Content Landscape Expanding

Management vendors bolster offerings to handle a wider range of files

Content management software developers Gauss Interprise Inc., Vignette Corp. and Documentum Inc., among others, are moving to provide more complete offerings that they say can meet companies needs to manage Web pages, documents and all other content.

Gauss last week introduced a strategic relationship with BEA Systems Inc. to embed BEAs WebLogic application server in Gauss VIP (Versatile Internet Platform) enterprise content management software. This will enable Gauss, the U.S. subsidiary of Gauss Interprise AG, of Hamburg, Germany, to offer a single, Java-based solution for management of portals, Web content, documents and workflow.

Separately, Vignette, of Austin, Texas, this month will announce Version 6 of its namesake content management suite, which introduces applications for personalization and analytics.

Documentum late last month announced its eContent Services for Portals. The software will relieve integration headaches for companies looking to combine their content management software with other vendors portal software, said officials, in Pleasanton, Calif.

These companies arent alone in their race to provide for customers information management needs by expanding their solutions with function and integration capabilities. FileNet Corp. announced a move into collaborative applications in late July. And Divine Inc. is rapidly building through acquisitions a suite of applications that combines content management with customer interaction management and collaboration.

Version 8.0 of Gauss VIP, due Oct. 1, has document, portal, content and workflow management applications built around a content repository with XML (Extensible Markup Language) connectors to collaboration, enterprise resources planning, personalization and e-commerce applications.

The product also features VIP Content Miner, a semantic search engine, and VIP Content Director, a natural language business rules engine, as well as a number of administrative and performance improvements.

Integrating disparate vendors applications has been a lot more work than anyone anticipated, said Corby Leinauer, technology solutions architect at Maritz Inc.s incentive services division in Fenton, Mo. For that reason, Leinauer said Gauss strategy of delivering a unified content management suite with connectors to ease integration with other e-business applications makes a lot of sense.

"The most important thing is ease of integration, whether its with other vendors applications or other Gauss applications," Leinauer said.

Maritz already uses a VIP module for Web content management and is considering Gauss for portal management as it looks to extend its content management applications beyond its corporate intranet to an extranet and to clients Web sites.

The state of Michigans eMichigan office, meanwhile, has turned to Vignettes Enterprise Application Portal, an application package released in May that includes content management, integration and analysis applications.

"We want to provide information and consolidate online all the services the state provides," said Peyman Zand, deputy director of the eMichigan office, in Lansing. "We can give access within three clicks to all that information."