RSuite CMS, a content management system for publishers, is now powered by MarkLogic 7, the industry’s leading Enterprise NoSQL database. RSuite CMS 4 provides an entirely new user experience through an intuitive user interface that minimizes actions required to execute complex searches across an entire set of content, globally apply metadata, dynamically organize content into collections, package and distribute content to licensing partners, and much more.
“RSuite and MarkLogic have had a wonderful partnership over the past seven years,” stated Christopher Hill, vice president, product management at RSI Content Solutions. “While MarkLogic provides the foundation, the RSuite toolset adds a robust set of capabilities that publishers can leverage to meet their multi-channel publishing goals.”
To read the entire press release, click here.
RSI Content Solutions, a content management solutions provider to the publishing industry, is pleased to announce that it has been named to the 2013 EContent 100 list of companies that matter most in the digital content industry for the third year in a row. Selection of the companies for the EContent 100 list falls to a team of judges including editors from Information Today, Inc., EContent magazine contributing editors, and other industry experts. Additional companies on the list include Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, O'Reilly Media, and others.
“In 2013, our task was to narrow down the ever expanding list of important players in the digital content industry to a mere 100 companies that matter most, a task that is becoming harder every year,” said Theresa Cramer, editor of EContent. “Consequently, the companies that do make up our list can be sure that they are in good company—and that next year, there will be a new crop of companies biting at their heels. This is great for the industry, and exciting for those of us who cover the space.”
Continue reading the press release here.
If I was asked to design an A-list American holiday, I would never have come up with Thanksgiving. As a kid I enjoyed a few Thanksgiving dinner staples, but would have traded them for a trip to Dairy Queen in a heartbeat.
I’ve spent my share of Thanksgivings trying in one way or another to adhere to the holiday’s intended design, usually with the same cast of regulars from my daily life.
On occasion I’ve celebrated the holiday in a house of strangers, save for the friend or two who dragged me along. One Thanksgiving I spent in The Hague, Netherlands, at a training course. I dined on my first Indonesian meal with my classmates, the only American at the table of near-strangers.
The Thanksgiving that gives me some of the warmest memories I spent alone in my room in a deserted dormitory in Minneapolis. How could a roast beef sandwich, fries and medium Coke be so memorable? The clerk who prepared it was friendly and wished me a happy Thanksgiving as I left with the bag of food. But when I discovered the promotional gold-rimmed holiday glass at the bottom of the bag - usually requiring an extra charge on a large soft drink - the clerk transformed the modest meal into a memorable feast. It remains one of my favorite Thanksgiving memories.
Something about Thanksgiving's design seems to work well even when circumstances would not seem conducive to a positive experience.
Thanksgiving's ability to create these strong feelings are not easily identified on paper. Imagine if it were invited to an RFP selection process:
American Holiday rankings:
1 Christmas (38)
2 Easter (31)
3 New Year’s Day (28)
4 Independence Day (26)
5 Valentine's Day (25)
6 Thanksgiving (24)
7 Labor Day (19)
8 Halloween (16)
This isn't even close to how, outside of a feature matrix, I would rank the holidays. I suspect most Americans would say the same.
A number of assumptions are inherent in this type of ranking process that produces results incompatible with our actual experience.
Do all of these features have equal importance and rank?
If I don’t intend to eat candy or decorate my home in holiday lights, should I include these features “just in case” I might want to do that someday?
We forget that adding unwanted/unneeded features to our matrix might be detrimental. Imagine being the only person not in costume at a Halloween celebration or an atheist at an Easter service.
If I had put this scoring system into my RFP, Thanksgiving would not even rank in the top half of the holidays. It turns out that Thanksgiving’s subtle design choices are easy to overlook when insulated from any actual experience.
I know that regardless of how the food turns out this evening, today is already a highlight of my year as I reflect on the many personal and professional things I have to be thankful for.
If today you are also celebrating Thanksgiving, I hope yours is happy and memorable too.
I'm going to see a movie tonight called "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire". It's a movie that derived from a book. You may or may not have heard about it, but seeing as you're on a website that sells content management systems for publishers, the chances are very high that you're familiar. In the first movie (spoiler alert) the story revolves around children and teenagers who are put in an outrageous dangerous environment and must fend for themselves until one "lucky" player survives and is released at the very end of the game and lives their lives in luxury...not to mention reoccuring nightmares on a consistent basis for the rest of their lives.
