Curated for content, computing, and digital experience professionals

Month: December 2007 (Page 2 of 3)

Global Moxie Releases Big Medium 2

Global Moxie announced the release of Big Medium 2, a web content management system aimed at web designers. Big Medium 2 has version control, workflow, search engine, content syndication, granular editing privileges, Unicode support, but also lots of grace notes for content sites: Pullquotes, image galleries, podcasts, scheduled publication, visitor comments, a WYSIWYG CSS style editor and “other goodies”. Big Medium 2 is geared for designers who want a CMS that enables flexible designs but remains easy to set up without programming skills, just basic to intermediate HTML/CSS know-how. Once the designer configures the templates, he or she can hand the site over to content editors; no technical know-how is required to add or edit pages. Enter your text, images, podcasts and document downloads into Big Medium’s editor, and the software automagically adds the necessary links and pages to your site. Big Medium’s server requirements allow you to install it in nearly any hosting environment. Big Medium is a Perl application and runs on Unix-based or Windows servers with Perl 5.6.1 or higher. Big Medium is $185 per server installation (each install can manage an unlimited number of sites and user accounts, no extra fees). It’s free to try for 30 days, and it’s also a free upgrade for all current Big Medium customers. http://www.bigmedium.com/, http://globalmoxie.com/about

Enterprise Search: Leveraging and Learning from Web Search and Content Tools

Following on my last post in which I covered the unique value propositions offered by a variety of enterprise search products, this one takes a look at the evolution of enterprise search. The commentary by search company experts, executives, and analysts indicates some evolutionary technologies and the escalation of certain themes in enterprise search. Furthermore, the pursuit of organizations to strengthen the link between searching technologies and knowledge enablers has never been more prominently featured taking search to a whole new level beyond mere retrieval.

The following paraphrased comments from the Enterprise Search Keynote session are timely and revealing. When I asked, Will Web and Internet Search Technologies Drive the Enterprise (Internal) Search Tool Offerings or Will the Markets Diverge?, these were some thoughts from the panelists.

Matt Brown, Principal Analyst from Forrester Research, commented that enterprise search demands much different and richer content interpretation types of search technologies. What Web-based searching does is create such high visibility for search that enterprises are being primed to adopt it, but only when it comes with enhanced capabilities.

Echoing Matt’s remarks, Oracle search solution manager Bob Bocchino commented on the difficulty of making search operate well within the enterprise because it needs to deal with structured database content and unstructured files, while also applying sophisticated security features that let only authorized viewers see restricted content. Furthermore, security must be deployed in a way that does not degrade performance while supporting continuous updates to content and permissions.

Hadley Reynolds, VP & Director of the Center for Search Innovation at Fast Search & Transfer, noted that the Web isn’t really making a direct impact on enterprise search innovation but many of the social tools found on the Web are being adopted in enterprises to create new kinds of content (e.g. social networks, blogs and wikis) with which enterprise search engines must cope in richer contextual ways.

Don Dodge, Director of Business Development for the Emerging Business Team at Microsoft further noted that the Internet’s biggest problem is scale. That is a much easier problem to solve than in the enterprise where user standards for what qualifies as a good and valuable search results are much higher, therefore making the technology to deliver those results more difficult.

Among the other noteworthy comments in this session was a negative about taxonomies. The gist of it was that they require so much discipline that they might work for a while but can’t really be sustained. If this attitude becomes the norm, many of the semantic search engines which depend on some type of classification and categorization according to industry terminologies or locally maintained lists will be challenged to deliver enhanced search results. This is a subject to be taken up in a later blog entry.

A final conclusion about enterprise search was a remark about the evolution of adoption in the marketplace. Simply put, the marketplace is not monolithic in its requirements. The diversity of demands on search technologies has been a disincentive for vendors to focus on distinct niches and place more effort on areas like e-commerce. This seems to be shifting, especially with all the large software companies now seriously announcing products in the enterprise search market.

