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Embracing XML The NetDoktor Story

Embracing XML The NetDoktor Story. Ronny Scherer Director of Development XML-enabled Content Management, Marcus Evans, Brussels November 28.-29. 2001 rons@netdoktor.com. Europe’s Leading Health Communications Company. Three year track record - NetDoktor.dk launched June ’98

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Embracing XML The NetDoktor Story

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  1. Embracing XMLThe NetDoktor Story Ronny SchererDirector of Development XML-enabled Content Management,Marcus Evans, Brussels November 28.-29. 2001 rons@netdoktor.com

  2. Europe’s Leading Health Communications Company Three year track record - NetDoktor.dk launched June ’98 - 500+ freelance doctors - 30,000+ proprietary content assets - Funded by Apax Partners & Co Norway Sweden Denmark UK 1 mio. unique users / month 15 mio. page impressions / month Germany France Austria National NetDoktorhealth portal exists Country Country No portal operation yet Spain Italy

  3. Brief History • Founded in Denmark in 1997 byDr. Carl Brandt and journalist Rune Bech • Based on a study by Carl Brandt on”Smoker’s lung”* • Funded by Apax Partners & Co since 1999 *) Published in The Lancet 1997; 349 (9047): p253

  4. ”We believe that an educated patient, who understands his or her illness is better suited to take part in the treatment than one that does not”

  5. NetDoktor’s Value Propositions Health Care Services and E-Care Solutions Patient Satisfaction /Quality of Life Efficiency & Quality Cost

  6. NetDoktor’s Strategy Care Community Content Value Mass Groups Individuals

  7. High Level Portal Overview

  8. Sample Integration Architecture

  9. Muscles and Joints Lungs Childrens's Health Health Sector Neurology Teeth and Mouth Sex and Relationships Complementary Medicine Skin and Hair Asthma and Allergy Weight Management Pregnancy and Birth Eyes Mental Health Drug and Alcohol Abuse Senior's Health Liver and Kidney Cancer Sports Smoking Cessation Digestive System Diabetes Travel Medicine Accidents and First Aid Heart and circulation Infections Women's Health Immunizations Ears, Nose, Throat Sexually transmitted diseases Men's Health Genetics Growth & Metabolism Examinations & Procedures Medicines & Supplements Pain management Content Categories(consumer)

  10. Legacy Workflow

  11. Working with FrontPage and HTML • Cons • Unscaleable. Unstructured. FrontPage quality HTML = poor quality. Did not support content syndication • Hard to manage intellectual properties • No version control • Different implementation in each country • Flat and uncontrolled file structure • Diverse branding and graphics design Pros • Very fast time to market • Near flat learning curve • Easy to customize for each country • Cost effective… short term • Good performance

  12. Business Requirementsand Priorities • We will enable our content assets to be licensed to third parties • We will cut cost by streamlining and aligning our production and maintenance workflows across all languages. • We will improve quality while doing it…

  13. The Extreme Way Extreme Programming (XP) is a lightweight, customer driven, efficient, low-risk, flexible, predictable scientific and fun way to develop software • Early, rapid feedback • Assume simplicity • Incremental change • Embracing change

  14. Traditional Methods XP Including Up FrontInvestment Cost Cost of Change Time

  15. The Planning Game • What’s most important? • Flexibility. Different customers, different needs. Flexible and media independent format. • We will enable our content assets to be licensed to third parties • We will cut cost by streamlining and aligning our production and maintenance workflows across all countries • Simple delivery and short implementation cycle • Standards based delivery • Unify content across all languages • Quality assurance through version control

  16. Create once, publish many • Single source for all content assets • Effective distribution to NetDoktor portals and syndication partners

  17. Why XML? • Flexibility • Easy to transform in to any format • Seemed to be a sure thing • Strong early adapter development community • Support from W3C and the software industry • Good tools • Cost effective • Multi-lingual by nature (UTF-8) • No real alternative

  18. Lessons From The First Iteration– The 30 Days Challenge • Time boxing is good for focus and results • 500 UK articles, five people, 30 days • Slice the elephant – first things first • Assume simplicity • A good metaphor is crucial

  19. Editorial Sales Operations Conceptual Business Overview

  20. Content Management Portal / Site Management Content Delivery System MetaphorConceptual Business Overview Editorial Sales Operations

  21. Content Delivery System Technology Components Editorial Sales Operations

  22. Success From The First Iteration– The 30 Days Challenge • Delivered on time • All stakeholders were involved early • The first DTD was based on best-practices from the Oasis DocBook and the W3C HTML specifications • Self-contained articles (all meta data included) • Open standards and COTS • SoftQuad XMetaL • Rich and easy to learn user-interface (rich Windows client) • Insured quality and unified structure • Concurrent Versions System • Straight forward version control system (rich Windows client) • OpenSource • Java, XML, XSL-T, HTTP…

  23. Meta Data and Taxonomies • Meta data and taxonomies defines the context and integration points • Simple (from a technical point of view) and very powerful • Required by syndication partners • Can be used e.g. to map and group content across themes and interest groups and put a given piece of content into a context • Samples of use are ATC, UMLS, site structure andsearch engine optimisation

  24. Sample Integration Architecture

  25. Dealing with Imagesand Rich Media • An image tells a thousand words… But we still need good meta data. • Image and meta data management usingCanto Cumulus. • Deployment using cached production copies.

  26. Next step • Taking our own medicine • First things first (n x m cost principle) • Refining and automating distribution • Improved support for meta data • Second DTD

  27. Bottom line – XML rules! • Get your own experience. Know your process and needs. Base investments on your experience – not a vendor or consultant report. • Focus – start simple. • Saved / postponed major IT investment while still reaching targets and meeting customer demand. • We created a repository in 6 months (5.000+ articles in 7 languages)– it actually scales. • Extreme principles (XP) has proved impressive results. • Workflow and content quality has improved dramatically. • Streamlined content production and delivery environment across Europe. • Short delivery cycle. • Major savings in production cost (up to 60%). • All stakeholders has to be involved. • Investments in XML and COTS has more than met expectations.

  28. The slides can be downloaded at http://www.scherer.dk/cv/

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