The creators of the globally successful Méthode digital publishing platform have developed a new content-management framework combining open-source flexibility with the robustness of a managed platform.
“The last few years have seen some exciting developments in digital publishing,” said Massimo Barsotti, Eidosmedia Chief Marketing Officer. “Many of them, from mobile publishing to online video and social media management, we’ve integrated into our Méthode for the benefit of our customers.”
“But in some of these developments – in particular the emergence of new standards like REST and modular approaches to platform development – we saw an opportunity to build a new framework which would fill a gap which has opened up in the digital publishing landscape.”
“The gap is between an established platform like Méthode that covers many content-management functions in a single application space and a new approach in which several separate modules – some of them maybe open-source – are interfaced to provide a range of editorial and delivery functions.”
“This kind of solution is fine for modest purpose like blog publishing or managing simple websites,” Massimo continued, “but when you scale it up to provide the performance needed for enterprise content handling, the number of modules and plugins required rises and the solution becomes difficult to maintain and update. And there is usually no single supplier that takes responsibility for making sure the collection works and continues to work.”
“That’s why we decided to build a solution that would deliver the advantages of the modular approach without its drawbacks.”
Cobalt addresses the fundamental challenge in today’s digital publishing: the need to deliver tailored content to a growing range of destinations – which might include, as well as standard web pages and print facsimiles, iOS and Android apps and a variety of social media platforms and formats. Cobalt’s clear separation between the editorial processes and the delivery modules – known as decoupling – allows the same content to be optimized for multiple destinations, constantly updatable to keep pace with changing technology and user habits.
Cobalt uses a native service-oriented architecture, specifically designed to be used in cloud deployment and scalable to meet the needs of the largest, most geographically distributed delivery operations.
“Cloud-based CMS, as well as significant saving in hardware investment and maintenance costs, offer big advantages in continuity and real-time scalability,” said Maurizio Merli, Eidosmedia Digital Solutions Architect. “One of Cobalt’s biggest strengths is to let users get the most out of cloud-based deployment. ”
Users access Cobalt through the highly ergonomic Swing browser-based interface that is tailored to give each user exactly the tools they need without unnecessary clutter - content authors work in a clean writing and media management workspace while editors and coordinators work with powerful monitoring and management tools.
While Cobalt comes with its own underlying CMS, its decoupled design allows it to act as a content delivery framework for material originating in other editorial platforms, including Eidosmedia’s Méthode. “The flexibility of the architecture and the use of standard REST interfaces allows Cobalt to interact very flexibly with existing platforms and offers several different routes to customers wishing to upgrade to a Cobalt solution,” said Massimo.
“We’re very excited about the possibilities Cobalt opens up for digital publishing,” said Maurizio. “It really does meet the needs of those who want to take advantage of the latest advances in publishing technology, without losing the benefits of a managed platform”.
Cobalt deploys ‘best of breed’ technologies for its various platform functions. Content is managed in JSON format and is exposed through RESTful APIs. Data persistence is assured through PostgreSQL and MongoDB, while search functions are performed by ElasticSearch.
• For a detailed technical treatment of Cobalt’s technologies look here: www.cobalt-cmf.com