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NCompass' Resolution changes course of Web publishing by separating content from format

By Christy Walker
PC Week Online

November 16, 1998

New software from ncompasslabs inc. separates Web content from Web format for better control over Web documents and publishing.

NCompass Resolution 2.0, the first official rollout of the Vancouver company's Web publishing application, is due to ship by year's end. It enables users to manage thousands of Web pages and serve up different views depending on the audience and format, officials said.

Geared for Web sites that publish more than 1,000 HTML pages, Resolution 2.0 separates Web publishing into layout and content.

Using any HTML design tool and NCompass Resolution Client, Web designers can create reusable Web page templates to define the style, layout and behavior of the pages. Content authors or users then add content to templates, which are stored in the NCompass Resolution Database--a repository that uses a relational database and a file system to store content.

One early user looked to Resolution when his company wanted an easier way to publish documents on the Web.

"We had a desire at our company to push content ownership out to the user community or those providing that content," said Ted Bach, manager of Internet technologies at Chicago-based General American Transportation Corp. "We wanted to create a sense of ownership and an ease of use ... to let them use whatever [Web] tools they wanted."

When browser users hit a Resolution-supported Web site, the NCompass Resolution Server dynamically presents a page to the user. Multiple templates can be associated with a single page so that different views can be assembled based on individual users and display devices, officials said.

Content in Resolution 2.0 can also be customized for different browsers and devices, including personal digital assistants, such as 3Com Corp.'s PalmPilot, or Web TV, officials said.

The Minacs Group Inc., of Pickering, Ontario, plans to evaluate Resolution 2.0 and is particularly interested in the application's ability to show dynamic information to individuals based on privileges.

"We need a quick means of getting information across the network for everyone who needed it at the right time and in the approved format," said Michael Harrison, Minacs' directory of quality.

NCompass Resolution 2.0 is priced at $39,000 and includes 10 author seats, two designer seats and a basic template package. The software runs on Windows NT and supports Microsoft Corp.'s SQL Server.

The company can be reached at (604) 606-0950 or www.ncompasslabs.com.


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