At RSI Content Solutions, we have seen some Hunger Games-like ways of managing content. Over the years, we have found many publishing companies that don't even know where their content is stored which means you don't have the source files for your publications. Imagine a situation which your content is in numerous amount of files that are stored in multiple places, and no one really knows where to find them. There is ultimately no real way to universally search in one place for what you're looking for and even if you did have a way to search, how is the content managed?
That's what we at RSI Content Solutions consider the Hunger Games of Content Management.
We have been helping publishers manage their content since the year 2000 and RSuite CMS, the content management system for publishers, is our bow and arrow for the world of confusing content management. With your choice of cloud or deployed CMS, we have a content management system that stores your files from simple Word files to your digital assets.
Over the past ten years, I have been working with educational publishers, large and small, helping them with their digital publishing needs from building ancillary products both online and on CDs and DVDs, online course ware, digital assessment programs, online e-textbook selling sites, and hundreds of other educational products. For the past year, my focus here at RSI is to help educational, academic and media publishing companies with their content management needs and content preparation for concurrent, multichannel publishing. At most meetings with educational publishers these days, a good deal of the discussion is focused on how RSuite can help in the increasingly daunting task of properly tagging their content for discovery both internally and externally.
Most publishers today have begun to understand the importance of rich metadata. The selling of ebooks through the retail outlets has certainly brought an elevated focus to having your metadata robust, available, flexible and up to date but that metadata only scratches the surface for educational publishers.
According to that “great” source in the clouds (Wikipedia), Metadata is usually categorized in three types:
- Descriptive metadata describes an information resource for identification and retrieval through elements such as title, author, and abstract.
- Structural metadata documents relationships within and among objects through elements such as links to other components (e.g., how pages are put together to form chapters).
- Administrative metadata helps to manage information resources through elements such as version number, archiving date, and other technical information for purposes of file management, rights management and preservation.
Standards-based metadata models are being hyped to help address educational objects discoverability in the marketplace such as the recently released Learning Resource Metadata Initiative (LRMI) (backed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) and the Achievement Standards Networks (ASN) (which essentially enables content creators to describe the objective of learning and teaching resources in terms required by each state). There’s the existing standards such as the Learning Object Metadata model supported and managed by the International Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the Dublin Core Metadata Element Set to name only a few.
According to the LRMI’s mission, all of these initiatives are meant to “facilitate personalized learning by…” giving publishers the capability of tagging the content so learners can have “…the right content at the right time” and also to address the demands of states for standardized descriptions of learning resources.
The key requirements for exploiting educational learning object metadata are to:
- Understand user/community needs and to express these as an application profile
- Have a strategy for creating high quality metadata
- Store this metadata in a form which can be exported as LOM records
- Agree a binding for LOM instances when they are exchanged
- Be able to exchange records with other systems either as single instances or en masse.
How do you currently manage the process of tagging your content?
While RSuite CMS can certainly help publishers efficiently and effectively manage the complex metadata requirements for today’s educational publishers, I would like to understand your challenges by commenting on the questions below or bringing your own questions to the table…
- Did you build your own taxonomy and system to add the tags to your content?
- Have you adopted one of the “standards”?
- Are you tagging your content with any metadata that will facilitate users finding and purchasing your content much less difficult than it is today?
Do you create, edit, or manage content? You might need a content management system.
Even in 2013, publishers both large and small don't yet have a grasp on benefits of a content management system and how much easier it can make their publishing process. Then again, what do you, as a publisher, consider to be "content"? For different publishers, content means different things. Do you consider it to be a Word document? Is content a PDF, ePub, or something else? Dare I ask if you consider video a piece of content? Truthfully, the word "content" has morphed over the last few years and for publishers and therefore, content has truly become everything from a Word document to a video.
So, let me help clear any confusion and give you, the publisher, a few benefits of what content management system for publishers can do for you:
- Streamline your publishing workflow. With RSuite CMS, there's no need to switch back and forth all day between your email and your content. Upload your content to RSuite, assign it to the next person in your publishing process, then edit it all from within our system.
