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Web Site Management Using XML: A Testbed Project

Summary

Publications & Results

Press Releases & News Stories

Partners

Funding Sources

Scope of Work

Related Web Sites

Related Information

Contact Information

Summary
As Web sites have grown in size, complexity, and prominence, Web site management, content management, cost, and accessibility have become growing concerns for government agencies. Despite the Web's promise for ease of use and access, creativity, and efficiency, agency managers and leaders are finding that their Web sites are increasingly presenting problems of inflexibility, inconsistency, bottlenecks, and new costs. Consequently, agencies are losing the ability to be responsive and flexible in providing new content or structure. And the costs of maintaining these Web sites have become prohibitive. Webmasters and system administrators have come to realize that the technologies and strategies used to build most Web sites are designed to produce individual Web pages. They do not provide a structure to easily maintain entire Web sites, keep them responsive to changing needs, or manage the workflow involved in Web content production and maintenance; nor do they facilitate the sharing and reuse of Web site content.

What is XML?

XML is generally understood to be a technology that supports effective data exchange between applications. However, XML has another value that is much less exploited or understood – it offers a viable long-term solution to many of the shortcomings of HTML because it structures and describes Web content in a meaningful way. As a technical strategy for managing Web sites, XML and associated organizational strategies offer: Despite these clear advantages, agencies confront many obstacles to the adoption and implementation of XML-based Web site management. These include the need for technical training and infrastructure readiness, but more importantly, the need for solid business case justifications, understanding the impact of organizational change, leadership buy-in, and a firm understanding of where to begin.

Publications & Results
Practical Guides (1)
Using XML for Web Site Management: Getting Started Guide
Using XML for Web Site Management: Getting Started Guide
Tue, 26 Sep 2006 >Download PDF
Despite the clear advantages of XML, government confronts many obstacles to the adoption and implementation of XML-based Web site management. By using the guide, government agencies can gain new insights into how they can benefit from XML and develop strategies to address the technical and organizational issues to get started.

Online Resources (1)
The XML Toolkit
The XML Toolkit
Mon, 17 Apr 2006
The XML Toolkit is a Web site product of CTG's Web Site Management Using XML: A Testbed Project, which served to assist New York State agencies in examining the benefits as well as the challenges of Web site management using the emerging technology of XML. It contains a library of XML resources and is intended to grow over time and benefit from the contributions of the online community.

Reports and Working Papers (2)
Using XML for Web Site Management: Lessons Learned Report
Using XML for Web Site Management: Lessons Learned Report
Fri, 18 Jan 2008 >Download PDF
This report is based on the lessons learned from CTG’s XML Testbed. The success of the Testbed rested on the enthusiastic participation of five New York State (NYS) agencies who committed to extensive hours of workshops, training, and prototype development. CTG extends its thanks to the NYS Department of Civil Service, NYS Division of Housing and Community Renewal, NYS Higher Education Services Corporation, NYS Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, and the NYS Office of Cultural Education, State Education Department. The Testbed was undertaken in partnership with the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations (GOER), the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO), and the Office for Technology (OFT).

Using XML for Web Site Management: An Executive Briefing on streamlining workflow, reducing costs, and enhancing organizational value
Fri, 1 Jun 2007 >Download PDF
Many of the new directions and developments on the Web have a basis in XML, which is becoming a critical technology for all types of information services. The features of XML emphasized in this Executive Briefing—open standard, reusability, technologically neutral—make it an ideal strategy for preparing for the future, while achieving efficiencies today.


Press Releases & News Stories
Press Releases

CTG Honored with Best of Web Award from NYS Forum
Mon, 11 Sep 2006

UAlbany’s Center for Technology in Government Unveils Online XML Toolkit for Government Agencies
Mon, 17 Apr 2006

Five New York State Agencies Present Results from UAlbany’s Center for Technology in Government’s XML Testbed
Wed, 25 Jan 2006

Testbed Project at UAlbany’s Center for Technology in Government Examines Using XML for Web Site Management
Wed, 05 Oct 2005

News Stories

Faster, Cheaper, Better 2.0
Public CIO
November 6, 2007

XML in Government: Promise and Politics
Information Week
March 20, 2006

New York XML testbed breaks new ground
Washington Technology
January 30, 2006

CTG's XML Testbed Project, Part 3
Open Forum
January 2006

CTG's XML Testbed Project, Part 2
Open Forum
November 2005

CTG's XML Testbed Project, Interview with Derek Werthmuller
Open Forum
October 2005

