Making the Case for XML Content Repositories
Traditional publishers are turning to more efficient content management systems.
As traditional magazine publishers continue to build out their e-media products, many are looking to new, more efficient ways to manage their content and bridge the gap between separate production systems. One solution is XML content repositories, which convert a magazine’s content to a format that’s easily reproduced both digitally and in print.
The latest publisher to adopt this technology is Reed Business Netherlands, a European sister of Reed Business Information. The company recently adopted a workflow-based application for internal search of digital assets from Mark Logic, an XML content platform developer. In addition to Reed, MarkLogic’s other clients include McGraw-Hill and IEEE.
Traditional workflow systems (separate print and Web) are “not efficient,” Mark Logic director of product marketing, John Kreisa, said during a recent FOLIO: Webinar about XML content repositories. “It hinders the sharing and cross-pollination of the content back to other processes. They can’t be moved efficiently back and forth.”
Another XML content management solutions provider is XyEnterprise. Its technology utilizes XML professional publishing software and ContentaView, a rich media delivery platform that the company says is better suited for developers that produce large volumes of technical documentation like manuals (RBI is a client).
According to Kreisa, with XML systems, “content rendering and repurposing can be made to multiple formats, print, online mobile syndication … all the formats that can all start from a central repository.”
In addition to text, XML platforms can manage images and video content, too, Kreisa says, although some publishers are storing those separately and link back to those items when needed.
What’s the ROI?
To manage its content, Blood-Horse Publications, a multimedia publishing company based in Lexington, Kentucky covering the thoroughbred racing industry, adopted the RSuite CMS by Really Strategies, which uses Mark Logic as the XML content repository.
“We chose RSuite CMS because we had a very tight timeframe to convert our data feed architecture over to XML,” says Luther Andal, Blood-Horse’s director of technology. “Automated processes that consume, transform and distribute XML have allowed us to reduce staff over the last year while producing nearly the same amount of print products and many news online products and new features for our Web site.
“The ability of the business to rapidly repurpose content into new products for industry events and trends has given us additional revenue streams,” Andal adds. “IT resources have been able to devote their time to developing new products and features instead of having to support systems that have been automated.”
Costs, according to Mark Logic’s Kreisa, depend on how much content a publisher has to manage and the varied service components, starting at about $100,000 and running up to several hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“Adopting XML overcomes a number of obstacles that have plagued the print industry throughout history,” says Andal. “It makes content more nimble which is vitally important.”