Open Text Web Solutions 10

The Open Text Web Solutions group, formerly known as RedDot Web Content Management (WCM), has just put out a new and significant release of their mid-range Web CMS product. Yes, Vignette (when the acquisition is finalized) will take place alongside Web Solutions version 10 in this WCM quilt.

This update brings improvements to the technology stack, more Enterprise CMS and SAP integration patchwork and an updated user interface. ButOTEX (news, site) didn’t stop there. Let's see what else they've done.

We spoke with Marci Maddox, Open Text’s director for global product marketing, to get the details.

Shift in the UI

It’s a good time for Open Text Web Solutions to put in some effort into improving the GUI. For one, the product really needed that. Secondly, the competition is not sleeping, and UI enhancements seem to be a common trend lately: take Day's CQ5, for example.

The new, “intelligent” UI features a dashboard (a la your iGoogle page) that can contain multiple widgets based on any part of the WCM application. The dashboard is “where content editors live and breathe” and is customizable. Check out the slide bar (on the right)  and control panels.

otex ws dashboard 2009.png

Open Text Web Solutions Dashboard

In Web Solutions 10, users will see changes to Open Text SmartEdit (where you will still see those familiar red dots) in three stages of content management tasks -- content entry, workflow and content search. There’s AJAX for less clicking, contextual menus on right-click/hover-over, drag&drop and a reduced number of dialog boxes.

otex smartedit.png

Open Text SmartEdit

The UI is permissions-based on per user basis and can be customized according to various profiles. It is shipped in a minimalistic gray scale approach, but can be customized according to organizations’ brand colors.

Updates to the Technology

On the architecture side, RedDot CMS and RedDot LiveServer are still being leveraged. Remaining true to Microsoft, Web Solutions 10 is based on the latest .NET technology and application architecture.

According to Maddox, Open Text is seeing many productivity enhancements now, including about a 70% increase in processing times due to optimized memory management, upgraded multi-processor and multi-threading.

The new UI is another contributor to better performance, largely due to ASP and AJAX capabilities.

Learning Opportunities

Platform support for Microsoft SQL 2008 and Microsoft Windows Server 2008 is also part of the release.

More ECM, DAM and SAP Integrations

Open Text, understandably, continues to weave its multiple platforms into a coherent patchwork. ECM, DAM and the SAP NetWeaver Portal are some of the touch points.

Integration With Open Text Digital Asset Management

In February, the vendor announced its integration between Web Solutions and Artesia for pulling assets from the DAM system and placing them on a particular page.

Taking it further, the company now allows external users to search for an asset within the DAM repository, even if it hasn’t been published, by giving them a “read-only” view into the DAM repository.

In a later phase, Open Text Web Solutions plans to include user-generated content into the DAM fold as well. Look for that towards the end of this year.

Paying Attention to Search

In Web Solutions 10, you will see search approached from three different angles:

  1. Search within the CMS with new capability for quick search, which outputs search results pages that are sortable. Maddox refers to this functionality as the ”new powerful way to see information.”
  2. Third-party search applications integrations (like GSA, FAST, Autonomy and Lucene), where Web Solutions can index the content into those search apps using new search integration APIs.
  3. Open Text is known for integrating with SAP TREX search for federated search. Continuing to run merrily with SAP on many different tracks, OTEX exported the same type of indexing as for third-part search engines for SAP NetWeaver-based portals. One of the major changes is in the configuration of iViews (aka portlets) that now by default have the SmartEdit button. Previously, it used to be a less elegant pop-up window. IT should like this little addition, as it frees them from having to put tags in their portal templates.

"Deeper" ECM Integration, But no Livelink?

Fear not. Open Text Livelink ECM integration is coming as part of the integrations update release around September. Same goes for SharePoint 2010.

Integration with the recently unveiled Open Text Social Media is also in the plans, according to Maddox, who says that there’s already a “small integration” in place, but it is not a released item yet.

Shooting for Seamless Quilts

Open Text is in an interesting position of piecing together so many different systems that are either their own or were acquired. Seamless would be the ideal way for cross-system access to all relevant information.

Not many vendors have been able to deliver that seamlessness, which comes with efficiency and ease-of-use. We’ll continue to watch how Open Text does in this application quilting area.