corporation announced the general availability of FileNet Email Manager, a new FileNet P8-based suite that helps organizations capture, organize, monitor, retrieve, retain and share email content. FileNet Email Manager is designed to help organizations manage the growth in corporate email and support their need to comply with government regulations for managing email as business records. FileNet Email Manager is designed to make email content an active element of an organization’s business processes while helping to simplify and automate the declaration of email messages as business records. Rather than simply storing every email, FileNet Email Manager applies predetermined business rules at the server level to automatically assign the proper lifecycle criteria, enabling the automated enforcement of compliance with limited user interaction or user-related errors. FileNet Email Manager is a server-based email management solution that integrates with corporate email systems like Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes mail servers and desktop applications such as Microsoft Office. www.filenet.com
Tim Bray is skeptical of enterprise and/or group blogging. I have also been skeptical, but now think there is something there, though just what remains to be seen. One barrier to enterprise, and group, blogging is the perception that blogging is only for personal journals or a new tool for both professional and amateur journalists. This is understandable given the state of today’s blogosphere, but it is a mistake to conflate the use of a technology with the technology itself. Obviously we think a group blog on business and technology issues is a good idea since we started one, but we also suspect our effort will evolve in unexpected (and some planned) ways.