eWebEditPro 3.0+XML from Ektron is a Web-based HTML and XML authoring tool. Web-based authoring tools work on a different model than client-based Web authoring tools. Users access a Web-based authoring tool via their Web browser, with no need to install a client application. The eWebEditPro tool works in conjunction with content management systems from vendors such as Vignette and Ektron’s own content management system offerings.

Configuration and installation
The main internal customers for content management systems are usually not tech-savvy users, but they still need to publish content to a Web site. The eWebEditPro tool provides an easy-to-use interface, but it still requires proper installation to get it up and running.

The high point of configuring Ektron eWebEditPro 3.0+XML is the configuration wizard, which enables you to specify the following:

  • XHTML or HTML output
  • Character encoding, including character references, entity names, ISO-8859, Unicode, and UTF-8
  • Font tags vs. span tags in content
  • Publish or not publish style information with the content
  • Preserve or not preserve Word styles in the content (in cases where the content being published was originally developed in Microsoft Office)
  • Enable users to customize the toolbar
  • Enable users to view the whole HTML document or just a block of content

Web site teams that need to open access for nontechnical staff to publish content to a Web site can use these options to determine just what publishing activities users can conduct. Now, let’s take a look at system requirements.

System requirements
Ektron eWebEdit Pro 3.0+XML has the following system requirements:

  • Web server, such as IIS or Apache
  • Windows NT Server, Windows 2000 Server, Windows (98, Me, XP, 2000 with PWS), Sun Solaris, Linux, or HP-UX, or any other server operating system
  • Users creating and publishing content via Ektron eWebEditPro 3.0+XML can use any IBM PC-compatible system (minimum: Pentium 166 with 64 MB of RAM)
  • Publishers using Ektron eWebEditPro 3.0+XML must use one of the following browsers:
    —Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.01 or later
    —Netscape Navigator 4.7x
    —Netscape 6
    —Netscape 7 or Mozilla 1.0

Integration options
Ektron eWebEdit Pro 3.0+XML is not a traditional GUI-based Web authoring tool like Macromedia Dreamweaver MX or Macromedia Contribute. It is designed to be integrated with content management systems like Macromedia Spectra and Microsoft Content Management Server.

eWebEditPro 3.0+XML offers a robust set of features:

  • Schema and DTD validation
  • XML tag attribute editing in WYSIWYG mode
  • XML config file loadable on the fly
  • Full XML document support
  • Multiple schema support as well as use of namespaces
  • Microsoft Word content filtering, enabling users to repurpose content authored in Word
  • Full support for XSLT transformation
  • XHTML compliance
  • International language support
  • Integration into a Web page
  • Developer API using JavaScript objects, including properties, methods, and double-click event handling; the extensibility offered by the API enables developers to further customize it

Figure A shows an example of the eWebEditPro 3.0+XML user interface:

Figure A

The user experience offered is similar to that provided by a word processor, which is a boon to nontechnical users. In fact, the interface is comfortable for a wide variety of users.

eWebEditPro 3.0+XML vs. eWebEditPro 3.0
Ektron eWebEditPro 3.0+XML is based upon eWebEditPro, another Ektron product. The only major difference between the two—as you might guess by the names—is the XML support in eWebEditPro 3.0+XML.

Section 508 compliancy
Ektron eWebEditPro 3.0+XML is Section 508-compliant, making it a definite option to explore if your Web content management system and content publishing operation must adhere to the U.S. federal government’s Section 508 initiative.

Ektron eWebEditPro 3.0+XML includes only online documentation. This documentation is included as part of the software download. Although the old technical writer in me resists strictly online documentation, it has become the rule rather than the exception. The following documentation is included in PDF format as well:

  • ASP.NET Integration Guide
  • ASP Integration Guide
  • ColdFusion Integration Guide
  • Developer Guide
  • JSP Integration Guide
  • PHP Integration Guide
  • User Guide

The documentation is available from the eWebEditPro 3.0+XML menu.

A sophisticated tool
Ektron eWebEditPro 3.0+XML is an excellent choice if you are seeking sophisticated HTML, XHTML, and XML editing out of the box for your Web site content management system. It definitely exceeds what your team can build in-house or what comes bundled with your content management system.