Content Delivery – the accurate and secure distribution of information: For this new challenge in the technical communication, we have brought an innovation to the market two years ago. Our standard software is called SCHEMA Content Delivery Server (shortened as CDS).
At the tekom annual conference in Stuttgart we want to show you novelties in the CDS as well; what it does technologically and how you can use it for your information logistics. This is what I would like to present here briefly.
The Topic Remains Hot
Before we begin with the novelties, we would like to take a look back: When we brought CDS to the market in 2013, SCHEMA was one of the very first providers that ventured on the theme of Content Delivery. And the rapid development in the last two years shows we are right: Yes, the world of content management does not end with the task of producing a document efficiently.
Many companies see the urgent need to accompany the reader (or user) through the final miles. And this means: Users have to be able to define for themselves their information necessities in a way that is role- and context-independent of predetermined document structures (more on the underlying idea for Content Delivery can be found here). Because of this, there was the need for new technologies, such as what we developed with the SCHMEA CDS.
Even in the specialized world, the theme of Content Delivery is now a recurrent one. This could also be seen by the fact that the Content Delivery Symposium 2015 in Stuttgart was fully booked, with over 120 participants attending the symposium.
Even More Filter Possibilities
Now we would like to turn to our Content Delivery solution: the SCHEMA CDS. What´s new here? For one, we have extended the possibility to use facets.
Briefly about the background: Facets are pivot and angel points for the access to information in Content Delivery. They enable the user to limit systematically a database to their current information requirements by means of tags. Below you can find an example of this taken from the user interface of the SCHEMA CDS. The tags can be seen on the left side of the navigation tree:
For the facets in SCHEMA CDS, we have up till now used taxonomies. With the new version, it will be also possible to supply any metadata from information modules as facets. Continuous value sets, such as dates, can be grouped according to specific criteria (for example according to the years after the date) and in this manner, they are made useful for the navigation of facets via discrete value sets.
Apart from the grouping, it will also be possible to define Min/Max values for facets. A function which we all know from the e-commerce platforms for prices. For the user it will look for example like this:
New “Areas” Feature Makes Context-specific Facets Possible
The same facets do not necessarily make sense for all content packages in the CDS. Because of this, we are now giving you the possibility to organize content packages in areas. Each area can have its own Facets.
Just like in an e-commerce platform, in which there will be different facets implemented for refrigerators in comparison with for example washing machines, the CDS offers a different facet navigation, depending on which area the user is currently in. Here you can take a look at the administrations interface of the CDS at the place in which you can manage the areas:
Thanks to the areas as a new feature, you can now with the CDS control the access to applications directly in the CDS. In the default case, users have access to the complete data base, limited at most via the access rights.
Now you have the possibility to limit the access of single applications to one or more areas. In this way you can therefore, by using our previously mentioned example, offer external Apps only for refrigerators or only for washing machines.
Signed Contents Create a Whole New Level of Security
The keyword security plays a central role in Content Delivery scenarios. Since it is clear: Service information is not public information and it must be protected effectively. Which Security mechanisms does CDS offer you and which new features can we provide additionally?
Briefly on what was previously comprised in the standard CDS: In the CDS, each and every user must identify themselves. The communication between SCHEMA CDS and SCHEMA Reader (a special App) can be encrypted via HTTPS or in a VPN.
Now as to a new security feature: Even the information itself can now be encrypted if required. In this manner, unauthorized parties will not be able to read the contents, even if they had access to the systems. Besides, the CDS can sign information, so that it will not be possible for anyone to infiltrate non-authorized contents in the information circuit. For this reason SCHEMA implements a public key infrastructure (more on this here), which corresponds to the current technical status.
In order for this to function, we have extended the package format into a variant with encryption. This allows the streaming of contents without temporary savings of decrypted contents on the hard disk. In this manner you can also distribute videos safely.
How this works in detail and where one should pay attention with regards to the keyword security in Content Delivery scenarios, will be presented at the tekom annual conference in a presentation on this specific theme. My colleague Jochen Marczinzik will be reporting on attack scenarios in content delivery architectures and countermeasures (Presentation DCS03).
More Efficient Admin Interface – Cooler Installer
That’s all on the large development themes. Where else did we intervene?
First, one should mention the interface for the administrators. Then, we went on establishing optical and functional uniformity for the different SCHEMA Reader applications. They resemble each other more and more like as two peas in a pod, even though they run on different platforms.
Last but not least: In order to make the installation of the CDS as simple as possible for you, we have built a smart installer:
More information Can Be Found in the Service Description
If you want to get a view of all the developments, take a look at our service description, which can be downloaded from here: www.schema.de/cds