End users gain more control over Web Sites

Companies looking to give employees the power to update corporate Web sites now have the ability to upload changes from home. ISPs who have installed InterTwain FE 4.0 can offer end users the opportunity to change photos, charts and other graphics.

Victoria-based NewHeights Software Corp. has made HTML unnecessary for end users whose Web Site provider has InterTwain.

Mike Boorman, a Victoria realtor, said he would be lost without the program now. “Basically, with very little computer knowledge, I’ve been able to update my site,” Boorman said. “I can go with my digital camera, take pictures of homes and have them up on the site within minutes.”

Andrew Olive, western sales manger at NewHeights, said this tool will allow Web hosting and ISP companies to give their users the functionality of updating their Web Sites themselves.

“It allows the hosting companies to build templates using HTML, while the end user fills out a form and once that’s submitted, it creates a new Web page based on the template,” Olive explained.

His favourite feature is the image capture piece, which lets end users acquire images from a twain device or from their file system.

“We can do a twain acquire, meaning we can access the images directly form the device without first having to save them to the hard drive. That image upload is also controllable,” Olive said. “We can impose any of the business rules that the implementer would like to have on the image upload itself.”

For example, a company may want to limit the size of images that will be uploaded. “You can impose those business rules upon the image upload, so the Web Site is not going to have five [megabyte] images.”

Andrew Waitman, a general partner at Kanata, Ont.-based Celtic House, said NewHeights improved on the simplicity of the product.

“There are a lot of people out there who would like to change their Web sites, or have Web sites, but the tools out there are too hard to use,” Waitman said. “Their stuff makes it dirt easy.”

Olive stressed that the software will not build a Web Site, but allow users to update their own sites with ease, without having to contract back to the design company.

“For those pages on the site where [users] want to have dynamic content based on a standardized format, this will allow them to update it on a regular basis,” Olive stated.

Boorman suggested one change to the product: give end users the ability to change the template. Olive, however, countered limiting such ability ensured the user could not “screw up the Web Site, which is an issue anytime you give people FTP access.”

Olive noted that end users will need to have a Java-compliant browser, either Netscape 4.06 and above or Internet Explorer 4.0 and above.

InterTwain server software is priced at $2,500, with a per license fee of $100.