Stopping the Presses
Network World discovers production automation in OpenPages.
When Michael Draper joined the staff of Network World—a Framingham, MA-based weekly periodical published under the International Data Group (IDG) umbrella—three years ago, his mission was clear. "My charge was to map out a course for using technology to improve operations and our competitiveness in the marketplace," Draper, Network World's vice president of systems and technology, recalls.
Draper began analyzing the publication's existing systems for managing intellectual property, commonly referred to as 'digital assets.' "We needed a system for managing our content from concept to distribution," Draper notes. Historically, Network World relied on standard-fare layout solutions such as QuarkXPress and PC Pagemakeup, although a robust system for asset management re-mained undeveloped.
The search was on
The search for an asset management system was prompted by a need to streamline operations and reduce cycle time. "We had spent a few dollars in late charges holding up presses," Draper confesses. Network World also sought an automated system for content distribution. "What we really needed to do was to prepurpose data, not repurpose it. … Once our content is published [in print]," Draper explains, "it is distributed to a variety of places," including newswire services. "It was a painful, 57-step process" to move the content, he adds. Eventually, Draper also hoped that the system would support the automated population of contnet to its Web site, www.nwfusion.com.
Draper discovered OpenPages, a comprehensive production tool developed by the Westford, MA-based software provider of the same name. OpenPages (www.openpages.com) offers publishers a relational database architecture that manages content from creation to archiving, to repurposing. The ODBC- (Open Database Connec-tivity) compliant solution serves as a repository for text, graphics, audio clips, video files, animation, page templates and frequently used scripts. Asset metadata is also recorded here, and the cross-