[April 13, 2000] In draft, the ALURe (Aggregation and Logging of User Requests for assistance) XML Specification is "a specific implementation of XML that allows any Web-based 'user assistance' product or system to log information on specific problems that customers have. ALURe is the grammar used for describing how a user negotiates an application's on-line User Assistance System and is defined using the XML... eHelp Corporation is in the process of proposing a W3C NOTE on the implementation of XML for the aggregation and logging of user requests for assistance on the Web." The draft version of the specification is available in HTML or PDF format. The XML DTD is supplied in section 6.1 of the draft specification. "The ALUReXML Specification improves the usability of complex and e-commerce Web sites and lowers abandonment rates by allowing the integration of effective and highly functional user assistance. These user assistance systems will provide feedback about their usage to site developers and managers in an open format that can be easily accessed, supported and used by a wide variety of Web design, management and reporting tools. [Rationale:] As Web sites grow increasingly complex, becoming more like applications than print publications, they are also becoming more difficult to use. This increase in complexity coupled with the larger numbers of non-technical users on the Web, is causing severe difficulties with the usability of many Web sites. The ALURe concept brings together a group of leading technology companies with a shared interest in promoting user assistance standards for the Web. The ultimate goal of ALURe partners is to improve the usability of complex and e-commerce Web sites by adding effective and highly functional user assistance systems to these sites."
Announcement: "eHelp Corporation Unveils Open XML Standard For Web Usability Analysis. New e-Analytics Technology Designed to Dramatically Increase e-Commerce Sales is Embraced by Industry Leaders." "eHelp Corporation introduces the ALURe specification, an open implementation of XML that promises to significantly reduce abandonment rates on Web sites and boost e-Commerce sales. ALURe (Aggregation and Logging of User Requests) tracks and reports usage patterns in Help and customer assistance systems on Web sites. Using this information, companies can make significant improvements to their Web sites that lead to reduced abandonment rates, increased completed transactions -- and higher revenues..."
Submission request draft. From Blue Sky Software (now eHelp). Abstract: "As websites grow increasingly complex, becoming more like applications than print publications, they are becoming increasingly difficult to use. To add further confusion, the Internet has transitioned from the original technically sophisticated user to the true mass-market. This increase in complexity coupled by larger number of non-technical users is causing severe difficulties in the usability of the Web. The ALURe XML specification defines a language that Web Sites can use to gather data to help identify usage trends and usability."
[May 25, 2000] "eHelp Corporation and Informix Partner to Support ALURe XML Standard. Informix Object Translator Facilitates Storage of Web Analytics in XML." - "Informix Corporation, a technology leader in software infrastructure for the i.Economy, and eHelp Corporation, an acknowledged leader in electronic Help and customer assistance, today announced a partnership in a joint effort to support the ALURe specification. ALURe, the Aggregation and Logging of User Requests, is an open implementation of XML that tracks and reports usage patterns in Help and customer assistance systems on Web sites. The strategic partnership demonstrates ALURe's value to e-commerce companies and highlights Informix and eHelp's leading role in driving XML-based solutions. Led by eHelp, the ALURe Partner Program is designed to bring industry leaders together with a shared interest in promoting user assistance standards for the Web. The open ALURe specification defines how companies identify, track and modify trouble areas on their Web sites. By adopting this specification, companies can easily obtain valuable feedback and usability data about their site when using data mining, analysis and reporting tools. The ALURe specification and Informix Object Translator are a powerful combination for capturing and analyzing critical customer care information to improve customer service on the Web. Informix Object Translator, a data integration tool for mapping the relationships of XML objects to the Informix Foundation.2000 database server, is perfectly suited to provide complete two-way transparent mapping between the ALURe XML model and the data collection model in the database. Informix Object Translator generates Java components to handle ALURe XML documents, making it easy to integrate ALURe transcripts with common business analysis tools."
[April 28, 2000] "XML Spec Eases Customer Data Sharing." By L. Scott Tillett. In InternetWeek Issue 810 (April 24, 2000). "XML has come in handy as a way to exchange data between Web sites, but the technology's full potential may be untapped in the back office, where site data is mined. Lacking so far have been standards defining how those data-gathering systems should operate when using Extensible Markup Language. Still, at least one new XML specification may alleviate the problem. The open spec, forwarded by customer service software vendor eHelp, is designed to permit data sharing among the many systems that monitor online customer assistance. The spec promises to make it easier to share information among systems that may, for example, track the pages user visit; gather data on search terms used; and decipher problems visitors are having. EHelp calls its spec the Aggregation and Logging of User Requests (ALURe) standard, and Asch said eHelp officials hope acceptance of the specification will grow as e-businesses start demanding from vendors greater interoperability through XML in the tools used for managing customer relationships..."