Interwoven Launches Web Content Provisioning System

The new system features enhanced versions of Interwoven's OpenDeploy, which distributes content to Web servers and other destinations, and ControlHub, which simplifies change management, the process of coordinating changes to application code, content, and Web configurations.

The enhancements include a new versioning feature in ControlHub that provides "editions" or snapshots of applications at any point in time, so an application can be rolled back to a previous version if necessary. With the Sarbanes-Oxley Act requiring companies to audit and control changes to programs and data, versioning has become a sore point for IT departments.

Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Massachusetts, as a not-for-profit company, is not subject to Sarbanes-Oxley. But the IT department has accepted the responsibility for "not just managing change processes, but managing change itself," says Mark Farone, director of Web enterprise services. For example, after a new version of a Web server has been put into production, a programmer might make a change to the server logic without notifying IT operations. Using ControlHub, Blue Cross/Blue Shield can view snapshots of the server configuration and trace where the programming change occurred, says Farone.

Beyond controlling the quality of Web applications, the Content Provisioning Solution simplifies the process of managing change from development through production--a headache for a large company managing hundreds of Web applications. ControlHub aggregates changes made in both source-code systems such as Microsoft's Visual Source Safe, and target systems such as IBM's WebSphere and BEA's WebLogic application servers.

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Similarly, the system aggregates changes in content-management systems, either from Interwoven or other vendors such as Vignette Corp. When code and content changes are ready for staging, the new application is stored as an edition, and then distributed by OpenDeploy to target servers for testing and production. That provides big efficiency savings. Rather than deploying changes singly, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Massachusetts can deploy them in sets, Farone says.

ControlHub provides "a centralized and dynamic repository of Web applications, content, and configurations, which can then be pushed out to target systems," Farone says. "We lacked such a centralized mechanism previously; all we had to rely on were lots of models and best practices."

Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Massachusetts is in the process of implementing ControlHub. In the meantime, it's building its own form of versioning, which Farone calls "reverse deploy," that will let the company identify manual changes made to production systems.