The trends that led Tim O'Reilly to sum up the new wave on the Internet as Web 2.0 have been both scary and invigorating to creators of content products.
In some ways it's a direct challenge to status quo (and print-centric) thinking. But can also be an invigorating shot in the arm to the innovators in the industry.
And it's among the innovators that we're starting hear about what people are calling Publishing 2.0.
At XML 2006, XQuery guru Jason Hunter talked about Publishing 2.0 and the idea that a new wave of content applications are taking center stage.
We see these new products meeting the challenge by giving people answers not links, putting content in context and workflows and working the content to create multiple, customized and personalized views of content.
And recently, Scott Lubeck, CTO of Harvard Business School Press, put some of his ideas about how publishers need to stop thinking about products, and start thinking about customers into a Publishing 2.0 list.
Here are some of Scott's bullets:
Audience of Many --> Audience of One
Print Objects --> Platforms
Products --> Solutions
IP protection --> IP extension
Company centric --> Network centric
Handcrafted --> Mashups and remixes
Clearly there is a lot facing content providers and, for people like Scott who can embrace change, it's a great opportunity.
Just like the content business faces challenges, the technology for content also can't stand still.
To that end, I'd like to add an item to the list:
Business Logic --> Content Logic
Since the start of the dot-com days, most content applications have been built with Business Logic implemented in a 3-tier architecture: a database, an application server and a web server.
In this model, Business Logic lumps all the real business items like user authentication and payments together with all the content related activity like content access, content processing and rendering.
And even though Java wasn't intended for content, people made it work with extensions, tricks and a bit of duct tape because there really was no other way to support the a real Internet applications.
But with the arrival of XQuery (now a standard!) and purpose built XML Content Servers like MarkLogic Server, there is now a real alternative.
XQuery is built for content. Working natively against content, XQuery is much more efficient than the text or tree based access to content a language like Java. It has extensive content functions and allows for the manipulation and generation of XML content.
A Content Logic architecture, contrasted with the standard 3-tier, looks something like this:
The key points are that the application server, where there can be a lot of complications and dependencies, is a lot thinner. And all Content Logic is done natviely against the content using XQuery to make for a much more efficient content development platform.
This makes an XQuery based Content Logic architecture based the ideal tool for quickly creating new content applications.
And as the businesses start to grapple with new the trends of Publishing 2.0, it’s nice to be able to reach into our new Content Logic toolbox and meet the challenge.