Customers we met at Interwoven’s GearUp ’07 reminded us of how much really hard work goes into complex content-centric applications. We see the glittery, exposed tips of solutions, while the bulk of the application lies under the surface, often at depths where only the experts go. A presentation by Sun Microsystems at GearUp is a case in point.

The session focused on Sun’s Starlight platform, a global information management infrastructure described in a Gilbane CTW case study. It was an opportunity to hear the Starlight story live, in a panel discussion featuring Sun’s Sean Browne, director of web publishing, and three members of his team, including Kristen Harris, content management engineering manager, and Jed Michnowicz, engineering lead. In the program, we noticed that the session was being moderated by Steve Van Leishout from NEC Corporation of America (NECAM). What was the connection, we wondered, between Sun and NECAM?

During the discussion, we learned that NECAM is a long-time Sun partner, providing program management and technical expertise in support of the redesign of Sun web properties. A few examples of the heavy lifting that NECAM has done at Sun: helping to migrate nine properties into two primary vehicles of approximately 225,000 pages and assets, and coordinating the hand-offs between more than 100 stakeholders responsible for publishing content to sun.com, java.com, two developer sites, and over 35 country sites in 12 languages. The hard work below the surface enabled us to gain a new appreciation for the success story documented in the Gilbane case study on Starlight, reminding us that there’s usually much more to successful applications than meets our eye.

If you have an iceberg application that you’d like to share, consider submitting a speaking proposal for Gilbane Boston 2007. The deadline is May 15.

To learn more about Sun’s Starlight platform, see Leonor’s entry on the Gilbane globalization blog entitled Aging: Web Years Are Worse Than Dog Years.

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