TECH TALK: SMEs and Technology: Information Management Architecture (Part 2)

The Personal Knowledge Manager (PKM) is a sort of Memex, a memory extension, as envisioned by Vannevar Bush. This tool helps users to build and manage their personal knowledge base. It is an individuals views of the world, formed by the users associations. The basic goal of the PKM is to retain and return stored information. At its simplest, it is a directory-cum-outliner, constructed using the OPML (Outline Processor Markup Language), which can allow for transclusion (in-place viewing) of similar, other Memex constructs.

The Group Knowledge Manager (GKM) captures and amplifies knowledge across teams. It is a collaboration platform. The GKM belongs to a category of software that is growing in importance of late social software. The goal of social software is help groups work better. Every organization small or big has many groups some are formally set up (for example, marketing, engineering) while others can be informal (for example, organised by communities of practice). The objective of the GKM is to help these groups store and manage information that is of relevance for all of them. The only tool available today is email, and that does not work effectively across groups. Weblogs and Wikis can serve as the foundation for creating GKMs.

The Digital Dashboard provides an integrated view of all the information that a user would like to see on s single screen. Think of the Dashboard as having three areas a scratchpad writing area for making quite notes, a events viewer which shows a filtered view from all the event streams that the user has subscribed to, and a links area, which has shortcuts to various applications and recently used documents. In addition, there is a search box, with three options to search the users own information space on the server, search the users writings on various blogs (public, group and private) and search Google.

The Microcontent Client provides real-time event updates to the user. This client will typically be part of a users smartphone. It will connect to the users IMAP mailboxes that which gets the email, and the other created by the Info Aggregator. Taken together, they provide the user with the complete view of the personal, enterprise and external worlds. In addition, the microcontent client should also have the ability to accept content (text or multimedia) which can be posted on to a blog specified by the user. The new generation of cellphones already have cameras in-built. With better keyboards, they will become full-fledged two-way mobile multimedia centres.

Thus, these set of seven applications make up the information refinery. It will be possible to manage any kind of information text, image, audio or video through this pipeline. This is the platform that the small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) need to manage the information that they come across and create. In the past, these systems have been expensive or hard to put together. Now, the components and standards for putting these systems in place already exist. This is the foundation of the Active (Publish-Subscribe) Web.

Tomorrow: Business Applications Architecture

TECH TALK SMEs and Technology+T

Published by

Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.