By Michael Caton  |  Posted 2006-05-08 Print this article Print

Sant Suite On-Demand 7.2 includes four applications: ProposalMaster, Presentation-Builder, RFPMaster and ProSearch.

We used ProposalMaster and PresentationBuilder to control the creation and distribution of documents and presentations in our tests. We used ProSearch—a client-side plug-in application for Microsoft Word, Excel and Outlook—to search the Sant Suite document database.

RFPMaster offered us a set of tools that took an RFP document, parsed the questions and searched the Sant Suite document database for potential answers. RFPMaster also provided a workflow that let us assign RFP questions to specific staffers and follow the progress (or lack of progress) as questions were answered.

Most users will spend all their time accessing the system from Microsoft Internet Explorer. (Sant Suite 7.2 works only with Internet Explorer Version 5.5 and up.)

For the main user interface, Sant Suite uses an ActiveX-based control that strips away IEs look and feel and substitutes a thick-client-like interface that manages access to Sant Suite elements, such as the content library and the administrative tools.

Internet Explorers security problems continue to multiply. Click here to read more. Although the Sant Suite 7.2 interface will be new to users, we believe most people will be able to master Sant Suite 7.2 with just a couple of hours of training. Even so, Savo Groups service illustrates that a pure Web interface can be as efficient to use as a proprietary one and as easy to learn.

Underneath Sant Suite 7.2s interface covers, the IE requirement is a drawback. Not only does it lock out non-Windows clients, but administrators will need to modify IEs security settings to add Sant Suite to trusted sites and allow scripting and ActiveX.

Nonetheless, we liked the way Sant Suite 7.2 effectively divided content management between two main interfaces: Library Editor and Library Architect.

Library Editor is the component used to actually upload, create and organize content. Library Architect is where we created and managed the underlying workflow and content structures, such as defining what kinds of documents and presentations would reside in the system.

The latter component also manages system variables for automating the insertion of variable content, such as customer and company name. For example, we could create a workflow and forms for personalizing a letter, or we could point to content outside the system, such as in a spreadsheet, for managing proposal pricing.

Sant Suite 7.2 has two client-side components—the aforementioned ProSearch plug-in, as well as a Microsoft Word plug-in for the RFPMaster component. We liked that both plug-ins can be distributed remotely.

Next Page: Evaluation Shortlist


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