Winemaker moves to open workflow

After a successful open source content management system implementation, local winemaker De Bortoli Wines may extend its use to include document workflow.

De Bortoli IT manager Bill Robertson expressed his content with the open source CMS Typo3 and plans to refocus on the corporate intranet and to implement workflows.

"For both the Internet and the intranet sites we are looking at Typo3's standard document workflow - the standard 'create, edit, review, publish' cycle via roles," Robertson said.

"In the case of the Internet site it's to allow delegation of duties."

For the intranet, Robertson said the versioning and document workflow is required for compliance with industry food standards and regulations.

"For our intranet site we are also looking at implementing process workflows," he said. "This longer range plan is to automate and coordinate 'messy' processes such as new product development and introduction."

De Bortoli first trialled Typo3 when scouting for a new CMS for both its intranet and Web content. Initially expecting the project to take 12 to 18 months, De Bortoli's project - everything from the installation to data migration and training - took three months with Typo3 in conjunction with local service providers RedGum and Eternity Technologies.

"The main advantages of Typo3 include flexibility - being a CMF (content management framework) configured as a CMS - and the large amounts of professional documentation," he said. "Some of the enterprise features - like granular security - were only found in a few other open source projects, such as the Zope-Plone combination."

Typo3 boasts over 900 extensions, a large amount of documentation, and a Wysiwyg editor.

"Typo3 also met our optional 'nice to have' requirements [like] document workflow, LDAP support, Webstats extensions, OpenOffice support, Internal search engine, and PDF 'thumbnailing'," Robertson said.

"We are impressed with the information provided by the Typo3 stats extension and will have some fun analyzing the results. I expect when we have finished analyzing we will look at a site redesign."

Robertson believes open source is not the solution for everybody and every situation, but the "LAMP" (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP-Perl-Python) platform, upon which Typo3 is built, has proven itself viable.

"We have found the support good, as we researched this area first and developed the contacts before proceeding with implementation - like anything in IT you do your homework first," he said. "Typo3 is starting to develop greater visibility in Australia."

He said De Bortoli marketing staff are now updating the Web site directly and the need for a specialist in-house Web designer has been removed.

"One final thing that really impressed us was how much could be done within Typo3," Robertson said. "RedGum Web built the site from within Typo3 - its people had no shell or ftp access to the servers. Even the extensions are downloaded and installed into Typo3 from within Typo3."

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