Corel Corp. CEO Derek Burney used his time on the keynote stage of Seybold Seminars to unveil Deepwhite, a new brand developed by Corel to help address the content creation, management and distribution needs of the enterprise market.
In his address, Burney explained that Deepwhite leverages Extensible Markup Language (XML) and other open standards to help realize a more efficient method of managing the life cycle of content. Burney said that such management is a problem that’s become increasingly difficult for corporations to deal with as they’ve accumulated more information and more complex ways for repurposing that information for various media, whether it’s printed matter, the Web or wireless devices.
“If you look around, there’s oceans and oceans of content,” said Burney.
Burney said that the use of XML technology helps to separate the data itself from its ultimate presentation. He calls it “smart content,” and lauded the open nature of the XML specification itself. Burney noted that with support for open standards such as XML, users and companies won’t be tied to restrictions enforced by the use of proprietary data formats, as is the case with most content creation applications today.
In a nutshell, Corel describes smart content as highly structured data based in XML, associated with rules and logic that enable it to change dynamically based on the needs of the user, the environment the data is used in, or specific input. The concept is a variation on the “create once, distribute anywhere” theme that other content creation application makers also promote — with an emphasis on the support of XML and other open standards beyond the control of any single application developer.
Despite the potential pitfalls that exist with open standards, Burney sees this as good for the marketplace. Multiple vendors developing applications that support XML, for example, encourage competition to create best-of-breed applications. Customers benefit because they no longer need to worry that the content they produce with one package today will be inaccessible if they change content creation or management tools tomorrow.
Corel itself plans to support these endeavors by using its Deepwhite brand to develop an architectural framework for the development of interactive applications. Corel plans to produce process management tools, Web services and components, and a development toolkit that can be used by system integrators, corporate IT departments and others to build custom solutions without needing to depend on proprietary standards or specialists that Burney referred to as “content magicians,” or people whose sole purpose it is to understand how to get content repurposed for specific media types.
One important factor in Corel’s launching of Deepwhite is the company’s pending acquisition of XML toolmaker SoftQuad Software, Ltd., which Burney said is expected to be completed in March. SoftQuad’s Windows-only XMetaL 3 XML editor was selected as a Hot Pick by Seybold Seminars at this show.
While Burney’s presentation was short on specific product announcements, Deepwhite itself plans to launch later this year with its first products.