- Speaking of editing, do you use Microsoft Word when composing and editing your content? Bring your process into RSuite. Transform the Word document into XML automatically to meet your multi-channel publishing goals. RSuite handles the entire end-to-end process.
- Package your content in an automated fashion and distribute it to your licensing partners. In many cases this process can be 100% automated based on the business rules that you define.
Whether you're an STM journal publisher with a goal of publishing hundreds of journal articles each year, a magazine publisher, or an educational book publisher, your goal should be to publish your material in the most effective and efficient way possible. RSuite is the content management system for publishers, both large and small.
Which one of the following content management environments interests you most?
As part of our ongoing customer engagement, we're planning a series of webinars for current users of RSuite CMS. Our goal is to deliver customer-focused webinars which set the stage for our customers to drive the priorities for the next generation of the RSuite application.
This past Wednesday, October 30, we hosted our quarterly RSuite Customer webinar and this quarter's topic was the future of RSuite. We had great attendance accompanied by great questions. The main theme within each question happened to be about upgrading to our latest version, RSuite 4. This got me thinking about software features that we, in the publishing industry, come in contact with.
We are always interested in what the marketplace is asking for. For instance, which features in a content management system matter most to you and your organization? Do you prefer your content management environment to be hosted in the cloud, deployed in your office, or perhaps you don't have a preference?
We've heard from our clients regarding hosted and deployed environments and now we'd like to hear from our followers. Please participate in the the poll above or comment in the section below.
Lately I’ve found myself doing more discussion of DITA, so it is time for another in the 5-minute-series. If you are new to XML it might be helpful to start with the previous two posts on XML and Schemas before continuing.
In the previous posts I discussed how XML isn’t a specific language, but is instead a set of rules governing the syntax of languages that may be invented. The invention of XML came out of a need to be able to describe content. Word processors and desktop publishers mostly focused on the formatting of content. When you create new content in these tools you do so as a part of the layout and formatting process. With XML, you instead try to describe what the content you are entering is, for example a paragraph, a chapter, a book, an article, a caption or whatever.
XML provides a common syntax for creating languages to describe your content, but does not specify the actual grammar. As described in detail in the previous post in this series, XML Schemas or DTDs are used to specify the exact labels and grammar of a particular type of XML.
While you can invent your own labels and grammar based upon XML, doing so means that unless others adopt your format, you will have to customize editing tools to understand your particular vocabulary.
Instead of always creating a vocabulary from scratch, many users of XML instead adopt a shared standard. Standards exist to represent most any data you can think of, whether it be recipes, musical scores, articles, chapters, books or anything else. These standards can be shared, and tools can be created to create, edit, manage and format based on the standard. If a community exists around my particular flavor of XML, we can share tools and techniques that can mean reduced effort required to deploy content solutions.
DITA, an acronym for Darwin Information Typing Architecture, is an XML language that is extensible and can be adapted to a range of uses. DITA is based on the concept of topics. A topic is a unit of information that typically can be read in isolation or inserted into a larger document. In order to stream together topics, DITA uses the concept of a map file. A map file is simply an XML file that acts as a sort of table of contents stringing together a series of topic files.
The term “topic” is generic. DITA allows, however, the generic topic to be adapted to represent more specific structures. The basic DITA specification includes Concept, Task and Reference. These content units are more specific versions of the generic topic. They can be handled with special rules if you want. But if you don’t haven special rules, they can be also treated more generically as topics.
Benefits of a common vocabulary
Having a common vocabulary means that users of the vocabulary can share information with each other and share tools and code used to handle the content. For example, if you use a DITA-based format, there are a number of editing tools that can be used to edit your content. Tools used to process the content can also be shared. For example, DITA includes the code and stylesheets needed to create PDF, HTML and other output formats, and the community is constantly evolving. New formats may appear and other DITA-based solutions can take advantage of the tools to support the new format without needing to modify their existing processes.
For DITA, the community provides the DITA Open Toolkit. This toolkit includes a variety of transformations that can take DITA content and render it in HTML, PDF, and other formats. It also provides an extensible architecture. If you have a customized version of DITA, you can create a plug-in that can enable DITA solutions to handle the specific requirements of your customizations. Toolkit plugins can be used to configure editing tools, extend the rules of DITA, or modify the included stylesheets used to render content so that they can account for a most specific vocabulary adapted from the base DITA stylesheets. Any DITA tool can process content even if it is based on proprietary extensions because all of those proprietary extensions are mapped to more generic DITA structures. So if I use a DITA-based vocabulary that defines a “chapter,” systems that do no understand “chapter” can always treat the encoded content as a more generic “topic.”
