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Content management

Delivering more news to its customers faster is just one of the benefits Congressional Quarterly has reaped from its new XML-based content management system. And those customers can be influential people--95% of the members of Congress are said to be CQ readers.

The nonpartisan news and legislative tracking service based in Washington, D.C., provides information on government, politics and public policy through many print and online publications.

Implemented by A>Thomas Technology Solutions, the new content management system has streamlined CQ's editorial and production processes, speeding time to print and to the Web. It contains relational data sets that allow CQ to maintain and publish information relating to Congressional members, committees, schedules, events and floor votes, as well as to track the progress of legislation.

Built on an Oracle database, the solution provides the ability to import and convert data automatically, a custom editorial interface, custom searching and reporting modules, workflow and versioning capabilities, and automatic data extraction and release mechanisms. Also, reporters can transmit and edit stories remotely, enabling CQ to post real-time information to its Web sites.

"The new system is not only fast, reliable and easy to use, but will ultimately give us much more flexibility in the presentation of our editorial content," says Robert W. Merry, president and publisher of Congressional Quarterly. "We are now able to provide more content and, ultimately, more print and electronic publications to our subscribers, as well as editorial input that will keep them better informed of the issues."

Incoming content is automatically captured, converted to XML and then stored in the database as XML documents. The content then can be edited by CQ staff via a custom editorial interface according to built-in workflow and business rules, and released for publication to one of CQ's many Web sites or print products.

An XML authoring tool from SoftQuad is integrated into the system to facilitate XML document creation and editing.

In addition to delivering news faster, the solution allows CQ to:• streamline information management processes by eliminating redundancy,• develop new publications and Web sites more rapidly,• share content between publications and Web sites,• automate the content routing and approval process, and• reduce information maintenance and administrative tasks.

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