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Intranets and Content Management

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  1. Intranets and Content Management T.B. RajashekarNational Centre for Science InformationIndian Institute of ScienceBangalore – 560 012 (E:Mail: raja@ncsi.iisc.ernet.in)

  2. We will be covering… • Intranets – what, why, intranet information portals • Content management – what, content types and formats, external content, current situation, challenges • Role of libraries • Resources

  3. What is an Intranet? • Private and secure internal information system which uses Internet technology to collect and disseminate information of interest to all staff Company network Internet Firewall Web browser Web browser

  4. What is an Intranet? • Behind the firewall • Take advantage of all the open standards and protocols that have emerged from the Internet (TCP/IP, HTTP, SMTP, Java, JavaScript, XML…) • Web based applications with corporate control • Combination of the ease of use of the Internet with the security of a private network

  5. Technology behind Intranets • One or more inter-connected TCP/IP networks • Internet connectivity with firewall protection • Servers: Web, E-Mail, Proxy, DNS • Browsers, plug-ins, authoring tools • Databases, CGI tools, search engines • Website administration tools

  6. Internet External websites E-Commerce Insecure TCP/IP Limited management Intranet Internal websites Commutation & Information access Secure TCP/IP Managed Intranet VS Internet

  7. Why Intranets? • Ubiquitous access to staff • Improved internal communication • Improved access to information • Improved productivity • Promote user participation • Improved management

  8. Why Intranets? • Open platform architecture - plenty of add-on applications available • Existing information sources can be easily migrated to the desktop using Web technology • Faster information delivery at lower costs • Relatively quick and easy to set up • Scaleable: start small, and grow as needed • End User training - most users are familiar with browser operation

  9. Why Intranets? • Basis for KM solutions • Basis for incorporating advanced information management solutions • Digital libraries • Data mining

  10. An Example Intranet

  11. Integration Shared Data Intranet Internet Firewall PCs Servers Another Example…

  12. What is a web site? • Non-technical view: A computer on the Internet/intranet providing access to its information store through web browsers • Technical view: One or more computers providing access to variety of web compatible documents using HTTP protocol (web servers) • PC, RISC-based workstations/ servers • Win’95, Unix, Win’NT • Dedicated Internet/intranet connectivity

  13. What is a web site? ... • Has a unique web site address in the URL format • e.g. http://www.iisc.ernet.in, http://www.nic.in • Documents stored in a web site are uniquely identified using the URL scheme: • access protocol://host.domain [:port]/path/file name(e.g. http://www.ncsi.iisc.ernet.in/new.html) • Document formats: • HTML, PDF, images, animations, audio, video, multimedia presentations, searchable databases, etc.

  14. What is a web site? ... • HTML pages integrate the information content served by the web site • Organized in a hierarchical manner • Home page (root page) provides links to second level HTML pages which in turn link to third level HTML pages, and so on • These pages may contain images and provide access to databases through search forms, PDF files, audio and video, etc. or link to documents on other servers

  15. What is a web site? ...

  16. Websites to Intranets to Information Portals • Beginning: External websites • Promote company and its products • Later: Intranets • Use Internet technologies for web enabling internal information & communication • Today: Information Portals • Integrate internal and external information via the Web

  17. Intranet Information Portals • Aka: Enterprise Information Portals • Area of recent growth and rapid development • “EIPs are applications that enable companies to unlock internally and externally stored information, and provide users a single gateway to personalized information needed to make informed decisions”

  18. Content Management • Key issue today in most enterprises • Why? • Wide variety of web-enabled digital content • Web enabling of businesses • Digital publishing • Most authoring tools support saving in web compatible formats • Ease of web publishing and hosting • Need for integrating internal and external content

  19. What is Content Management? • Technologies, standards, principles and practices related to: • Content creation, capturing, publishing • Organization and storage • Search, retrieval and delivery • Preservation • Rights management • Version control • Administration • Integration with external content • Integration with other applications … on Intranets … via web servers and browsers

  20. Content: Types • Structured, unstructured • Source documents with/ without metadata • Metadata with/ without source document • Free/ fee – based • Internal/ external

  21. Content: Types • Internal content examples: • E-Mail, Company News • Plans, policies, project reports, best practices, annual reports, press releases, news letters, product catalogs, presentations, etc. • Staff/ expert profiles, phone directories • Client, competitor info • Software, Courseware, CBT • SQL databases, library catalog, legacy databases

  22. Content: Types • External content examples: • Licensed: • Databases (bibliographic, full-text) • e-journals • e-books • Software, etc. • Free content (listserv, databases, e-journals, etc.) • Locally hosted/ remote access • More and more external content is brought behind the firewall

  23. External Content • Why bring external content behind firewall? • Robust delivery compared to WWW (World Wide Wait) • Cheap storage • Content aggregation, filtering, and profile-based delivery • Integration with internal content

  24. Content: Formats • Text (HTML, ASCII) • Binary objects (software) • Graphics • Images • WYSIWYG documents • PDF • Multimedia presentations • Digital audio, video • More bandwidth – more media rich content

  25. Content Management in Intranets: Typical Current Situation

  26. Who Is Creating Content? • Almost everyone! • Most from business processes • Ubiquitous authoring tools – integrated with business processes • Libraries bring most of the external content • Individual surfing, downloads

  27. Where It Resides? • Distributed across the intranet • Individual desktops • Division/ dept. servers, websites • Company websites – external, internal • Servers: Database, E-Mail, Library

  28. Who Is Managing It? • Typically webmasters of respective websites/ servers • Content creators and/or division heads • Very little central control • Very little quality control • Poor integration

  29. How Is It Being Accessed? • Visiting individual sites • File finding tools, shared disk drives • Reliance on people’s memory • Individual bookmarks • Asking colleagues around • No central search engines or poor search results – lack of context in search results

  30. Poor Content Management: Consequences • Do not know what exists • Do not know where something exists • Lack of confidence in available data – enough contextual information not available • Too much of information • “Infoglut”, “Intramess” • Poor productivity

  31. Content Management: Challenges • Develop a centrally controlled, distributed content management system • Integrate internal and external information • Organize the content for efficient information access • Provide context for searching and search results • Bring uniformity and consistency in content authoring, publishing and presentation • Provide personalized services

  32. Role of Libraries • Lead in using Internet, web surfing and Internet training • Extend the reach of library catalogs • Increasingly sophisticated library websites • Static to dynamic websites • Subject gateways • Bring external content to the intranet desktop • Databases, e-journals, e-books, software, free content

  33. Role of Libraries • Expertise in metadata handling • Knowledge representation and organization • Classification, Thesauri • Increasingly called upon to participate/ handle internal content management • How Libraries can contribute?

  34. Resources • Intranet Journal (http://www.intranetjournal.com/) • The Complete Intranet Resource(http://intrack.com/intranet) • Corporate intranets and corporate libraries. Honors thesis. Alyn Jones. June 1998. http://jimmy.qmuc.ac.uk/usr/im94jone/

  35. Resources… • McQueen Consulting Home The Intranet - Extranet Specialists http://www.mcq.com/ • Ragan’s Intranet Report http://www.ragan.com/ • ‘Online’ magazine. Jan/Feb 1999 and May/June 2001. Focus issues on intranets. http://www.onlineinc.com/onlinemag/