So while XML is a set of rules for creating a particular language to encode your content, DITA is a particular language that was designed to be able to be extended to more specific uses that still share a common grammar. DITA provides a base set of stylesheets for rendering your content in a variety of specific formats. Many XML tools exist to process any DITA-based document, and most provide extension points so that you can adapt the tool to a more specific DITA-based language without having to start from scratch.
Tools to edit DITA documents can edit any vocabulary derived from DITA without modification, and can be extended to support more specific vocabulary structures if desired. At RSI Content Solutions we have content management systems with support for DITA that provides a range of features that make it much quicker to deploy a DITA solution without starting from scratch. Our solutions allow editing, transformation, as well as the ability to reuse content in different contexts if needed. So while XML is a set of rules governing the structure of an infinite variety of languages, DITA is a topic-based XML language used for representing content. Although you can use DITA without any modifications, many organizations wish to encode content in less generic manner. DITA has the advantage of allowing more specific content structures to be derived from the existing generic structures if needed. This means that if you need to create an XML vocabulary you aren’t starting from scratch and you are providing a fallback mechanism for systems not aware of the specifics of your particular vocabulary.
Back in September, DocZone DITA exhibited at the CIDM Best Practices Showcase in Savannah, Georgia. We spoke with many of you about your DITA Open Toolkit wants and needs, we spoke with many of you about how you're personally using these capabilities.
Because there is a such a growing need for DITA Open Toolkit plugins in the technical publishing environment, we have scheduled a webinar to inform you on the capabilities that DocZone has to offer.
Attend our DocZone DITA webinar and witness:
- How DocZone DITA incorporates DITA OTK plugins
- XTM capabilities that translate content in more than 250 languages
- How simple it is for DocZone to publish to multiple formats with the click of a button
- ...and so much more
We're excited to introduce DocZone DITA's OTK plugin and other capabilities to you. Register for the webinar on October 24 webinar today!
I had the opportunity to attend the Outsell Signature Event last week that brings together top executives from the information industry. As always, everything that Outsell does is top notch and so in an inviting setting and surrounded by movers and shakers in the industry a number of key topics were discussed, debated, and argued. The event traditionally focuses on all aspects of the information industry and provides an executive level view of the economy, business models, technology adoption, current stress points, and business and technology transformation.
Some random points from the sessions:
- The economy is going to continue to grow at a relatively slow pace for the next few years and it will be worse if the US government does not address the debt ceiling quickly.
- Many information providers are being disrupted by the shift to electronic products. Those who have adopted a more progressive business model are able to weather the storm a bit easier. Those who are stuck in their old ways are beginning to feel the significant decline of print revenue.
- Design of electronic products have evolved tremendously with users expecting a clean, functional design. No longer is it acceptable to have great content and a poor interface.
- Software vendors are also feeling the disruptions with changing software licensing models. The need to have an a la carte license model is a requirement, not an option.
- Transformation is not an option anymore. Too many variables are changing at breakneck speed and an organization needs to be ready to change or face the inevitable decline.
- Wearable technology is really cool and will take some time to be adapted but don't be surprised if you are wearing a small device (e.g., watch, pin, earring) within the next decade that is attached to the internet in some way.
While RSuite CMS was not front and center at this conference as an exhibitor, it was interesting to speak with publishers who continue to be challenged by managing a large (dare I say big data) set of disparate content.
Publishers realize that content management software is an absolute necessity to transforming their organization, and I believe executive management understands the larger problem is with their processes and culture. The culture (i.e., people) side of transformation is probably the most challenging and will continue to require a significant investment of time and money to address. The process side of transformation is a bit easier because everyone wants to make their jobs easier and more efficient. It is great to finally hear executives say that XML content management is no longer a "nice to have" but a necessity in business transformation to meet multi-channel publishing goals. Fortunately, RSuite CMS is positioned very well to help out publishers in their transformation.
I look forward to the meeting next year.