Macromedia Grows Web Publishing System

The update, which includes Macromedia 3.1 and Macromedia Contribute Publishing Services 1.1, features a new RSS (Real Simple Syndication) tool that notifies users when sites have changed and posts them to any RSS reader or aggregator. Other enhancements have been made in the scalability and administration of the suite, said Craig Barberich, a senior product manager with the San Francisco-based company.

"This version is focused on the enterprise," said Barberich. "What happens when you have 1,000 users of a Web publishing system, or 4,000 users? All of our efforts have been on what happens when you grow [publishing] to that level."

Web Publishing System (WPS), which relies on Contribute as the end-user's interface, also now includes tighter integration with Macromedia's Breeze e-learning/e-training presentations, a wizard-based interface to connect WPS with LDAP and Active Directory, and improvements in how it integrates with Microsoft Office applications.

The new version also debuts a staging server/live server feature that uses a Web service application to automate moving content from a pre-production, or staging server, to the actual live server. Management of sub-sites, common within corporate intranets, has also been improved, said Barberich.

Sponsored post

Since WPS's release last year, Barberich said, some 200 companies and 360,000 users have turned to the system. Among recent additions was the Mayo Clinic, based in Rochester, Minn.

"The Clinic wanted a space for doctors to share information about their discoveries," said Barberich, "but after investing in a content management system and spending $1 million, they were lucky to have 15 doctors using it, even though they'd paid for 500 seats."

The Mayo Clinic installed WPS as a pilot program with 20 doctors, which quickly grew to 40, then 200, and today counts 400.

"People are beginning to realize that traditional content management systems don't address the average user," said Barberich. "They want simple apps to allow them to collaborate."

But he denied that WPS, and its cornerstone Contribute, is solely about collaboration. Instead, he pitched the idea that Web publishing is something everyone will have to learn sooner or later, a claim as old as the Internet and HTML.

"Web publishing is something we'll all have to learn, just as we all learned word processing," Barberich said. "We'll all have to learn how to create a page and share content via pages."