Relaunch of the Internet Portal of the Swiss National Bank - Adoption of Content Reuse and Automation of Content Publishing

State: completed by Severin Hörnlimann

One of the main tasks and critical challenges that enterprises are facing nowadays is the supply and publication of relevant content to the right target audiences, in the right place and time. Often enterprise content is published to a variety of media types and the volumes of content to be published are constantly growing. Rising expectations of the consumers and the legal-basis increase the requirements regarding quality, availability and timeliness of content. Therefore, the quick and efficient creation and publication of content has become a critical factor for the success of every enterprise. Content reuse and automation of publication processes are the essential elements for a technological answer to this challenge and have become widely attended topics. This diploma thesis has been accomplished at the Swiss National Bank (SNB), whose existing solution for the publication of content to the Internet website has no longer been able to satisfy the rising requirements. The publication process as well as its underlying architecture has had to be renewed. The developed architecture does not only implement an improved degree of automation but additionally enhances efficiency through organizational improvements in the publication process. Authors in the business units are enabled to publish content on their own and so the process' central bottleneck – the webmaster who conducted the necessary technical steps for most publications in the redeemed solution – is eliminated. This is made possible by an automatism that creates HTML webpages from standard documents (MS Word) provided by the authors. A further important improvement is achieved through an optimization of the possibilities for content reuse. "Reuse" means that the same content may be displayed or used in another way at multiple locations. Instead of creating and maintaining this content redundantly, it is created only once and stored in a central repository. From there, it is referenced in all places, in which it is to be reused. In other words, different "views" on the same content are established in those places. For a practical implementation of the concept, content must necessarily be maintained in a well-structured central repository and be supplemented with suitable metadata. In this way, authors may link and reuse specific content manually in their documents, but also automated procedures based on pre-configured linkages are possible. Hence, the implemented solution contains both automated and manual procedures for content reuse. The provided solution has been designed specifically for the needs, the information architecture, the system infrastructure and the organization of the SNB. Consequently, in order to reuse it in other environments it would have to be adapted. Nevertheless, it can serve as a valuable conceptual model for the automation of web-publication and the reuse of electronic content.

Final Report

Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Burkhard Stiller

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