SDL announces availability of SDL Passolo 2007

SDL announced the launch of SDL Passolo 2007, the latest version of their visual software localization tool. The new version offers a full visual editing environment of the latest Microsoft localization technology Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) and localization support for all Windows development platforms such as .NET 3.0, Windows 64 bit and Delphi 2007. SDL Passolo 2007 integrates with SDL Trados 2007 to maximize the reuse of translation memories and terminology by leveraging existing Translation Memories and corporate Terminology Data Bases. SDL Localization Office suite, a combined offering of SDL Trados 2007 and SDL Passolo 2007, provide an integrated solution supporting localization projects. Direct display of source files adds context information when working on XML, Java and text files without visual support. http://www.sdl.com/

IBM Boosts Content Classification Software to Streamline Enterprise Content Management

IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced new capabilities in its content classification software used to automatically categorize large volumes of enterprise information, making it easier to find, access and use in the context of enterprise content management systems. With its service-oriented architecture-based capabilities, the IBM Classification Module provides connection to the IBM FileNet P8 content management platform to tackle the categorization of unstructured content, especially content stored or arriving in FileNet repositories. It automates the process of determining whether content is important, and how it should be handled. It can also automatically classify previously unmanaged content or reclassify content already under management so it can be leveraged for business purposes such as records management. The IBM Classification Module helps users to determine the right level of automation for their business scenario, providing a balance between automation and oversight through its configurable confidence levels and workflows designed within the classification review interface. This review capability uses the IBM Classification Module’s real-time learning to provide the system with feedback in order to improve accuracy and automatically adapt to changes. IBM Classification Module is currently available from IBM and IBM Business Partners. http://www.ibm.com/software/ecm/classification

eZ Systems Introduces eZ Publish 4 and Web Content Management Product Designed for News and Media Organizations

eZ Systems announced the immediate availability of eZ Publish 4.0, the latest version of its ECM product. eZ Publish 4.0 features PHP 5-compatibility. eZ Publish is freely downloadable and provides an out-of-the-box Open Source Enterprise Content Management System. The product offers development framework with advanced functionality for web publishing, media portals, intranets, e-commerce and extranets. Specifically, eZ Publish 4.0 will offer the following enhancements to the 3.x series: Complete PHP 5-compatibility, Full support for using eZ’s PHP enterprise components library, Performance improvements, Improved internal XML handling for increased performance and reduced memory usage, Updated Web site interface with new graphical design and enhancements, Improved clustering performance, Multilingual URL support, and Enhanced ISBN and multi-option datatypes. eZ Find, a new extension for eZ Publish 3.x and 4.x, enhances the search functionality on eZ Publish sites and includes features such as relevance ranking, native support for eZ Publish access rights, keyword highlighting and the ability to search sites containing millions of objects. eZ Systems also announced eZ Flow. eZ Flow helps news and media organizations to create dynamic portal pages by scheduling content publication, streaming rich content and managing revenue streams, including pay-per-view and paid content placement. Standard eZ Publish functionality within eZ Flow includes features designed to engage users, including surveys, ratings, tagging, comments, forums, polls and blogs. Multi-user, multi-role access permissions provide complete control over which users – including anonymous site visitors – can create and edit different types of content. With multi-channel exporting, site content can also be published to RSS, OpenOffice.org, Microsoft Word, and QuarkXPress. http://ez.no/

One Laptop Per Child Extends Donate/Buy Program

Looking for a unique and meaningful holiday gift?

OLPC has extended its “Give One, Get One” program through the end of the year. A donation of $399 US (a portion of which may be deductible) covers two XO laptops. OLPC will send one device to a child in an OLPC educational zone, and you’ll get one XO device for yourself (or child in your family or local area). Giving options include donating both XOs covered by your contribution.

A recent article in the WSJ points out alternate approaches to addressing OLPC’s mission (“to empower the children of developing countries to learn by providing one connected laptop to every school-age child”). Regardless of who will ultimately provide solutions that take hold, OLPC offers an affordable way to do some good now. Think of it as an opportunity to give new meaning to the term “social computing.” Happy holidays!

