SiteKreator.com, a service which enables small businesses to instantly design and host Web sites, has introduced a customizable design platform, SiteKreator Aurora. Along with Aurora, SiteKreator has restructured its small business packages to help users better match a pricing program that includes the features they need at the price that best suits them. The new Aurora is a completely brandable platform for designing elaborate, interactive, and customizable business-ready Web sites. Aurora offers enhanced capabilities for creating a sophisticated navigation structure that scales from a few pages to a few thousand. SiteKreator has interactive features such as blogs, Web forms, newsletters, and discussion forums. Web site information can be tiered through multiple content layers by adding members-only areas and registration forms to encourage people to share key information in exchange for access to deeper layers of content. All SiteKreator packages include a 14-day free trial. The business version starts from $19.95 to $39.95 per month, including a domain name, email, and global high-performance Web hosting. http://intro.sitekreator.com/
Altova announced general availability of Version 2007 Release 3 (v2007r3) of its software product line. Altova v2007r3 software provides support for the new Microsoft Office 2007 Open XML document format and IBM DB2 9 pureXML databases, as well as other application development and data management capabilities. Altova XMLSpy is an XML editor and development environment for modeling, editing, transforming, and debugging XML-related technologies. New features in XMLSpy 2007r3 include: Extended database functionality, Microsoft Office 2007 Open XML support, Cascading stylesheet (CSS) editor, Enhanced XML Schema and WSDL documentation, and an XSLT 1.0 profiler. AltovaXML is an XML standards processor, comprising the same engines that drive Altova’s XMLSpy, MapForce, and StyleVision development tools. AltovaXML includes Altova’s XML validating parser, XSLT 1.0 engine, schema-aware XSLT 2.0 engine, and schema-aware XQuery 1.0 engine, as well as COM, Java, and .NET interfaces so that it can be used within a variety of different applications. New developments in AltovaXML 2007r3 include: Office Open XML support, and Significant speed increase in the XSLT 1.0 processor. Version 2007 Release 3 of Altova XMLSpy 2007, MapForce 2007, StyleVision 2007, UModel 2007, DatabaseSpy 2007, and SchemaAgent 2007 is currently available with pricing starting at (USD) $499, $249, $249, $129, $129 and $129 respectively. These products may be purchased directly from Altova. 30-day free trials of all Altova products may be downloaded from: http://www.altova.com/download.html
Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) announced the immediate availability of Adobe Acrobat 3D Version 8 software, a major upgrade to the desktop application for driving document-based 3D design collaboration and CAD data interoperability capabilities to anyone inside manufacturing organizations and across the global supply chain. With Acrobat 3D Version 8, CAD, CAM, CAE, and technical publishing professionals in the aerospace, automotive, consumer electronics, heavy machinery, life sciences, and AEC industries can convert virtually any 3D CAD file, including large assemblies of more than 500 megabytes, into a single PDF document. The PDF file can maintain precise geometry or be compressed over 100 times smaller than the original file. Three-dimensional CAD data can also be combined with other project information, such as product specifications, spreadsheets and bills of materials, into a secure PDF document containing product manufacturing information (PMI). PMI is used to convey geometric dimensioning and tolerancing, annotations and other specifications directly on a 3D model. Acrobat 3D Version 8 supports conversion to 3D PDF from over 40 formats, including those for Autodesk Inventor, Dassault Systemes CATIA, PTC Pro/ENGINEER, SolidWorks, and UGS NX and I-deas. The software also provides users the option of exporting precise manufacturing CAD data from PDF into neutral file formats such as STEP, IGES and Parasolid for downstream processes, including machining operations and tool and mold design. Acrobat 3D Version 8 is immediately available in English, French and German language versions. The Japanese language version is expected to be available in June 2007. Adobe Reader 8.1, which provides updated support for PDF functionality enabled by Acrobat 3D Version 8, is expected to be available for download in June 2007. http://www.adobe.com
Sometimes it pays to be behind in reading industry news. The big news last week was Google’s new patents and plans to enhance search results using metadata and taxonomy embedded in content. This was followed by the news that Business Objects plans to acquire Inxight, a Xerox PARC spin-off that has produced a product line with terrific data visualization tools, highly valued in the business analytics (BI) marketplace.
I had planned to write about the convergence of the enterprise search and BI markets this week until I caught up with industry news from April and early May. This triggered a couple of insights into these more recent announcements.
In April an Information Week article noted that Google has, uncharacteristically, contributed two significant enhancements to MySQL: improved replication procedures across multiple systems and expanded mirroring. Writer Babcock also noted that “Google doesn’t use MySQL in search” but YouTube does. I believe Google will come to be more tied to MySQL as they begin to deploy new search algorithms that take advantage of metadata and taxonomies. These need good text database structures to be managed efficiently and leveraged effectively to produce quality results from search on the scale that Google does it. Up to now Google results presentation has been influenced more by transaction processing than semantic and textual context. Look for more Google enhancements to MySQL to help it effectively manage all that meaningful text. The open source question is will more enhancements be released by Google for all to use? A lot of enterprises would benefit from being able to depend on continual enhancements to MySQL so they could (continue to) use it instead of Oracle or MS-SQL server as the database back-end for text searching.
The other older news (Information Week, May 7th) was that Business Objects was touting “business intelligence for ‘all individuals’” with some new offerings. BO’s acquisition announcement just last week, that they plan to acquire Inxight, only strengthens their position in this market. Inxight has been on the cusp of BI and enterprise search for several years and this portends more convergence of products in these growing markets. Twenty-five years ago when I was selling text software applications, a key differentiator was strong report building tool sets to support “slicing and dicing” database content in any desired format. It sounds like robust, intuitive reporting tools for all enterprise users of content applications is still a dream but much closer to reality for the high-end market.
With all the offerings and consolidation in BI and search, the next moves will surely begin to push some offerings with search/BI to a price point that small-medium businesses (SMBs) can afford. We know that Microsoft sees the opening (Information Week, May 14th) and let’s hope that others do as well.
Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) announced the public beta of Adobe ColdFusion 8 software. ColdFusion 8, designed for developers building dynamic Web sites and Internet applications, addresses day-to-day development challenges to increase developer productivity, integrate with complex enterprise environments, and deliver rich and engaging application experiences for users. The ColdFusion 8 public beta is a feature complete preview. ColdFusion 8 leverages Adobe Flex technology and Ajax-based components. The new ColdFusion 8 development environment also features advanced Eclipse-based wizards and debugging. The ColdFusion 8 Server Monitor lets developers identify bottlenecks and tune the server for better performance. ColdFusion 8 integrates with a broad range of platforms and systems, including integration with .NET assemblies, support for Microsoft Windows Vista and new J2EE servers including JBoss. ColdFusion 8 also delivers significant performance gains over ColdFusion MX 7 and earlier versions of the product. Additionally, ColdFusion 8 applications interact with Adobe PDF documents and forms. The ColdFusion 8 public beta is immediately available at Adobe Labs at http://labs.adobe.com or through Adobe’s hosting partner, http://www.hostmysite.com/cf8