Wednesday, 4 May 2005

Industry Update No. 2: Objectify

Objectify describe themselves as a “young and innovative” Australian software company. They are based in Victoria and were established in 2000 around their core product, an XML-based Web Content Management System (WCMS). An AusIndustry COMET grant in 2001 and an R&D Start grant in 2004 has helped them to commercialise their product and the company now employs 22 staff.

I was particularly interested to meet up with Objectify because I had earlier received an unsolicited recommendation from one of their government users. Despite talk of moving to Open Source in the government sector, in this case a proprietary offering was seen as offering a better package of functionality, service and support. According to earlier e-mail correspondence I had with Objectify's CEO, Karina Heikkila, their clients include a flagship installation at the City of Greater Geelong council as well as a range of private and public organisations such as BankWest, Toll Holdings, and Sensis.

Jodi Barry
, Sales Manager at Objectify, was up in Sydney this week and she gave me a tour of the their new Objectify Enterprise Knowledge Management System (KMS). The KMS is part of a new Objectify Enterprise suite and the idea behind it is to provide a flexible repository where users can easily contribute and retrieve information.

At the moment the KMS product is still fairly new and I expect we'll see ongoing improvements in future iterations. Jodi explained that it was developed in part as a response to a need at Geelong council to provide staff with a customer service knowledgebase that could be shared across multiple sites. However, in looking at their architecture it is clear that the Enterprise suite is a natural progression for them. Possible applications suggested for the KMS range from using it as a skills register to storing procedures.

From an architecture perspective the core content management engine (that provides content management functions such as workflow and approval for the KMS) runs under Windows and was developed in .Net, while the control interfaces are designed with Internet Explorer (IE) 5.5 and above in mind. However it is probably important to emphasis that there is a very strong XML flavour to Objectify. While the KMS will come with prebuilt forms, savvy KMS administrators can edit the underlying XML schema and design content filters that can make the underlying data accessible to other parts of the Objectify suite and other applications. In that respect the KMS can exist along side another content management system as either a stand alone site or as a content source.

So if you're looking for content management system plus other functionality with a strong XML flavour then Objectify may be worth looking at. I'll stay in touch with Karina and Jodi from Objectify and will bring you further updates during the year.

PS Coming up in my next industry update I'll be reporting on a new product release coming from GMB in July.

Disclaimer: Information on this site is of a general nature. Please seek advice for specific circumstances. Unless otherwise stated, please assume that I have no commercial relationship with the vendors or products discussed.

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