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1 September 1997

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Florence Olsen

Enterprise Computing
Middleware unifies publishing

Dataware's text-based repository maps non-SGML documents to its structure

Electronic publishing middleware makes it possible to publish from a single repository into more than one electronic delivery system.

Although the Standard Generalized Markup Language promised the same thing many years ago, converting all documents to SGML proved too time-consuming, said Bill Thornburg, vice president of publisher markets for Dataware Technologies Inc. of Cambridge, Mass.

Dataware's Electronic Publishing Management System (EPMS) can accept documents in many non-SGML data formats, including active news feeds, by later this year. The text-based repository for the finished documents is an SGML document store, which maps non-SGML documents to its SGML structure.

The repository uses plug-in source cartridges to accept electronic documents from composition systems, document management systems, groupware, database management systems, word processors, and Hypertext Markup Language and SGML sources.

Dataware modified its flagship BRS relational database software to store and manage all these formats. "The idea is to build publications from discrete elements that you reuse in other publications," Thornburg said.

Added cargo

Included with the Dataware system are source cartridges for SGML, Microsoft Word, Corel Corp. WordPerfect, Lotus Development Corp. Word Pro, Adobe Systems Inc. FrameMaker and rich-text-format documents.

Dataware also licensed Outside In viewer software from Inso Corp. of Boston and will deliver an optional source cartridge later this year. With that cartridge, Dataware's product can support more than 200 document types created using desktop software.

Dataware will also deliver source cartridges for Adobe's Portable Document Format and Adobe FrameMaker's binary format.

Government publishing shops such as the Defense Logistics Services Center in Battle Creek, Mich., a beta tester of EPMS, use the system to combine various electronic source documents into custom documents.

In an era when publications are targeting smaller audiences with special interests, the style editor gives new documents a consistent look without converting the original content in the SGML store. "Many organizations are grappling at a very high level with how they look to the outside world," Thornburg said. They want to keep publications at the department level but give them all a consistent look.

With EPMS, organizations can publish to multiple electronic delivery systems and create hybrid publications. The graphics, audio and video content can arrive on a CD-ROM but with hyperlinks to text published on an intranet or Internet server.

The publishing system permits simultaneous publishing of information to client-server networks, Thornburg said.

Full-text search functions are integrated with the publishing functions. EPMS also has enterprise security and accounting functions, he said.

The Dataware system captures and stores complex production processes within publication objects, Thornburg said.

By automating repetitive tasks, agencies can reduce duplication and increase reliability.

The client-server package runs under Microsoft Windows NT and Windows 95. Future versions will run on SunSoft Solaris and Hewlett-Packard HP-UX platforms.

EPMS licenses start at $15,000. The cost to build a typical application is less than $25,000, Thornburg said, including licenses for the EPMS Publishing Manager, EPMS Internet and Intranet Server, EPMS Client and EPMS Software Developer Kit.

Contact Dataware Technologies at 617-621-0820.


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