Tag Archives: Content

Everything is content

In the Adobe® Digital Enterprise Platform (ADEP), everything is content, and content resides in a repository. There are no loose files somewhere else to manage. Source code, dynamic modules, configuration and even the state of an application reside side by side with marketing collateral, digital assets such as images, audio and video, etc. The content repository recognizes that “meta” is in the eye of the beholder.[1] Consequently, there is no justification to treat content (i.e. the file stream) and metadata differently.

Resource-first request processing in the ADEP Experience Server

Since the content repository consistently manages this diversity, the rich set of content services above the repository is uniformly available. For example, the resource-first request processing of the ADEP Experience Server[2] is equally available to traditional content such as Web pages and to applications such as a product configurator. By managing to a wide definition of content, ADEP can reduce the amount of code and effort required to deliver a solution.

Since ADEP provides a virtual content repository that easily connects with existing content silos in an enterprise, “everything is content” also means that any existing content is free to participate in serving customer experience (e.g. via marketing campaigns, customer communication, etc.).

Next: context is king.

Update 9/6/2011: The larger technical white paper from which this post was drawn is now available from the ADEP Developer Center as a PDF download. Please feel free to provide me with your feedback on that work here. Thanks in advance!

[1] Content management systems that treat files in a differentiated, somehow more valuable, manner miss the reality that often the metadata around the file has the real business value.
[2] At the core of the ADEP Experience Server is CRX technology that Adobe acquired from Day Software. More on the ADEP Experience Server in a future post.

(Re)Balancing atoms and bits

Several years ago, I blogged about how I winnowed atom-based content at that time. When I consider my increasingly digital life now, I smile at how out-dated that post seems.

Maybe some day I’ll let go of my hardcopy altogether and go 100% digital.

Almost two years after my winnowing (paper-based) content post, I briefly waxed sentimental about personal content management. Judging by that post’s imagery, I’m not sure how much “evolution” had actually occurred. I do know that the binders of paper were eventually tosed outright, but even a quick glance at my current technical library at home tells me that I have far from reached any “evolved” state.

As a visual person, I tend to value what I can see and tangibly interact with. Books present a particular challenge to me. A good book, in hard cover format especially, is immediately available to give to someone else as a loan or a gift (e.g. from one generation to the next). The same book in electronic format is more subject to the winds of technology (e.g. will there be a reader for this format? what all is required to actually read the book in terms of supporting hardware and software? etc.). On the other hand, if I took the time to bookmark or otherwise annotate paper, this could distract subsequent reading by others–electronic metadata should be more distinctly layered and separable from original content.

Given the choice between hunter or gatherer in a shopping context, I’m definitely a hunter. Put me in the middle of a men’s department or clothing store and I’ll happily panoramically scan the selection, deciding in mere seconds whether there is something for me (to killpurchase), or not. (Thankfully, my wife is my primary wardrobe consultant; so, my hunter instincts are necessarily balanced and muted. :-) ) However, as much as I may be a hunter over clothes, I am a serious gatherer of books and music. Places like Barnes & Noble and Borders love guys like me.

So, you might think that my struggle over books (i.e. physical or digital) is a struggle I have with music, too. Perhaps, but I think that my music-as-content evolution is a bit more “advanced” and, therefore, may be informative.

Although I still buy physical CDs more than digital downloads, all of my music is immediately rendered in digital format and almost entirely consumed digitally thereafter. Going “essentially digital” has enabled me to take full advantage of classification software (e.g. MusicBrainz, freedb, etc.), playback software (e.g. Apple iTunes, Microsoft Zune, etc.), recommendation engines like Pandora, etc. and also various playback hardware (e.g. an Apple iDevice, laptop, PC, etc.). If I read the liner notes for an album, I do so once (typically after unwrapping the CD). From then on, interaction with music is based on bits rather than atoms (the occasional CD play through my high fidelity entertainment system notwithstanding).

Perhaps with the advent of The Undesigned Web, software like Instapaper, and hardware like iPad, etc., my interaction with reading material will tip to become predominantly digital. Certainly, as I use the Read Later feature of Instapaper, I find it to be a digital equivalent to my paper-based content winnowing approach from years ago. (Tapping into familiar workstreams is always an effective catalyst to change my behavior.)

