Re: RDBMS Information Systems

Subject: Re: RDBMS Information Systems
From: Chet Ensign <Chet_Ensign%LDS -at- NOTES -dot- WORLDCOM -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 7 Jun 1996 14:48:33 -0500

Charles Cantrell writes:

>> One of the issues that is I think is (or will be) becoming of importance in
the field of technical communication is the "automatic" creation of
technical documents, constructed from a database of "content" by scripts
and other processing tools. ... These tools extract and format the
information, based on the needs and objectives the "information consumer." <<

I agree. As Mr. John Anderson of Boeing expressed it the other day, "I don't
want the phone book; I want the number." Documents are static presentations of
dynamic data. There are many applications/industries where they are just no
longer suffice to meet the end user's need. The next generation will be
thinking less about 'documents' and more about various methods for 'information

>> Have any of you had any experience with these kinds of systems, or seen
documents that were produced with such systems? Do you have experience with
setting up such a system? <<

We did a behind-the-firewall system for a financial services firm. Documents
are assembled at the moment they are requested by the reader, based on what has
happened in the session so far, what is known about the reader, and where they
are in the overall body of information. The big trick turns out to be managing
the components.

>> I understand that Information Systems has a product called Basis, which is
supposed to present extracted info using a web browser environment. <<

Company is Information Dimensions. The database product is BASISplus, and the
WEB piece is WEBServer. I'm just climbing over the top of a steep learning
curve on this product and I can say that it is pretty slick. I'd bet that an
application like the one you describe could be done with it. I'll be happy to
fill you in on details if you are interested.

Best regards,


Chet Ensign
Logical Design Solutions
465 South Street
Morristown, NJ 07960 censign -at- lds -dot- com [email]
201-971-0100 [Phone] 201-971-0103 [FAX]

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