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Information about sommaruga

Published on October 25, 2007

Author: Esteban


Issues in Migrating to XML based Content Management for Academic Web Portal:  Issues in Migrating to XML based Content Management for Academic Web Portal Lorenzo Sommaruga DTI-SUPSI (University of Applied Sciences of Southern Switzerland), Manno Switzerland Content:  Content Content Values Why? What? Web (R)evolution Rationales for the migration from HTML to XML Analysis of the HTML web site How? Issues involved in the migration process from HTML to XML Conclusion Content Values:  Content Values This year's conference theme “Documenting the Future” Content Past = storing, history Present = dynamic Future = valuable assets Why? The Problem:  Why? The Problem Initial situation (< Oct.2003) ~ 3000 students (bachelors and post-graduates) and > 400 employees HTML web site: ~2000 static html pages 280 folders developed during 4 or 5 years by various authors (> 10) not consistent a collection of sites created and managed by different departments and institutes Why? “No craftsman thinks for himself!”:  Why? “No craftsman thinks for himself!” Sample proverbs “I figli del ciabattino camminano scalzi” = The shoemaker's children have no shoes “il fabbro ha lo spiedo di legno” Why? “No computer scientist thinks for himself!”:  Why? “No computer scientist thinks for himself!” Computer science university departments are expected to take benefits from the application of concepts, design models, architectures, and technologies usually taught in their courses Their value, capabilities, and competences can be shown through a well-designed web site "In the network economy, the web site becomes a company's primary interface to the customer" What? :  What? To reorganize the old web site Project a medium-large size university web portal using the XML technology for content management What? Paper Objective:  What? Paper Objective Analyse issues involved in the migration process from the HTML to the XML web site Web (R)evolution:  Web (R)evolution Current state of the web What is happening to the web? A real evolution and revolution Evolution – Where we are – Past+Present:  Evolution – Where we are – Past+Present Current Web net of information nodes connected each other by hypertextual links Initial idea built on the HTML language Tim Berners-Lee, invents the World Wide Web in 1990 Evolution – Where we go – Present+Future:  Evolution – Where we go – Present+Future Towards new frontiers for Representing and using hypermedia contents Efficient management of the huge informative mass rapidly generated on continuous change, dynamic easy of retrieval Evolution – Roadmap:  Evolution – Roadmap XML emerges (eXtensible Markup Language, 1998 as a standard content mark-up language Web services emerge for developing interoperable application on the net with standard languages for communication (SOAP) and service description (WSDL) … Semantic Web, RDF Evolution – Expectations:  Evolution – Expectations Effects of evolution are turned in terms of benefits in: information organization its search and retrieval $ $ Companies: $$ Revolution:  Revolution Innovation at the fundaments of the web, to its raw material Contents to be used in a revolutionary, different, and deeper way maturity of market interests, technologies, and infrastructures the need for machine that are able to understand and semantically elaborate contents the need for the semantic web Revolution – Machine oriented web:  Revolution – Machine oriented web Until now the web was oriented to humans The new web is oriented towards machines and programs very fast in making computations and logic deductions However, information is difficult to be retrieved on the web, and information quality and accuracy are very low Revolution – Separation of content from presentation:  Revolution – Separation of content from presentation Content managed and manipulated in web servers in order to be aggregated, filtered, elaborated, etc. and then presented in an always up-to-date way and optimized for the web consumer Focus on the concept of content: “content” is what there is inside a container container = the web page independently from how it is presented within the page, its style, colour, page position Rationales for the migration from HTML to XML:  Rationales for the migration from HTML to XML 1. A change 2. Advantages Rationales - 1. A Change:  Rationales - 1. A Change from simple information page editing (traditional web site) to a more complex process of content management taking into consideration the real user needs: navigating publishing checking information in a fast and easy way security and access control  who is allowed to see and publish contents how the information is presented on the web site what working flow functionalities are available to the intranet user Rationales - 2. Advantages:  Rationales - 2. Advantages XML based web content management: the separation of content from style  data interoperability with portable and re-usable contents the semantic markup  explicit meta information about the contents  makes possible an elaborated, more "intelligent" information treatment, setting both structural and content foundations towards a new "semantic" web where the Main goal is to "Transform all information into valuable assets." Rationales - The Site Usefulness:  Rationales - The Site Usefulness Reduced by some factors: content and presentation inconsistency  low homogeneity (various sub-sites) navigation disorientation not all departments has competences resources time to keep content updated Rationales - Solution Adopted:  Rationales - Solution Adopted A decentralized model to maintain the different sites in order to guarantee an appropriate autonomy level A centralized control for unifying the style  A content management system supporting XML Analysis of the HTML web site:  Analysis of the HTML web site Goal: identifying the main components, and evaluating the content updating issue Academic Web Site Modules:  Academic Web Site Modules From our analysis: Teaching (didattica) Research Services General information about the school ("SUPSI briefly") University live (“SUPSI live”) Frequency of Content Changes – Static:  Frequency of Content Changes – Static A small part of content can be considered static information in the module "SUPSI in breve" (SUPSI briefly) about: history mission location etc. Frequency of Content Changes – Occasionally:  Frequency of Content Changes – Occasionally A part changes