Front-end Alignment

Software providers offering best-in-class front-end systems abound. But does such a system exist? iSource wades through the hype to find out what is realistic to expect.


If there is a break in the cycle of round-trip data movement, then your supply chain falters and customers may take their business elsewhere. The prevailing terms for data movement within your company and between trading partners are EAI, or enterprise application integration; and B2BI, or B2B integration. According to Jeff Ernst, director of industry marketing at Open Market in Burlington, Mass., these two processes form the book-ends for the second front-end category: content management.


No 2: Content Drives Commerce


Not surprisingly, Ernst's company makes content-driven e-business applications, and, apparently, does it well. In 2000, and 2001, Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research named the company No. 1 in its Content Management eBusiness TechRankings.


The company says content comprises the digital assets of the firm. They include information about product and service offerings, such as feature lists, brochures, technical specifications and images. They also include information about how to select and service the goods, such as selection guides, buyer reviews, user manuals and safety sheets.


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