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Podium (Production Oriented Document Instance and Unit Management) is a Java-based editorial system suitable for small-scale production of documents. Apart from its general features aimed at managing documents and editorial tasks, it has specific features aimed at exploiting the nature of XML documents. The most significant features are outlined below, but a downloadable PDF document contains all of the user and administrator guides.
Podium is a simple document management and editorial support application, developed using Java so that it can be used on any Java-enabled computer, and on networks with a mix of different systems.
Podium allows documents to be safely stored in a secure environment. Access to documents, and specific collections of documents, is constrained by user passwords. In addition, a document can be temporarily made 'private' to a single user, or made into a 'template' for creation of other documents.
Podium ensures that two people cannot edit the same document at the same time, and tracks who has a document at any one time. A log of each user's activities is also maintained.
Podium can act as a simple Web server, allowing documents to be accessed over the Internet using a standard Web browser.
Information and general comments about a document are stored in a comments log, which tracks the life-cycle of the document. Documents can also be assigned a keyword to facilitate classification-based searching and processing, and a long title, to clarify its purpose.
Podium enables a simple, linear workflow process to be assigned to each collection of documents. Users can 'tick' a stage when it is complete, and this information is made available in reports. A message can also be automatically sent to a pre-defined email address (with different workflow stages associated with different email addresses), and the addressee can be a system user, a non-system user (such as a manager who simply wants to be informed of progress), or anybody in the world with an email address.
To secure the content of a document that undergoes a number of editing stages, it is possible to create new 'versions' of a document. Older versions can be viewed to see what changes have occurred, or can be resurrected if later edits need to be abandoned. Podium can be configured to always create a new version of a document each time it is checked-in, or to allow users to decide when a new version is warranted, or to automatically create a new version when specified workflow stages are reached.
When different groups of users are allowed to edit a document, depending on what workflow stage is reached, Podium can automatically copy or move the document into another collection that has different access rights.
Podium is XML-sensitive, to the extent that it can validate a document as it is checked-in, directly present a styled view of a document, and automatically populate the keyword and title meta-data fields from XML elements or attributes. Supplementary files, such as images, can be automatically 'dragged-in' to Podium collections, separately managed, then automatically copied-out whenever the XML file is accessed so that they can be viewed in an XML editor.
While completely self-contained, its performance can be enhanced by utilising a relational database for the underlying data management, using a JDBC connection. Free JDBC solutions include connection to an Access database.