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Rhythmyx Brings Workflow, Process Efficiencies to VeriSign's Web Presence

  • July 01 2002, 1:00am EDT

REVIEWER: Len Mateo, Senior Webmaster Web Properties for VeriSign, Inc.

BACKGROUND: VeriSign, Inc. is the leading provider of digital trust services that enable businesses and consumers to engage in commerce and communications with confidence. VeriSign's digital trust services create a trusted environment through three core offerings ­ name services, authentication services and payment services ­ powered by a global infrastructure that manages more than 5 billion communications and transactions a day.

PLATFORMS: UNIX/Oracle Solaris 8.

PROBLEM SOLVED: VeriSign's Web properties include its main Web site,, international sites and secure extranets and intranets for customers and employees. As such, the company found itself duplicating much of its work efforts in managing its multisite Web presence. The major driver for selecting a content management system was to reduce this duplication of work and repurpose Web content throughout the organization in a more organized, efficient manner. VeriSign implemented Percussion Software's Rhythmyx Content Manager in January 2002. Rhythmyx solved our content management issues by giving control to the business users and freeing time for the Web development team.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: VeriSign now uses Rhythmyx to manage 12 sites. A recent project to expand a VeriSign intranet truly demonstrated Rhythmyx's strong functionality and capabilities. In just a few months, five content contributors expanded the intranet site from several hundred pages to 4,800 pages ­ more than a 600 percent increase in size! Rhythmyx really empowered the line-of-business users to assemble content into Web pages at a rate that previously wasn't possible. The 25 total VeriSign content authors who currently use Rhythmyx saw productivity increase tenfold in the first four months following implementation. In terms of functionality, Rhythmyx exceeds our expectations. One standout feature is the Developer's Workbench, a graphical application that developers use to build assembly applications, as well as change the look and feel of the system by dragging and dropping from HTML design tools. The Workbench also allows us to customize Rhythmyx as our Web development and content management needs change over time. Overall, we have been very impressed with Rhythmyx and its capabilities. The content management system has become an integral component of the growth and evolution of VeriSign's Web presence.

STRENGTHS: Rhythmyx's major strength is its ability to publish content from any source to any delivery device. The native virtual XML technology translates any content, regardless of repository type, and delivers it to any device. For VeriSign, which runs Rhythmyx on UNIX and Oracle Solaris 8 hardware platforms, this capability is extremely crucial to projects involving WAP phones and mobile Internet technology.

WEAKNESSES: XSpLit is a plug-in or utility that Rhythmyx uses to convert HTML into XML and XSL. XSpLit, which is transparent within the Developer's Workbench, doesn't allow users to see the new code being generated in XML and XSL. To view the new code, users must open XSpLit in a separate application. Eliminating this step would make it easier for developers to view and manage the new XML and XSL code.

SELECTION CRITERIA: Over a 10-month period, VeriSign evaluated 12 content management systems in a thorough selection process. Our developers were attracted to Rhythmyx because they don't have to know PERL to customize the system. Instead, they configure workflow and publishing through browser-based interfaces, create HTML through existing design tools and design content editors (forms for entering content) through a GUI. They can also extend the system further through nonproprietary Java and XML. In addition, Rhythmyx surpassed competing systems with its compressed database size and "lightweight" code, taking up just 10 percent of the space other CM systems would have required.

DELIVERABLES: The main deliverable Rhythmyx provides is the most important to our Web presence ­ HTML content and Web pages. Rhythmyx also gives us detailed audit trails that track workflow and help us identify specific bottlenecks in the content creation and approval processes.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Percussion's consulting and support staff went way beyond the call of duty with their efforts. The best part of working with the consulting, training and support staff was their ability to recognize the issue and deliver the solution in a timely manner.

DOCUMENTATION: The documentation was complete and understandable.

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