Web authors can now work with familiar software programs, including the Microsoft Office suite, and have the output automatically converted into Web content designed specifically for their sites with today’s introduction of the Expressroom Document Assistant from Industrial Medium, a provider of Web content and site management solutions.
Document Assistant is an optional software module for the Expressroom content management system. It handles all of the conversion tasks for transforming files from MS Office programs, including Word and Excel, and other popular business applications such as WordPerfect®, StarOffice® and Photoshop®, into content tailored for a specific Web site. The module adapts the files used in a wide range of text, image, spreadsheet, graphics, presentation and other software to allow the content to flow seamlessly and effortlessly into a Web site. A complete list of file formats supported by the Expressroom Document Assistant is found below.
“There is virtually no learning curve with Document Assistant - users remain in the software environment they are familiar with, while Document Assistant takes care of all the back-end conversions.” explains John Barrett, managing director of Industrial Medium and one of the original authors of Expressroom. “This new capability dramatically speeds the process of getting content to a Web site and significantly opens up the process of preparing site content to users who aren’t Web specialists.”
As documents are created or updated, Document Assistant first converts them into XML, the Extensible Markup Language, a markup “meta-language” that allows the design of limitless different types of documents. Document Assistant then transfers it into the format specific for the Web site using the open, non- proprietary XSLT, Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations, process for converting XML documents.
Activating the powerful features of Document Assistant couldn’t be easier: users simply save their content from their working application into a Web folder. Document Assistant handles all the rest to prepare the content for Web publishing.
Far more powerful than the “Save as Web Page” feature found in most Office applications, Document Assistant eliminates the need for additional manual tweaking of the output code that Webmasters are familiar with. Even the “Convert to XML” feature found in the latest versions of MS Office and other programs does not finish the task of preparing content for Web publication. In contrast, Document Assistant performs all the format translations needed for a specific Web site.
Document Assistant also eliminates the time-consuming “cut-and-paste” method of entering Web content into a content management system. And, since Document Assistant is a server-side solution, there is no need to configure PC clients with a new software module.
“Conventional content management systems require a lot of effort and expense in training users on new applications,” adds Christopher Rettig, senior director of Web development for Industrial Medium. “With the Document Assistant module, users can now apply existing business applications to the process of creating and updating content for their sites.”
Document Assistant is available immediately for current and future Expressroom users. Current pricing for the add-on module starts at $20,000.
Expressroom is a content management system that reduces the complexity, and costs, of creating and managing dynamic Web sites. Through a powerful combination of XML and Java, Expressroom separates the administration, content creation, site design, and deployment tasks to allow these activities to proceed in parallel. With powerful, and behind-the-scenes, interface modules, all site stakeholders – management, webmasters, IT, writers, editors developers and designers – can work within their familiar software environments to reduce site deployment and update times.
Industrial Medium is a software and services firm with extensive experience in site design, implementation, and management. Industrial Medium’s software products and managed services enable organizations to retain extensive control over their web sites without requiring in-house technical expertise. Headquartered in McLean VA, Industrial Medium LLC is a privately held company.
Please visit www.industrialmedium.com
for more information.