To keep pace in the highly competitive legal publishing industry, legal publishers are introducing new digital products that provide lawyers with targeted research and workflow tools that make their jobs more efficient.
Our client, a leading legal publisher, with a long-established print publication serving the needs of securities practitioners and corporate counsels, sought to take the experience online, add new workflow features and broaden the content set beyond that sustainable in print. The content includes status, rules, regulations and related SEC interpretations with regular updates.
This new Web-based research product includes complex features, such as rich hyperlinks that allow users to navigate to discrete pieces of information (e.g., granular paragraph level), topical organization of content and ability to relate content across topics, one-view access that provides related content for the content in-view (with no need to conduct additional searches), content updates in near real time with alerts on the changes, editor’s notes by industry Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) that annotate primary source, point-in-time functionality that allows users to toggle between current and post effective versions, personalized user-generated content (notes, highlighting, and bookmarking), and capabilities for law firms to track sessions for bill back.
A new feature-rich product such as this, requiring both a new content model, content enrichment, development of an XML and Web-based application, together with new business processes to support the product postlaunch, would typically take the client at least two or more years to develop. However, in order to meet a narrow window of market opportunity and achieve their revenue goals, Innodata and the client adopted a rapid development process and the product was launched in an aggressive timeline of just six months.
The solution was a hybrid of content and software. By developing these together, Innodata ensured that the content had the necessary structures (e.g., leveling and inline links) and enrichments (e.g., metadata and taxonomy) to support features and functionality defined in the application requirements (e.g., granular display and topical navigation).
As part of the technology selection, Innodata recommended to our client that the application be delivered using MarkLogic Server as the core product platform technology. Compared to a Relational Database Management System based solution, MarkLogic Server integrates XML dB storage with an XML-tailored indexing service and search engine, an application server, and a native API designed to facilitate Web delivery of XML content. This reduced the cost and development time, which would have otherwise been incurred in integrating several component technologies. The decision to implement using MarkLogic Server was a factor to Innodata’s rapid design and development process and the ability to launch the product on schedule.
To design and build this new digital product, Innodata served as a “one stop shop” for our client by performing the following combination of end-to-end services:
• Content modeling and content architecture design, as well as DTD development and style sheet development
• Content conversion and enrichment
• Technology selection and solution design
• Early stage user interaction design
• Product platform development
• Process re-engineering
• Post-launch platform support and content maintenance
Innodata’s engagement process was strengthened by the combination of our consulting, ITO, and content production services. In the early phases our consultants conducted brainstorming sessions with the client to define product goals, prioritize user features, describe requirements, define scenarios, and create wireframes. From this launch pad, Innodata designed the platform and implemented the project using agile approaches. Working in a rapid application development cycle required close collaboration with client production, product, marketing and design teams, as well as Innodata teams on three continents throughout the delivery process.
We conducted an analysis of the source content to determine the necessary changes to the structure and additional enrichments that were needed to support the application functionality and features. Although the source content was already in XML, the markup was “flat” and lacked metadata, inline links, relationships and topical classification because up to this point, it only supported a print-based product.
Innodata developed a new XML DTD and transformed the content from the client’s old DTD to the new. Innodata also added necessary content enrichment through both automated and semi-automated processes. Because of the tight dependencies between the content and software, Innodata performed the application development and content conversion/enrichment in parallel (rather than in sequence).
Our client was able to launch a new product to the legal market on time and within budget. Innodata’s Print-to- Digital Defined Approach, partnership with MarkLogic, content architecture best practices and ability to support clients from concept through to maintenance, demonstrated our ability to rapidly develop and deploy new digital products. Our client commented that the achievement was considerable in the time taken, especially compared to previous initiatives that took many years to achieve comparable goals.