occasionally: the organization chart lecturers' details etc. Frequency of Content Changes – Regularly:  Frequency of Content Changes – Regularly A part changes regularly: courses course timetable calendar some templates and administration documents (yearly or per term) Frequency of Content Changes – Frequently:  Frequency of Content Changes – Frequently Another part is newly generated on a week rate information in the module in "SUPSI live“: news events seminar announcements etc. In the existing SUPSI web site this dynamic part is the central part of the home page The current Web Site:  The current Web Site The current XML Web Site:  The current XML Web Site How? Development Platform and Implementation:  How? Development Platform and Implementation Apache Cocoon (v.2.1.3): XML open source web publishing tool Separation of concerns model Content delivery in multiple formats: e.g. HTML, WML, PDF, SVG, RTF, … How? Architecture Scheme:  Web Server HTTP Gateway Interface Application Server Servlet, ASP, JSP TOMCAT Cocoon XML Parser + XML Processor browser IE NS … Mobile WML Stampante PS,PDF … XML Schemas DTDs Templates C.I. pages XML+XSL Structures Content Processing (un- semi-) Structured Content Other search & query XML search (Lucene) RDF Descr. Resources Metadata How? Architecture Scheme Data Layer Logic Layer Presentation Layer How? Strategic Project Development:  How? Strategic Project Development Taking into account the XML potential the size of the school information system priority to modules with more dynamic content (> benefits) the school is more interested in the teaching module has been selected for starting the migration process The Teaching Module:  The Teaching Module A course management module in the new XML web site Added functionalities: PROTECTED access INSERTION of a new course DEFINITION of CURRICULA UPDATING of courses and curricula VISUALIZATION of courses The Teaching Module Protected Access:  The Teaching Module Protected Access access restricted to allowed people such as teachers or staff The Teaching Module Insertion/Updating:  The Teaching Module Insertion/Updating Insertion or Updating of a new course Definition of metadata about a course following Bologna’s model Entered by means of a validated form Stored via XML and Cocoon in the central DB of the school (Oracle) The Teaching Module Definition of Curricula:  The Teaching Module Definition of Curricula DEFINITION of CURRICULA by associating existing courses to semesters to an academic year, and to a curriculum E.g. Curric. Informatica Course DTI-PROG Sem. 1 and 2 Acad. Year 2003/04 The Teaching Module Visualization of Courses - HTML:  The Teaching Module Visualization of Courses - HTML Visualization of a course in a dynamic HTML page Note the PDF icon which links to the corresponding PDF format The Teaching Module Visualization of Courses - PDF:  The Teaching Module Visualization of Courses - PDF Visualization of a course in a dynamically created PDF page The Teaching Module Visualization of Curricula - HTML:  The Teaching Module Visualization of Curricula - HTML Visualization of a curriculum in HTML format The Teaching Module Visualization of Curricula - PDF:  The Teaching Module Visualization of Curricula - PDF Visualization of a curriculum in PDF format Versatility of contents Original data are the same as for the HTML page taken from DB into XML and transformed into different output format via Cocoon Issues involved in the migration process from HTML to XML:  Issues involved in the migration process from HTML to XML Basic issues involved in the creation and management of an XML based medium-large size university web site Issues – 1. Structure:  Issues – 1. Structure Structure of an academic web portal Often a collection of various sites Created and managed by different departments Each with its own content type and layout  Content and presentation inconsistency Low homogeneity and disorientation Issues - 2. Resources:  Issues - 2. Resources Different availability of competences resources and time in different departments to keep content updated  considerably reducing the global university site quality and usefulness Issues – 3. Content Management :  Issues – 3. Content Management The use of a CMS (content management system) to solve the previous issues implies changes in the content management process, web master role replaced by new distributed roles more focused on the content rather than on its formatting  different authoring process facilitated by masks or supported by user-friendly tools need for training people to adopt new tools  Publication process more straightforward Issues – 4. Project Management :  Issues – 4. Project Management making project managers aware of the XML potential and of the global management costs CMS implies an initial arise of cost for: re-organizing the information corpora training people to use new procedure and technologies initial costs are rewarded by the long term benefits of an easy maintenance and reuse  The difficulty is understanding the real benefits and long term effects Project rejections, low investments, etc. Issues – 5. Designing :  Issues – 5. Designing Designing homogeneous interfaces Corporate Identity  XML: separates content (.xml) from presentation (.xsl, .css) XSLT: filtering and transforming XSLT: multiple output format Issues – 6. Retrieving :  Issues – 6. Retrieving Providing appropriate end-user facilities for searching and navigating  XML: meta information added-value describes single pieces of content and their semantics Solid and durable contents  Markup COST Conclusions :  Conclusions Lessons learned from the migration process from the HTML to the XML SUPSI web site Lesson 1 :  Lesson 1 Migrating to XML is not only translating HTML to XML pages Implies using a CMS which exploits the XML format Particularly useful to manage dynamic content The case of an academic web site: most part of information changes occasionally or regularly Lesson 2 :  Lesson 2 Exploiting the XML format means: Reusable and portable contents Different views or presentations of the same content to different users or in different context Lesson 3 :  Lesson 3 Main Issues Summary difficulty in understanding the benefits and effects initial high costs need for new professional roles for web content management need for specific training  Delay in the development Questions :  Questions <THANK YOU/> Lorenzo Sommaruga DTI-SUPSI University of Applied Sciences of Southern Switzerland Manno Switzerland

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