N.Y. looks to expand use of XML
Federal Computer Week
January 30, 2006

Web News and CTG Newsletters

Faster, Cheaper, Better 2.0
Public CIO
November 6, 2007

XML in Government: Promise and Politics
Information Week
March 20, 2006

New York XML testbed breaks new ground
Washington Technology
January 30, 2006

CTG's XML Testbed Project, Part 3
Open Forum
January 2006

CTG's XML Testbed Project, Part 2
Open Forum
November 2005

CTG's XML Testbed Project, Interview with Derek Werthmuller
Open Forum
October 2005

N.Y. looks to expand use of XML
Federal Computer Week
January 30, 2006


Partners
Government Partners

Corporate Partners

Funding Sources
The project was funded in part by the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations.

Original Scope of Work
In cooperation with the Governor's Office of Employee Relations, Office of the Chief Information Officer, and the Office for Technology, the Center for Technology in Government offered New York state and local government agencies an opportunity to participate in a Web site management Testbed. The Testbed was designed to assist government agencies in examining the benefits as well as the challenges of Web site management using XML.

The Testbed was not a technical how-to program about putting XML into operation, but a structured 18-month investigation to study best practices, work toward agency-defined practical goals, and build organizational capacity for better use of the Web.

Five NYS agencies were selected to participate in the Testbed: During the first six months, the five agencies participated in hands-on workshops, organizational analysis, and development activities. The result of this phase for each agency was a working XML-based Web site prototype and a business case analysis for the organizational and policy changes that would be needed to fully develop and implement a new Web site management approach within their agency.

In addition, this phase involved the collection of data through multiple research methods such as semi-structured interviews, surveys, and analysis of relevant documents.

This phase culminated in the presentation of the lessons learned by the five agencies as to their working XML-based Web site prototypes and their business cases for expanding their individual efforts within their agency.

During the next six months, drawing on the Testbed activities and the agency results, CTG produced a set of practical guidelines and case studies that drew on the experiences of Testbed participants to provide guidance for others trying to improve the management, performance, and value of their Web sites. In addition, CTG created a sharable library of XML technical resources, called The XMLToolkit (www.thexmltoolkit.org).

Project Activities

The Testbed started with a two-hour information session held on June 2, 2005 to provide those interested in submitting a proposal the opportunity to hear about the Testbed from the CTG project team. The presentation provided a project overview along with a discussion of what the specific proposal guidelines should be. Agencies then had three weeks to submit proposals. Five proposals were selected and the corresponding agencies were notified on July 6, 2005.

The Testbed involved a series of presentations, training sessions, workshops, and discussions to support the development of agency-specific prototypes:

Deliverables

The Testbed has two categories of deliverables:

Related Web Sites

Managing Content from Creation to Delivery with XML: Case Studies

http://www.idealliance.org/papers/xml02/dx_xml02/papers/ 04-03-03/04-03-03.html
Single-source information management with XML can represent a powerful solution to the challenges of creating, managing, and publishing content. While the transition from disconnected workflows based around unstructured authoring can be daunting, requiring changes to workflows across an entire enterprise, the rewards of a successful single-source implementation can be well worth the effort. Benefits can include more efficient content creation, easier access to information, and increased automation of publishing processes.

Introduction to Structured Content Management with XML

http://www.cmswatch.com/Features/TopicWatch/ FeaturedTopic/?feature_id=112
Organizations of all sizes are beginning to realize how content and its reuse across the enterprise can improve productivity -- and the bottom line. . . .At the heart of managing content for re-use, however lies the job of exposing the underlying structure of that information. This article is meant to serve as an introductory primer on how to define and use information structure when managing content.

An XML Primer by Larry Mongin

http://www.bloomington.in.us/~mongin/xml-tutorial/index.htm
Dated material (last revised in 2000), but still helpful for basic information on XML.

xml.com

http://www.xml.com/
A very comprehensive, authoritative, up-to-date source for all things XML (O’Reilly).

The Apache XML Project

http://xml.apache.org/#xmlsecurity/
Open source XML site with wide ranging information on developing standards.

webreference.com

http://webreference.com/xml/reference/standards.html/
Good quick reference for various XML standards and acronyms.

XML Standards and Vocabularies

http://www.service-architecture.com/xml/articles/
Good reference site for various industry-specific XML vocabularies.

