Tuesday, October 6, 2009

RSuite User Conference - 10/6/2009

I'm attending the 3rd RSuite users conference in Philly today, by invitation of Really Strategies' Lisa Bos. I've been tracking RSuite since its inception a few years ago - the idea of a decent CMS based on Marklogic always hit me as a good niche product and by all indicators, RSuite is a success, especially in light of how many CMS offerings there are in the world.

I'm here for the technical track - to learn more about how to write customizations for RSuite - I'm a developer afterall. But the Keynote from Howard Ratner (CTO, Nature) is an excellent intro to what comes after CMS.

Nature is using RSuite as an integration tool between various pub tools and the Marklogic content repository. In the Keynote, Howard makes excellent points about the need for content classification, which (of course) is why I'm writing about it! Nature is using a mixture of automated content recognition tools and editorial tools. Also mentioned open search technology - search widgets that create a viral access to the Nature content. One very interesting thing Howard talks about it the "Work Arounds" that are developed because either the content or the technologies don't do the exact job needed. What is the cost of these?

Lisa Bos then gave us a demo of the current version of RSuite. Nice clean and simple to use browser-based GUI. New features include Digital Asset Management, Workflow Configuration, editing (in oXygen and XOpus - one of my fav XML editors). But, IMHO, where's the beef? What does this have that free/open-source solutions (like Alfresco and/or eXist) don't? Or, for that matter, our own Tractare? Other new features - search enhancements, reporting, GUI customizations, better API and the ever needed performance improvements.