Aficionados of "the modern art of software" gathered in Zürich for JAZOON 2012 to attend interesting talks and interact with knowledgable speakers. The 6thedition of the conference was organised in two tracks: the main track covered Java, .Net and a range of other technologies and development processes, while the second track focused on software engineering today. Magnolia was invited to give a talk. Developer Daniel Lipp spoke about Virtual Presence Management.
Big Screens and Cookies
From June 26 to June 28, there were 79 sessions to attend, including five keynotes and the JAZOON Rookie Award. The conference took place in Sihlcity, a shopping complex in Zürich with a huge cinema area, where the talks were held. Sitting comfortably in cinema seats, one almost wished for popcorn to go with the insightful and entertaining speeches.
The fuel in-between the talks was even better than popcorn: there was a big exhibition and networking space, where you could meet and have drinks throughout the day. Attendees enjoyed an Italian lunch, amaretto cookies in the afternoon and a generous apéro at the end of the first day.
Daniel's Talk on Virtual Presence
Magnolia did not only attend the conference on the opening day, we brought a presentation there, too. Daniel chose a hot topic: how to manage your virtual presence by choosing the right content management system. CMS can't only be a system to write and publish content, it has to be a platform to build integrated business solutions for today's world.
Introducing virtual presence
Daniel introduced the audience to the concept of virtual presence management first. For a website visitor, a complete virtual presence means that you can interact with a business online as if you were at their physical location, removing all face-to-face interaction.
Integration options change
One point that Daniel stressed again and again is the need for businesses to integrate CMS and business applications. A smooth integration will integrate both sides and not stop at one. Some businesses are very successful at virtual presence management, for example Amazon. Others are almost there, but are stilling missing crucial elements. As an example for that, Daniel showed the UBS website, which doesn't integrate its e-banking solution, as seen here.
A fresh perspective with Magnolia CMS
Looking at virtual presence from a new angle involves thinking about the technical and non-technical challenges that it poses to the business that wants to build it. The technical challenges, once you decide for building a virtual presence, are manifold. Your app might have to now support multiple browsers and also be ready for mobile devices. Further, you might have to completely restyle your app. Daniel showed how all these challenges can be approached with an open CMS like Magnolia, for example by
- using its templating variations
- using the Blossom module (http://documentation.magnolia-cms.com/modules/blossom.html€) to turn Magnolia into a Spring ap
- using the OpenSocial module to embed whole applications
Daniel demonstrated how this can be done by showing three examples to the audience. The first demo was done with the Magnolia Demo project. Daniel exemplified
- how you can easily integrate the result of any Java method call (that internally could of course call a WebService or EJB or Spring Bean) in your webpage. This nicely illustrates the integration of the business layer that is essential to virtual presence.
- how you can define and store structured data in order to separate content and logic.
- how you can edit unstructured data with a few clicks.
The second demo was shown in Blossom. Daniel demoed how you can configure dialogs using Spring. The third demo was all about OpenSocial. It displayed how you can have an OpenSocial container integrated in your webpage and how gadgets can communicate with each other.
Daniel's conclusion emphasised some of the benefits of using the right CMS to augment your business' virtual presence. Among others, you will be able to
- Re-use business logic
- Optimize time and material: save costs and generate a bigger revenue
- Impress your marketing and business staff
- Increase convenience on the user's side
Despite the fact that the cinema hall was not completely packed for Daniel's talk, the people who did participate were very attentive and used the last ten minutes to talk to Daniel directly. Daniel was pleased with the outcome of the talk: "It was a lot of fun to present at JAZOON. The audience asked very interesting questions".
- Read the slides to Daniel's talk
- Download the Magnolia Tech Brief and learn more about Virtual Presence, including our VPM maturity scale