Powerpoint Management Systems – continued

Okay, so I tried my hands on a couple of CMSes that let me manage PPTs. Of the lot, I liked Xaraya (using John’s theme – Thanks John for providing that). I couldn’t even get the others up and running. This is not to blame those products. I am sure they are good products but I was limited by my lack of PHP and Python skills.

Although, not a CMS, I also liked ReportLab’s PythonPoint.

I successfully created a PoC, demonstrating how easy it is to achieve content independence in presentations. Unfortunately, I am back to using PPTs :(. This is primarily because most business guys are very comfortable with Powerpoint and most customers use that.
Secondly, powerpoint provides these business guys the power to make a presentation the way they want whereas a CMS would impose descpline, which sadly most people donot like.
Thirdly, the fact remains that these implementations are still much behind Powerpoint. One cannot achieve “build effects”, format images by dragging mouse pointer, navigate from one slide to another. For example, in Xaraya, it is difficult to change the order of slides in your publication. If I created 15 slides and want to show 5 to one person and another set of 10 to others, I cannot “hide” certain slides. Essentially, i need to create a different publication for each slide deck, which basically defeats the purpose of using a CMS – I have to enter content multiple times!!

I am still trying and would love to be proven wrong.

Powerpoint Management System

In my role, I have to talk to clients almost everyday and give them a presentation about our Portals and CM expertise. A major part of that is Case Studies. Because of the nature of things here, the format of powerpoint slides for case studies changes very frequently even though the content of a case study remains more or less similar – Challenges, How we did it, Business benefits etc.

I’ve been wondering if I could use some sort of a CMS and input all these things as text and then depending on Client or context, just generate a different PPT.

The good and ever helpful folks at cms-forum gave me some good pointers. Although I cannot use Powerpoint but their are really good alternatives such as:

  1. S5 by Eric Meyer – http://meyerweb.com/eric/tools/s5/
  2. John Cox’s implementation at
  3. http://www.enfoldsystems.com/Products/Open/PloneS5
  4. http://www.visiomode.com/slideshow/
  5. http://www.feedstream.com/XML2Flash/Demo1/Presentation.htm
  6. http://www.reportlab.org/python_point.html

(2), (3) and (4) above are basically implementations of Eric’s S5. I like the idea and have been playing around with them. My main problem is that I donot know PHP and Python. So i am planning to borrow this idea and integrate it with OpenCMS or some other java based system. The idea is simple – Generate an html (or JSP) file and apply S5 templates over that.

Sizing for Dummies

Sizing Portal applications during Pre-sales activities

More and more customers have been asking for sizing inputs during RFP phase itself. Sizing depends on many factors and hence it is not a trivial exercise to arrive at sizing information at this stage. Some of the inputs that are required for sizing are:

  • Page views per second
  • Hits per second
  • Hit to cache ratio
  • Think time of users
  • Service time
  • Concurrent sessions
  • Ratio of static and dynamic pages
  • Usage of SSL
  • Usage of clusters

The above is only a partial listing.
Continue reading “Sizing for Dummies”