Inside Interwoven’s OpenDeploy

Flux supplies automated efficiency for content publication. Using Flux allows Interwoven to focus our precious resources to our core competencies. — Todd Scallan, OpenDeploy Product Manager, Interwoven

The United Kingdom’s largest retail grocer, Tesco, had a problem. How could their web team manage Tesco’s dynamic web site where thousands of products were changing every day? With hundreds of thousands of products, various teams making daily edits, and a demanding customer base, how could the Tesco web team handle keeping their site updated?

Interwoven, the leader in Content Infrastructure systems and services for the enterprise Web, had a solution. OpenDeploy, the “hidden jewel” of the Interwoven product suite, solves problems like Tesco’s for a diverse range of companies. Companies with high volume customer sites such as Tesco, Cisco, General Electric, and American Airlines rely on these web sites to distribute important and constantly changing information. Interwoven’s Senior Field Marketing Manager, David Abisia, states, “To gain efficiencies and stay competitive, our customers rely on us to provide a secure, automated means to deploy their content. As more companies rely on the Web to cost-effectively communicate their products and services, manual file transfers have become too tedious and error prone to provide a reliable method for site updates.”

Although OpenDeploy is marketed to every company with a web site, Interwoven finds a natural magnetism towards Fortune 500 companies. Because these companies are most likely to have fluid data and high volume customer sites, OpenDeploy is in high demand.
OpenDeploy allows content to be created, approved, and published on a scheduled basis. OpenDeploy sends approved file system content securely over firewalls so that companies can publish changing information to their customer sites quickly and efficiently. A built-in job scheduler controls scheduled data transfer from the “staging area” to the production site with an OpenDeploy GUI. Interwoven chose to embed Flux, the enterprise job scheduling component, inside OpenDeploy in order to give its customers a persistent database for recurring jobs.

OpenDeploy’s Product Manager Todd Scallan emphasizes that customers who are constantly changing their sites and adding sensitive material have to be particular about when certain information, such as press releases or financial documentation, is released. Scheduling allows the safe deployment of information, cutting out the chances of an early or erroneous release. Says Scallan, “An additional key element focuses on making our customers more efficient at performing recurring tasks in a flexible manner — whether the task is done every day at 4 pm or every third Tuesday.”

Data can also be transferred on an event driven basis. For example, when Tesco’s marketing teams decide on new imagery and submit the changes to the staging area, once approved the changes can be sent out automatically. OpenDeploy users can specify how content is deployed by either assigning the appropriate metadata or explicitly mapping content directories to production-side servers.

Solving an industry wide dilemma, different teams such as developers, marketers, salespeople, etc. can submit all of their changes immediately, not waiting for the IT team to finish each and every change. When the information comes together in the staging area, all the manipulated content can be approved and published promptly. When high volumes of changes need to be made, each department can take care of its responsibility and cut down the IT load and the resulting time sink. For dynamic, high demand web sites, this allows companies reduce time to market in the publishing of content and the content itself.

In turn, by working with Sims Computing, Interwoven has seen the benefits of embedding Flux. With an open and responsive vendor relationship, flexibility is maximized and problems and new functionality are addressed immediately, leaving Interwoven to worry about anything but scheduling. With a faster time to market, Scallan reiterates, “Using Flux allows Interwoven to focus our precious resources to our core competencies.”