Case Studies: Enterprise Search Success Stories

It has been a week since the annual Gilbane Boston 2007 Conference closed and I am still searching for the most important message that came out of Enterprise Search and Semantic Web Technology sessions. There were so many interesting case studies that I’ll begin with a search function that illustrates one major enterprise search requirement – aggregation.

Besides illustrating a business case for aggregating disparate content using search, the case studies shared three themes:

  • Search is just a starting point for many business processes
  • While few very large organizations present all of their organization’s content through a single portal, the technology options to manage such an ideal design are growing and up to supporting entire enterprises
  • All systems were implemented and operational for delivering value in less than one year, underscoring the trend toward practical and more out-of-the box solutions

Here is a brief take on what came out of just the first two of seven sessions.

Small-medium solutions:

  • Use of ISYS to manipulate search results and function as a back-office data analysis tool for DirectEDGAR, the complete SEC filings, presented by Prof. Burch Kealey of the University of Nebraska. Presentation
  • Support for search by serendipity across the shareable content domains of members of a trade association (ARF) by finding results that satisfy the searcher in his pursuit of understanding with Exalead, presented by Alain Heurtebise CEO of Exalead. Presentation
  • A knowledge portal enabling rapid and efficient retrieval of the complete technical documentation for field service engineers at Otis Elevator to meet rapid response goals when supporting customers using a customized implementation of dtSearch, presented by project consultant Rob Wiesenberg of Contegra Systems, Inc. Presentation

Large solutions calling for search across multi-million record domains:

  • Hosted Vivisimo solution federating over 40 million documents across 22,000 government web sites accessible with search results clustered; it records over a half million page views per day on http://USA.gov and was deployed in 8 weeks, presented by Vivisimo co-founder Jerome Pesenti. Presenation
  • Intranet knowledge portal for improving customer services by enabling access to internal knowledge assets (over half a million customer cases with all their associated documents) at USi (an AT&T company) using Endeca, a search product USi had experience deploying and hosting for very large e-commerce catalogs, presented by development leader Toby Ford of USi. With one developer it was running in six months. Presentation
  • Within a large law firm (Morrison Foerster) and the legal departments of two multi-national pharmaceutical companies (Pfizer and Novartis), Recommind aggregates and indexes content for numerous internal application repositories, file shares and external content sources for unified search across millions of documents, contributing a direct ROI in saved labor by ensuring that required documents are retrieved in a single search process. Presentation

In each of these cases, content from numerous sources was aggregated through the crawling and indexing algorithms of a particular search engine pointed at a bounded and defined corpus of content, with or without associated metadata to solve a particular business problem. In each case, there were surrounding technologies, human architected design elements, and interfaces to present the search interface and results for a predefined audience. This is what we can expect from search in the coming months and years, deployments to meet specialized enterprise needs, an evolving array of features and tools to leverage search results, and a rapid scaling of capabilities to match the explosion of enterprise content that we all need to find and manipulate to do our jobs.

Next week, I will reconstruct more themes and messages from the conference.

Mediasurface Launches Immediacy WCMs 6.0

Immediacy, part of the Mediasurface group (UK, AIM: MSR) announced the launch of Immediacy Web Content Management Suite 6.0 (WCMs 6.0). New features are:

  • Extended Web 2.0 functionality allows easy creation of ‘My Pages’, profiles and blogs that help to deliver the content, context and connections for social interaction.
  • Immediacy WCMs 6.0 creates a platform for community-driven tags (folksonomies) and business taxonomies to co-exist.
  • The new Immediacy SharePoint Connector is designed to allow non-technical users to publish accessibility compliant content directly from SharePoint.
  • Improved Search Engine Optimisation generates the XHTML-validated code that search engines such as Google prefer.
  • Taxonomy and Categorisation Manager employs sophisticated algorithms to extract keywords, key phrases and a summarised description from any web page or document, then automatically categorise it against a taxonomy or folksonomy.

It also includes as standard new enhancements for social networking including RSS, OpenSearch, Robot.txt, PDF output and blog capabilities. http://www.mediasurface.com

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