Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Product Vision

Ron Avnur, Director of Engineering and Andy Feit, Senior VP of Marketing, are up now with a little bit of product history. Mark Logic is based on the idea of what you can do with the inherent flexibility of XML. "If you can mark it up, we can query it...If we can query it, you can deliver it."
You can deliver your vision is the marketing message. The vision for your content and its use can be made real in the confines of XML and XQuery.

In the initial release of Mark Logic's product, they would take your schema (whether malformed or not) and put it into a W3C standard (XQuery) which had the ability to retrieve and render.

The second generation of the Mark Logic Server dealt with formats and meta-data and high precision aspects of search (stemming, wild-cards, etc) and improved scaleability.

The 3 series of Mark Logic Server focused on the mark-up of more formats (PDF, MS Office, other linguistic capabilities) Analysis of the data was enhanced through the use of Lexicons and Frequency Analysis. Fields, highlighting, debugger and profiler were improvements for purposes of delivery. An XML repository, powerful search and analytics, and a platform for content applications.

In discussing the future of the Mark Logic server, they seem to be talking about trends in terms of client requests for new mark-up functionality for concept and entity extraction, visualization tools, and content mining as well as industry emphasis on standardizations. How do we cope with user-generated content, including ratings and comments contributed by external parties. There are changes taking place in content creation, the explosion in volume of content, and the emphasis on embedding different versions of content in workflow, dependent upon the individual role or task at hand.

The next version of MarkLogic (4.0) which is due out in the third quarter of this year is engineered to respond to these new trends and better serve customers. I don't want to reveal too much in this context but the improvements being discussed seem entirely practical and useful for any organization serving knowledge workers. Additional delivery enhancements, understanding usage through analytics, marriage of geospatial data with text are all referenced. Improved security, more automation of specific kinds of activity in working with the XML and control. The current slide has buzz words like enrich, manage, mirror, re-use as part of the cycle of pushing the content through the Mark Logic Server out to the user as best suits the provider of that content and data. I need to get some additional background on what this signifies before I try to express it here. Entity enrichment, administrative enhancements and accelerated development of applications and services can sometimes involve complexities that I (as a non-technical person) don't always grasp.

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