Platinum Technology Ravels Web Infrastructure

Because many mission-critical Web sites, internal or external, are up and running before serious thought is given to managing them, Platinum Technology Inc. (Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., www.platinum.com) offers Raveler, a Web infrastructure management solution for enterprisewide Web implementations.

Raveler provides unified management tools for the Web content life cycle, including tools for creation, deployment, production and measurement.

"Raveler is part of a new class of products" says Steve Talleen, director at Giga Information Group (Cambridge, Mass.), covering the Internet and extranets. Users need a solution that will pull together all the loose pieces and have some way to manage everything collectively, says Talleen. Raveler automatically gathers Web site content and loads all content into the Raveler Repository. In the Repository, site components are stored individually, so content creators can reuse them.

In addition to gathering and storing content such as graphics, HTML and CGI scripts, Raveler also gathers and stores links among components on a Web site. Because all information about a Web site is located in the Repository, users can easily check what is on the site vs. what ought to be there, reuse components from other areas, and recreate a site by redistributing it to a server. "Raveler uses spider technology -- that’s what I like to call it -- much like AltaVista, so people don’t have to publish within the system," says Talleen. Technology like AltaVista gathers information that a person may want and then organizes it. Raveler grabs information in the same way and redistributes it to where it is needed.

Raveler can provide managers with a view of the Web workflow processes, enabling managers to monitor progress and control the transfer of information to and from sites. The product also provides real-time usage diagnostics and server management. Transitions between workflow steps, publications and distribution, and content gathering and content versioning can each generate appropriate levels of alerts to standard IT systems.

In addition, Raveler can track user and competitor Web site content and immediately notify users when changes to the site occur.

"Raveler can allow the user to see that another site has created a link to their Web site," says Ted Collins, senior vice president of advanced Internet solutions at Platinum Technology. This allows the authors to see "anyone who’s pointed at my site," according to Collins. This feature gives the user the opportunity to use this information to market toward those "hitters" and possibly gain customers, Collins says.

Raveler also allows users to be able to gather data on the changes of a competitor’s site and be able to analyze the data, using it as a strategic tool, says Collins. By being able to see into a site's changes over a period of time users can observe the changes of their own and competitors’ sites and monitor these changes, explains Collins.