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Lotus Content Management

Can Lotus' Web Content Management suite remedy the high price of Web publishing?

IT needs to cut costs, and IBM Lotus wants to help. But can Lotus' Web Content Management suite remedy the high price of Web publishing?

Lotus' Web Content Management suite combines Domino with the Aptrix Content Management Suite, from Sydney, Australia-based Presence Online.

By streamlining the Web content publishing and approval process, the software aims to reduce Web development costs and make content creators more productive.

Aptrix, which supports Domino, WebSphere and Java. looks like a good fit for Lotus' collaborative products. The Lotus Web Content Management suite includes (in addition to Aptrix) Domino, Domino.doc, Workflow, Sametime, QuickPlace the WebSphere application server, WebSphere Personalization, WebSphere Commerce Suite and Enterprise Information Portal.

An organization's size, and the number of IBM Lotus services it deploys, determines to final cost for the Lotus Content Management suite. Small companies may pay $50,000 for a single extranet, while large enterprise creating more sophisticated services for employees and customers can expect to part with $250,000 to $400,000.

"Those prices are competitive with those charged by more established vendors like Vignette and Interwoven," says Jo Ann Hackos, president of Comtech Services, Inc., a Denver, Colo.-based content management consultancy.

And there appears to be strong interest in Lotus' latest offer. In a recent on-line poll, 51% of Domino/Notes users said they were interested in Lotus' Web Content Mangement solution and were happy that it leveraged exitstinan alternate content management solution.

As for Aptrix, Notes and Domino shops already credit the company for reducing their development costs and boosting productivity.

Content creators using Aptrix at Albany, NY-based Albany International Corp., which makes equipment for paper manufacturers, have been posting Web pages directly to their corporate intranet for six months.

"[Aptrix] has already cut our Web development time in half," says Steve deFranco, manager of Internet systems at Albany International, "and that allows put our resources into areas other that basic -- even advanced -- Web design."

Aptrix's content mangement engine pushes content in and out of the Lotus Domino.Doc document management system and the WebSphere platform.

For example, a human resources executive at Albany International can open an Aptrix Web page form and select a style for his document from a drop-down menu created by the company's Web developers. Aptrix then formats the document, routes it for approval, and then publishes the approved item to the Web.

"The end user doesn't have to worry at all about formatting the document correctly -- Aptrix does all the work," deFranco says.

"When you're making everything from car bumpers to hamburger boxes," Goldberg says, "you need some form of content management."

Is your Web content growing stale? Try these links for more about content management and Lotus' content mangement strategy.

CIO: Ask the Expert - Keys to CM success
A contributor recommends "a thorough assessment of an organization's specific business application or processes" before selecting content management software.

Infoworld: Lotus and IBM muscle into content management
Lotus' Tom Libretto says Notes/Domino admins and developers have been asking for better controls for their Web publishing content. "In the past," he says, "they had to build home grown applications on Domino platforms. We though it was time to put together an offering for those folks."

SearchDomino: Lotus' content mangement solution: Many tools, one offering "I don't think we're late to the [content management] game," says Lotus' Mike Loria, in this conversation with SearchDomino's Jon Panker. "We're late from declaring early victory."

Internet Week: Content Management trims on-line fat
"Reeling from declining ad revenue, news media companies are turning to sophisticated content management systems to cut costs and generate new revenue from their online information," writes Jade Boyd.

Mark Baard is a contributing writer in Milton, Mass.

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