Vignette Upgrades Offer J2EE, Tracking

Company's upgrading of content syndication, aggregation servers will unburden data providers.

In a move to provide an end-to-end content management and delivery system, Vignette Corp. this month released new versions of its content syndication and aggregation servers.

Vignette Content Syndication Server is used for content that a customer owns and wants to sell or provide to others. Vignette Content Aggregation Server gathers information from anywhere on the Web or from back-end systems. The content can then be pulled together through partnerships or by pointing the tool at a specific URL.

The new versions support Java 2 Enterprise Edition and work with any J2EE-compliant application server.

New in the syndication server is a system management console that allows users to track and manage subscribers, offers and content packages. The aggregation server has added management features so users can make sure they are getting the expected results.

Customers said the products will help them improve content management processes.

"Our need was to automate a large number of processes around collecting data and making that as efficient and reliable as possible within our own organization, without placing burdens on the suppliers of the information," said Dave Eisenlohr, vice president of engineering for TestMart Inc., in San Bruno, Calif.

TestMart, which buys, sells and leases testing and measurement equipment, is using Vignettes aggregation server. "We chose Vignette for those tools, plus some tools around content management as a whole," Eisenlohr said. "Those [were] coupled to the point where we wouldnt have to integrate multiple products together."

Another customer, which is implementing the aggregation and syndication servers along with other Vignette products, is iStarSystems Inc. The company, which provides private marketplaces for the automotive aftermarket, chose Vignettes products because of their completeness and good development environments, said Chuck Emery, director of solutions strategies for iStarSystems, in Irvine, Calif.

The products allow iStarSystems to "populate catalogs as necessary and resyndicate [them] out to other catalog providers," Emery said. Previously, suppliers had to do their own catalogs. "That becomes a very expensive and time-consuming process for them," he said.

"This is important for Vignette because it addresses the need for integrating all types of information and digital assets into a content management environment," said Leif Pedersen, vice president of products at Vignette, in Austin, Texas.

Pedersen said the products enable users to create portallike experiences for their customers. For example, banks could provide a unified view of all a companys holdings, regardless of where the data resides.