Poet Repository, Web Factory almost ready

January 20, 1998

The Seybold Report on Publishing Systems
Vol. 27, No. 9

George Alexander
January, 1998

Poet Software's SGML/XML Repository, developed under the name "Wildflower," was initially shown at SGML '96 (see Vol. 26, No. 8 ). Poet's primary line of business is an object-oriented database package that runs under Windows 3.1, 95 and NT. The company, which has taken a keen interest in the SGML market, has developed an SGML repository based on its object technology. The repository has now been extended to support XML as well. It is in beta testing at General Dynamics (producing technical manuals) and at F. A. Davis (for medical reference books). It will be commercially available in the first quarter.

Poet is excited about the rapid rise to prominence of XML, since XML greatly broadens the set of applications for which the Poet repository might be used. The company thinks its product has some major advantages over products based on relational databases. Hierarchical data, which SGML documents usually are, present difficulties for relational databases. The document structure has to be represented as a series of table joins, which can cause performance problems, and can force the user into choices about the level of granularity into which documents must be divided. A properly designed object model avoids these problems, the company says.

Web Factory. Poet has just announced Web Factory, an add-on to Poet's Object Server. Web Factory, which was to be available by the end of the year, makes it easier to provide information from a database on the Web. The Web Factory uses Poet's own PTML (Poet Markup Language) to create pages with embedded database access capability. PTML is an XML application, so it can be created with any XML or SGML editing tool (or with an ASCII editor).

TechSite Web. In Poet's booth, TechSite Engineering Services (a General Dynamics subsidiary) showed its TechSite Web software. This package, based on Poet's database, provides a mechanism for remote viewing and navigation in an SGML database. It supports multiple views of the data and conditional selection of content. The correspondence between SGML tagging and HTML display markup can be user configured.