Watchfire Corp. last week released a revamped, consolidated platform for analyzing Web site content for quality issues.
Watchfire, with its WebXM framework, sits between site performance measurement companies such as Mercury Interactive Corp. and content management companies such as Vignette Corp., which provide tools to create, organize and publish content.
"We arent involved in creation or organization control. We have software to analyze whats going on within the content infrastructure to identify overall site health issues," said Mike Weider, founder and chairman of the Ottawa company.
Few, if any, competitors offer the comprehensive approach to testing a Web site for content issues, said Kurt Schlegal, an analyst at Meta Group Inc., in Stamford, Conn. "Some competitors do broken links; others focus on privacy or various areas. Theyre one of the few that do a lot of it. They are still a very small vendor, but they have a good story to tell," Schlegal said.
Watchfire, which boasts Dell Computer Corp., Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co. and Cable News Network LP among its customers, targets companies with large, extensive Web sites. Web XM automates functions that many such organizations attempt manually.
"Companies send people to manually click on every page to see if things are working right," Weider said.
WebXM automatically searches for broken links to Web applications, checks for navigation issues and searches for inconsistency in the design templates of the site. It can also be used to assess whether a site is consistent with stated privacy or security policies.
The WebXM framework, which can tie in to other systems for content management or infrastructure management, is designed to help big companies consolidate and rationalize large-scale Web sites that were created by many groups within the organization.
"Many of our customers have several hundred sites. ... They may have 10 million documents spread across all these Web sites, and they may not know what they own," Weider said.