…if I did go digital my office would be too Spartan.

Actually, I think another contributing factor to my attempt at balancing the gathering of atoms with gathering bits instead is the fact that there is limited physical space to house either. Today, it’s not really a concern over becoming Spartan, it’s about using limited wall and desktop space to display physical items of the greatest value (e.g. family photos, art, sculpture, etc.).

Just like I’m able to visualize the “height” (or “depth”) of, say, my iPod (i.e. the number of digitized albums stored in terms of a stack of CD cases), I’m beginning to visualize my iPad in a similar manner (i.e. in terms of the stack of print magazines and books available electronically instead). Virtually speaking, such devices “fill a room.”

Who knows, I may just have to invest in my own book scanner to help free up some shelf space… :-)

When content meets apps, Berlin edition

Thanks to everyone at Day Ignite Berlin 2010 who came to the technical track session that I presented this afternoon. In order to keep the conversation going, I’ve uploaded this presentation as follows:

During this presentation I recommended that you consume my “Realizing great customer experiences with LiveCycle ES3″ presentation from Adobe MAX 2010, if you’re interested in more details about the architecture and capabilities of LiveCycle ES3. You will find that presentation here.

I also asked you to consider downloading and installing Adobe Enterprise Café. Café, as we like to call it in Adobe, helps you stay in touch with the enterprise community, receive news, find information and aggregate content related to Adobe LiveCycle ES (Enterprise Suite), Acrobat, Connect, ColdFusion, the Adobe Flash Platform, and (since its v1.5 release) the Omniture community. Targeted at the general developer ecosystem, Café is the one tool you need to search across the entire community knowledge base and stay in touch with the Adobe teams. Furthermore, the Café is hard at work to integrate the Day community as well. However, you don’t need to wait for that new version of Café; you can install Café today and when the Day community is integrated, you’ll receive that update the next time you launch the Adobe AIR application.

When I presented this session with Alex Choy in Chicago, Irina Guseva of CMS Wire published her thoughts on the session: “Apps as Content, or How Day and Adobe May Fit Together.”

When content meets applications

Thanks to everyone at Day Ignite Chicago 2010 who came to the technical track session that Alex and I presented–especially those who stood the entire time in a packed room.

In order to keep the conversation going, I’ve uploaded this presentation as follows:

We’re very excited at Adobe about the opportunity to work with those at Day Software as fellow colleagues. By working together with you, we believe that great things will emerge from the unified delivery of content plus applications.

P.S. If you’re not already watching the #dayignite tweetstream, why not? ;-)

Update 10/18/2010: Irina Guseva published her thoughts on this presentation on CMS Wire: “Apps as Content, or How Day and Adobe May Fit Together.”

Update 10/22/2010: Presentations from Day Ignite Chicago 2010 are appearing here. Presentations that will also be delivered during Day Ignite Berlin 2010 won’t appear on Slideshare until after both events have concluded. (That being said, you can see a thorough write-up of David Nuescheler’s presentation here.) Event photos from Chicago are here.

Update on 10/27/2010: The message first delivered in Chicago around the unified delivery of content and applications was expanded upon in Los Angeles at Adobe MAX 2010, and that presentation is now available here.

Mind mapping

Recently I blogged about Mindjet MindManager and how this application has enabled me to realize the value of mind mapping. Well, until all of my colleagues become licensed users of this software, the folks at Mindjet Labs recently provided a useful bridge to the world of open source in the form of an integration for FreeMind. This integration allows a FreeMind user to import FreeMind maps into Mind Manager Pro 6. So now my colleagues can immediately install this Java application–on Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, etc.–to start producing mind maps, which can be freely consumed in MindManager. Kudos, Mindjet Labs!

Update 1/30/2006: FreeMind can import to MindManager X5 maps, too. So, with the Mindjet Labs integration and a willingness to not rely on version 6.0-exclusive map artifacts, this is a round-trip solution!

Update 2/9/2013: Apparently MindManager is now called Mindjet for Individuals.