Tracking Workflow with
Embedded Metadata
Clay Helberg
SPSS Inc
Characteristics of Documents

• Who created it
• What project(s) use it
• When it was last changed
• Why it was changed
• ...
Metadata

• Answers to these questions stored in the system
Two Approaches to Metadata

• External system
  – Metadata stored in a database, a CMS, or some other system separately
  ...
Our Metadata Scheme

• We chose an embedded system
  – Cost of canned CMS was prohibitive
  – Already had many CMS feature...
Metadata Structure

• We break our metadata into two basic types:
  – Attribute metadata, things that tend to be fixed for...
Attribute Metadata

• This is encapsulated in a <metadata> element near the top of
  each piece of content
• Metadata cont...
Attribute Metadata Example
Status Metadata

• Status metadata appears inline in the document in a
  <revision> element
• Revisions give information o...
Status Metadata Example
Tools for Managing Metadata

• Edit tags
  – Metadata is part of DTD, so we can just edit the tags as
    necessary
  – BU...
AE Customizations: Display of Metadata

• Highlighted in green
• Menu item allows hiding/showing of metadata
• (Demo)
Showing/Hiding Metadata
AE Customizations: Entering Attribute Metadata

• When new content is created, author is prompted and basic
  metadata is ...
New Metadata Prompt
AE Customizations: Entering Status Metadata

• When a change is made to content, on save the user is
  prompted to add a r...
Custom Dialogs for Status Metadata
AE customizations: Metadata Reports

• Menu item to get summaries of the metadata for a document
  or project
• Summary re...
HTML Metadata Report
HTML Metadata Report Options
AE Customizations: Metadata Reports

• We can also produce PDF output which includes revision
  information in one of two ...
Custom Print Dialog with Metadata Options
Inline Revision Information
Revision Summary Table
To do

• Still on the wish list:
   – Automatic notification of content changes
      • To owner of document (if author of...
Questions?

• Contact info:
  Clay Helberg
  SPSS Inc.
  chelberg@spss.com
Tracking Workflow with Embedded Metadata
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Tracking Workflow with Embedded Metadata

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Description of how a company uses embedded metadata for workflow management in their dynamic publishing process.

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Tracking Workflow with Embedded Metadata

  1. 1. Tracking Workflow with Embedded Metadata Clay Helberg SPSS Inc
  2. 2. Characteristics of Documents • Who created it • What project(s) use it • When it was last changed • Why it was changed • What its current status is
  3. 3. Metadata • Answers to these questions stored in the system
  4. 4. Two Approaches to Metadata • External system – Metadata stored in a database, a CMS, or some other system separately from the document content – Pros: Optimized for searching, available in canned systems – Cons: Overhead of separate systems, data aren’t attached to what they describe • Internal (embedded) system – Metadata stored directly in the documents themselves – Pros: Data are attached directly to what they describe, easy to edit/update – Cons: Not as widely supported in canned systems, might have to build your own support tools
  5. 5. Our Metadata Scheme • We chose an embedded system – Cost of canned CMS was prohibitive – Already had many CMS features in our source control system – Allowed us to design the system to suit our needs – Allowed us to grow the system incrementally
  6. 6. Metadata Structure • We break our metadata into two basic types: – Attribute metadata, things that tend to be fixed for a given piece of content • Owner, project, reference documents – Status metadata, things that tend to change over time • Revisions, write status and review status
  7. 7. Attribute Metadata • This is encapsulated in a <metadata> element near the top of each piece of content • Metadata contains information on the document or fragment: – The document’s owner – Any technical contacts for the document (engineers, statisticians) – Reference documents relevant to the material (designs, functional specs, primary sources) – General revision information that would affect the whole document or fragment
  8. 8. Attribute Metadata Example
  9. 9. Status Metadata • Status metadata appears inline in the document in a <revision> element • Revisions give information on various aspects of a document change: – Who made the change – When it was made – The version of the project to which the change applies – A comment describing the change – Writing status (to do, writing, ready for edit, complete, deferred) – Review status (pending, complete)
  10. 10. Status Metadata Example
  11. 11. Tools for Managing Metadata • Edit tags – Metadata is part of DTD, so we can just edit the tags as necessary – BUT, this was awkward and error-prone • Specialized tools – AE customizations to streamline the process • Remind authors to add metadata when they create/change content • Custom dialog to make editing metadata easy • Auto-complete as much as possible to minimize overhead
  12. 12. AE Customizations: Display of Metadata • Highlighted in green • Menu item allows hiding/showing of metadata • (Demo)
  13. 13. Showing/Hiding Metadata
  14. 14. AE Customizations: Entering Attribute Metadata • When new content is created, author is prompted and basic metadata is created automatically • Author must enter information on technical contacts or reference documents
  15. 15. New Metadata Prompt
  16. 16. AE Customizations: Entering Status Metadata • When a change is made to content, on save the user is prompted to add a revision element for each topic changed • Custom dialog auto-inserts author’s ID and today’s date • Author supplies the rest of the information for each topic changed
  17. 17. Custom Dialogs for Status Metadata
  18. 18. AE customizations: Metadata Reports • Menu item to get summaries of the metadata for a document or project • Summary report is dynamic HTML • Report can be sorted and filtered based on any of the revision attributes
  19. 19. HTML Metadata Report
  20. 20. HTML Metadata Report Options
  21. 21. AE Customizations: Metadata Reports • We can also produce PDF output which includes revision information in one of two formats: – Inline revision information – Summary table at the top of each document
  22. 22. Custom Print Dialog with Metadata Options
  23. 23. Inline Revision Information
  24. 24. Revision Summary Table
  25. 25. To do • Still on the wish list: – Automatic notification of content changes • To owner of document (if author of change is not owner) • To owners of documents or projects that contain references to that content – Automatic notification of status changes • Notify editors when revisions are marked “ready for edit” • Notify production staff when documents are marked “complete”
  26. 26. Questions? • Contact info: Clay Helberg SPSS Inc. chelberg@spss.com

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