Revize 2.0 brings non-techies into Web picture

The biggest advantage to the newly released Revize 2.0 Web site maintenance software from Idetix Inc. is the ease with which end-users can now update Web content.

That, and the Web developer’s ability to delegate tasks to individuals from departmental areas other than IS to update content within a controlled process, said Joseph Becker, graphic designer, interactive media design, at Ford & Earl Associates Inc. in Troy, Mich.

Built in Java, Revize is a platform-independent content management and Web site maintenance software tool that allows webmasters to design templates that enable non-technical users to update the company’s Internet, intranet or extranet without altering the site’s format or even knowing HTML.

“They get a quick and easy way to contribute their information without getting bogged down in any Web technology details. At the same time, [it] provides some kind of maintainable framework so that the people in charge can keep control of the issues they’re concerned with – the structure, the sight and control over the contribution process, but not the content itself,” said Glenn Josefosky, director of product strategy at Troy, Mich.-based Idetix.

The first upgrade to Revize since the introduction of Revize 1.2 over a year ago, 2.0 now features an improved installation process and installer, customizable Web components that facilitate integrated editing controls, a Module editor for remote development of modules, a new File upload feature and “Turbo-Client” client-side install.

In the past, Josefosky explained, there were different installers for the multiple platforms which ran the Java-based product. Now, there is a common GUI-based installer for all platforms.

Other significant enhancements are the File Upload which allows individuals to contribute graphics right from the interface and the optional client-side install software, which benefits people connecting over slow dial-up connections, Josefosky added.

In addition, developers can embed editing controls, such as add, edit and delete, into a site so that contributors only have access to certain information.

“An HTML editor gives you full access to a Web page. Using Revize, contributors…have access to what we call a Revize module which gives them a form they use to contribute content,” Josefosky said.

Becker said this is beneficial not only for developers, but for the ever increasing number of individuals who stay connected while travelling away from the office.

“You can assign parameters for other people…(and) delegate what one person can do. And they can do it from basically anywhere if they have Revize software on their computer,” he said.

Whereas NetObjects Fusion, Macromedia Dreamweaver and Microsoft FrontPage require that someone learn the intricacies of the software, Becker said, “Revize very inexpensively sets up a situation where an end user doesn’t have to know anything other than just typing in the correct text and pressing the right button. If you’re familiar with e-mail I think you could pretty much figure it out.”

While the software’s static pages “may be a little cumbersome for a huge company,” Becker said, Revize is well suited for a medium-size organization. “I think for small companies and medium-sized companies it can be very useful, or for someone who couldn’t take on another person on their staff.”

Josefosky said dynamic pages are often cumbersome because they “put a load on the server where it has to constantly regenerate those pages” whereas Revize’s static pages “really cut down on your hardware requirements.”

According to Steve McClure, research vice-president at International Data Corporation in Framingham, Mass., “static Web pages are fine if all you are trying to do is explain who you are and what your products are, and you’re putting up content that’s going to be displayed. It’s a question of the nature of the requirement.”

When asked about future improvements he would like to see Revise incorporate, Ford & Earl’s Becker said that possible additions should include “simple things, …like [when] people need to make something bold or italic or a point size higher when you’re doing a paragraph or description…the only way you can do that now is if you know HTML code….Those kind of features would really step the software up in terms of versatility.”

Josefosky admitted that both “notification and a richer adding environment to the contributor” are probably the most requested features and will likely be added in the future.

Revize ( is priced at US$895 per site.

Idetix Inc. in Troy, Mich., is at (248) 616-5040.

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