Content management made strategic

By Martin LaMonica, InfoWorld |  Software

[You need to] disseminate information out to the Web site so that it can be read by the audience. But very often it's the case that that's only one place where the content goes. It's sometimes the case that you need to distribute it out to a PDA or to an e-mail blast or to a wireless device. That is the scale and scope of the problem.

InfoWorld: What are the core technology components that people need?

Krishna: The core components must have an open, flexible mechanism to manage information architecture so that businesses can describe lots of different classes of content that can still be fed through a common operation, such as version control, editing, workflow. But even more importantly this [should] be located on top of enterprise-standard infrastructure, such as [Java] application servers.

InfoWorld: What are some of those areas for which you see real business needs arising over the next year or two?

Krishna: The early adopters in this marketplace are clearly companies such as financial services firms and publishers and so on. But we haven't seen for instance the transportation marketplace needs. We haven't seen, for instance, what the health care factor needs. Their requirements are quite unique and quite different; they move at a different pace. What does an airline industry need in the area of information management? Well, certainly they need to put up Web sites, but that's not the class of problems that we're talking about. How do they, for instance, make sure that they deliver a greater service to everyday passengers who have basic problems.

InfoWorld: Will XML help portability of content between different companies?

Krishna: Absolutely. There's no question about it: XXML is important to the portability of content. But let's not kid ourselves. XML by itself is not sufficient. It needs additional standards. The best way is to use an example. If I were a [financial services] firm sending information to you \#209 how am I going to describe the information? It is not sufficient to simply say that I'm going to put some tags around it. What tags are they? And what do they mean to you? If I say "price," what does that mean to you? Do you expect price in dollars? Do you expect price in cents? Do you expect price to be padded out to six decimal places? Those are the kind of standards to be agreed on.

InfoWorld: How are technologies such as XML and Java changing things?

Krishna: I think Java and XML are technologies that co-exist. If you think about the problem space, there are two things that we have to really pay attention to.

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