XML Files

http://www.xmlfiles.com/xml/
Helpful, simple tutorials on XML topics; good place to learn XML.

World Wide Web Consortium

http://www.w3.org/
The primary source for all things web related.

XML FAQ

http://xml.silmaril.ie/
Another helpful site for answering basic XML questions.

OASIS

http://www.oasis-open.org/home/index.php
Standards body for DocBook and other XML-related activies; very technical but important.

XML Org

http://www.xml.org/
Covers industry-specific content on XML standards, hosted by OASIS.

XML Gov

http://www.xml.gov/
Covers XML use in government.

XML - The Site

http://www.softwareag.com/xml/about/glossary.htm
General reference site on XML; extensive glossary, article, expert opinions.

XML Hack

http://www.xmlhack.com/
Good news site for XML developers.

DevX

http://www.devx.com/xml
Another good site for XML application developers.

XML Files

http://www.xmlfiles.com/
Good articles for XML developers.

IBM’s XML Web Pages

http://www-130.ibm.com/developerworks/xml/
Loads of information on XML, helpful to newbies up to experienced programmers.

DocBook

http://www.docbook.org/
Official site for DocBook, including full documentation.

Microsoft’s XML Web Pages

http://msdn.microsoft.com/xml/default.aspx
Information on XML in the world of Microsoft.

Jakob Nielsen's Website

http://www.useit.com/
Jakob Nielsen is an author and known expert and resource on user interfaces, especially Web design strategy and Web usability

Related Information

Resources

NYS PROJECT MANAGEMENT GUIDEBOOK RELEASE 2
“The New York State Project Management Guidebook was developed to document a common methodology for managing projects in New York State government organizations and to provide guidance and advice to Project Managers throughout the life of a project. RELEASE 2 includes an enhanced Project Management Life Cycle as well as a System Development Life Cycle, the newest addition to Section III of the Guidebook. A list of enhancements and additions to the Guidebook can be found in Release Notes 2.”
http://www.oft.state.ny.us/pmmp/guidebook2/index.htm

New York State Project Management SDLC Templates Release 2
“The following Templates are provided in Word 97-2002 format for use by Project Managers. These templates may be copied or downloaded for your use or customization. Please refer to the Lifecyle chapters of the Guidebook for instructions on the use of each template.”
http://www.oft.state.ny.us/pmmp/guidebook2/ SDLCtemplates/index.htm

Articles

Costello, J., Werthmuller, D., and Apte, D. (2002). XML: A new web site architecture. Albany, NY: Center for Technology in Government. http://www.ctg.albany.edu/publications/reports/xml

Ethier, K. (2002). Managing Content from Creation to Delivery with XML: Case studies. Paper presented at the XML Conference and Exposition 2002, Baltimore, MD. http://www.idealliance.org/papers/ xml02/dx_xml02/papers/04-03-03/04-03-03.html

Ethier, K. (2004, Sept. 15 2004). Introduction to Structured Content Management with XML. CMS Watch, 5. http://www.cmswatch.com/Feature/112

Fichter, D. and Cervone, F. (2000). Documents, Data, Information Retrieval, & XML. Online, 24(6), 30-36. http://www.infotoday.com/online/OLtocs/OLtocnov00.html

Gilbane Report. (2002). The Role of XML in Content Management (Volume 10, No. 8): http://www.gilbane.com/gilbane_report.pl/82/ The_Role_of_XML_in_Content_Management.html.

Robertson, J. (2003). XML and Content Management Systems. Australia: Step Two Designs. http://www.steptwo.com.au/papers/kmc_xmlandcms/

Rockley, A. Reuse: A substantial Factor in Determining ROI for Content Management. Available: http://www.dclab.com/ann_rockley_roi.asp [2005, June 28].

Rockley Group. (2005). The Role of Content Standards and Content Management. 18. http://www.Rockley.com

Ryan, D. (2002). The Role of XML in Content Management. XML Journal (October), 6. http://xml.sys-con.com/read/40510.htm

Silver, B. (2005). Content in the Age of XML. Intelligent Enterprise. Available: http://www.intelligententerprise.com/ print_article.jhtml?articleID=163100779.

Contact Information
Center for Technology in Government
University at Albany, SUNY
187 Wolf Road, Suite 301
Albany, NY 12205
(518) 442-3892 (phone)
(518) 442-3886 (fax)
Donna S. Canestraro
Project Manager
(518) 442-5619