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Department of Defense Quality of Life Information Technology Center Streamlines Multi-Site Web Development With Ingeniux XML Content Management

by Ramon Lao

CATEGORY: Storage, Content Management and Knowledge Management

REVIEWER: Major Ramon Lao, U.S. Marine Corps. CIO for Department of Defense Quality of Life Information Technology Center (DODQOLITC).

BACKGROUND: DODQOLITC-based applications and LSN are official sources of quality of life information and services for the Department of Defense (DOD) and Department of the Navy. Serving reserve and active duty service members, veterans and family members around the world, the DODQOLITC and LSN platform is a multi-award winning platform for deployment of Web-based content.

PLATFORMS: Ingeniux Content Management System (CMS) front end, an Oracle9iR2 database content repository and middle-tier 9iAS (Application Server).

PROBLEM SOLVED: The DODQOLITC and LSN develops and publishes Web content for more than 20 DOD Web sites worldwide. We implemented the Ingeniux CMS to provide easy-to-use Web authoring; provide greater data control and management; and obtain return on our investment by streamlining business processes, facilitating greater collaboration and repurposing content assets across our entire network of sites. Ingeniux provided an easy-to-use front end to our Oracle9i platform. With a large group of globally distributed content contributors, ease of use was one of two key criteria. It has met all of our expectations in terms of features set, usability and business process automation. The second key criteria was interoperability with our Oracle infrastructure. Ingeniux quickly integrated with our Oracle9i data structures. We embedded the Ingeniux client into the Oracle9iAS Portal. With Ingeniux running within the 9iAS Portal, our content developers stay within a single environment to perform all of their duties. The integration is seamless. Content is dragged and dropped between the Ingeniux client and other applications. Additionally, Ingeniux automatically authenticates against the Oracle Internet Directory -- enabling our users to login to a single system. We set Ingeniux to write to our Oracle9iR2 database as well as their XML content repository. Ingeniux also supported a state-of-the-art taxonomy system that is structuring more than 100,000 pages of DOD content. Accessed through Ingeniux CMS, the taxonomy module provides an application interface for classifying content based on our multifaceted category taxonomy system. Content is cross-indexed for publication to multiple areas of the platform.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Ingeniux CMS is a pure XML content management system. It provides us with a range of Web and device publishing capabilities, as well as content life cycle management for structuring and searching content libraries. The system features excellent workflow management, data management and collaboration tools. Ingeniux CMS excels at syndication and presentation-layer Web services. In Ingeniux, all content is XML. It is transformed on delivery using XSLT style sheets. In this way, we can repurpose a single piece of content for different pages, format content for different types of browsers and devices, and create co-branded Web sites with a completely different design.

STRENGTHS: With Ingeniux, we can reuse content across all our sites. This saves us a tremendous amount of time and lets us maximize the value of our content. Likewise, the intuitive user interface and overall ease of use ensure that all of our people contribute content with minimal training or support. In terms of interoperability, Ingeniux is without equal.

WEAKNESSES: Dependency on Internet Explorer 6 and client install using ActiveX are weaknesses of the product. Installing the Ingeniux client requires downloading an ActiveX component. Because our network security does not permit ActiveX downloads, we had to manually install the client from CD-ROM for every user system.

SELECTION CRITERIA: The project included seven months of research, analysis and lab testing during which we evaluated multiple vendor products including Vignette, Microsoft CMS, Oracle, IBM, CA CleverPath and others. The lab testing let us cut through the hype and see which systems could really perform. Based on interoperability, time-to-market, cost avoidance and ROI factors, Ingeniux was the clear winner.

DELIVERABLES: Ingeniux CMS is positioned to output formatted Web content to 20-25 DOD Web sites. Workflow management tracks the content development process and ensures that all content flows through proper channels. Taxonomy provides structured views of our content. Ingeniux CMS features a visual management tool that shows all of our pages and dependencies. We can click and drag content from one section to another, and all links update automatically.

VENDOR SUPPORT: The training for content developers has been excellent. We currently have numerous nontechnical content developers accessing the system. Training is generally less than half a day.

DOCUMENTATION: The Ingeniux written documentation and online help are clear and comprehensive.

Major Ramon Lao, U.S. Marine Corps. CIO for Department of Defense Quality of Life Information Technology Center (DODQOLITC).

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