On Tuesday, January 20--while the rest of the country was glued to their television and computer screens, watching an historic inauguration--MarkLogic, provider of XML servers, announced two new offerings. Like President Obama’s inaugural address, MarkLogic’s Connector for SharePoint and free Toolkit for Word seem to have been shaped, at least in part, by the struggling economy.
John Kreisa, director of industry solutions at MarkLogic, says many customers are looking for a way out from under cumbersome, expensive ECM solutions. His company saw one possible solution to customers’ problems when it realized so many were migrating to Microsoft’s SharePoint. By connecting "out of the box SharePoint applications with the MarkLogic server," the company hopes to provide a nimble alternative to heavier applications, says Kreisa.
San Carlos, Calif.-based Mark Logic Corporation is a provider of XML server solutions. The company's flagship product, MarkLogic Server, allows customers to store, manage, search, and dynamically deliver content. The new Connector for SharePoint automatically mirrors content from Office SharePoint Server 2007 to MarkLogic Server and pushes content at any stage of a business workflow. Once in MarkLogic, customers can create rich, XML-based applications that make it easier to find and repurpose individual components of content.
Kreisa says the Connector’s fees are based on a per server basis, so customers "can connect to as many SharePoints as they want," pushing information between different departments, and hopefully providing a cost-effective alternative to competitors’ offerings.
"Content such as policies and procedures, training materials, operational documents, and technical manuals are some of the most valuable assets in our organization," says Murry Christensen, director of learning technologies, JetBlue University. "Both Microsoft and Mark Logic are strategic technology partners for JetBlue Airways. The combination of their offerings enables us to leverage the document services of SharePoint Server and the XML processing of MarkLogic Server. Now we can drive down the costs of previous enterprise content management investments and focus on high value content delivery. The bottom line is that we’ve greatly improved our operational effectiveness and can react swiftly to changes in aviation regulatory compliance."
Customers looking for cost-savings opportunities may want to pay special attention to MarkLogic’s second announcement of the day. The Toolkit for word is being released under the Apache 2.0 license. The Toolkit delivers a free, simple way for developers to combine native XML-based functionality in the MarkLogic Server and Microsoft Office Word 2007. Developers can build applications for finding and reusing enterprise content, enriching documents for search and analytics, and enhancing documents with custom metadata. The MarkLogic Toolkit for Word includes a pre-built plug-in framework for Microsoft Office Word 2007, a sample application, and a library for managing and manipulating Microsoft Office Word 2007 documents.
"While special-purpose XML authoring tools have been available to customers for years, they have traditionally been expensive, difficult for users to navigate, and require a large training investment," says Jason Monberg, vice president of product management, Mark Logic Corporation. "The introduction of Office Open XML formats and the emergence of XML servers have significantly upped the ante in how organizations can leverage XML capabilities across the entire enterprise."
According to Kreisa, users will see a windowpane pop up beside Word documents where they will be able to search documents, select text, drag and drop into a new document, and so on. "If that original document changes, the author of the new document…is told," he adds.
As customers search for more cost-effective solutions in hard economic times, MarkLogic’s model is positioning itself as an alternative to costly ECM. The company has always prided itself on its methods for keeping content flexible; now its business model is following suit.
(http://developer.marklogic.com/code/, www.marklogic.com, www.microsoft.com/sharepoint/default.mspx)