FW: Mainstream SGML - Mary Laplante

>From: 	sgmlinfo@boulder.ileaf.com[SMTP:sgmlinfo@boulder.ileaf.com]
>Sent: 	Friday, September 13, 1996 8:34 AM
>To: 	sgmlinfo@avalanche.com
>Subject: 	Mainstream SGML - Mary Laplante
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>  The following article is reprinted with permission from the
>  weekly analysis published by the Document Software Strategies
>  Service at CAP Ventures, copyright (c) 1996 by CAP Ventures.
>			  Mainstream SGML
>Two weeks ago, Bill [Zoellick] began a discussion regarding the
>relationship between the markets for SGML and document
>management.  His piece previewed a detailed analysis that will
>be included in the series of reports on our 1996 compound
>document management research.  Microstar Software's
>announcements regarding Mainstream SGML for Content Management
>at this week's Seybold conference give us an opportunity to
>continue that discussion and to examine one of the market
>realities facing the vendor and user communities.
>Mainstream SGML is an architecture for deploying information
>management and publishing applications that are designed to hide
>the complexity of SGML.  The basic concept isn't new: let users
>interface with off-the-shelf application software that is
>capable of dealing with structured information in a reasonable
>way, then use transformer scripts to do the complex processing
>on the back end.  The architecture has three components:
>     -  front-end document creation systems that are "author-
>	centered."  The idea is to generate a user-friendly
>	version of a complex DTD and to map it to a
>	word-processing template, or "authoring model."  The
>	model enables guided authoring with familiar desktop
>	tools.
>     -  a repository for storing the documents.
>     -  transformation tools that can generate fully-compliant
>	SGML documents, HTML documents, or files for publishing on
>	CD-ROM or paper.
>What makes Mainstream SGML interesting are its timing, the
>partnerships that support it, and Microstar's positioning of its
>own products and technologies within the architecture.
>Microstar has announced Mainstream SGML at a time when the user
>and vendor communities are getting serious about addressing the
>issue of SGML's complexity.  We have long acknowledged that
>implementing SGML is hard, that the initial investments are
>significant, and that payback is over the long term.  But it
>seems that only recently has the reality really sunk in. SGML
>must become easier to implement and use in order to sustain and
>grow the market for tools and technologies that support it.
>With Mainstream SGML, Microstar and the program's partners are
>formalizing these issues.
>And about those Mainstream SGML Solutions Partners:  announcing
>relationships this week were Adobe Systems, Documentum, and
>InfoAccess.  Adobe brings SGML and non-SGML authoring and
>publishing systems to the party, along with page-oriented
>document distribution.  Documentum's EDMS provides content
>management capabilities, and InfoAccess delivers HTML conversion
>with HTML Transit, a product that's doing very well for the
>company at the moment.  These partners bring credibility as well
>as functionality to Mainstream SGML.  In turn, Mainstream SGML
>gives them an SGML story while maintaining their positions as,
>well, mainstream technology suppliers.
>What's in it for Microstar?  Software licenses, primarily.  The
>company's Near & Far Author for Microsoft Word will be offered
>as a front-end authoring system, and Near & Far Designer, its
>graphical tool for creating the authoring models, is a key
>component of deploying a Mainstream SGML system.  As an open
>architecture, however, users can plug in a variety of word
>processors, even Adobe's FrameMaker.  The Designer product is
>unique, though, and should go along with any system
>Microstar also stands to benefit from being recognized as the
>originator of an initiative to really move SGML into the
>mainstream.  The big question, of course, is whether or not the
>users and the vendors will buy into the program.
>				       -- Mary Laplante
>Thanks, Mary.
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