World-Class Application Suite Made Available to Developers, In Significant Advance for Hosted Software Market

MARINA DEL REY, Calif. (March 12, 2002) - CrownPeak Technology, the premier hosted content management provider, today introduced a completely browser-based development environment, targeted at professional Web developers. At the same time, the company announced a new high-level template management system that provides any business user with the ability to change the look and feel of an entire Web site via a browser interface [see companion news release, "CrownPeak Technology Unveils Template Management System," issued today].

CrownPeak, which has been deploying its Advantage CMS™ content management tool with major clients for the past 18 months, has now released access to its world-class developer toolkit to external developers and end-user clients. Clients can choose among three options: CrownPeak can implement a solution for the client, the client can implement the solution in-house, or the client can hire a third-party developer to complete the implementation.

This level of access represents a genuine breakthrough, because CrownPeak has enabled multiple developers to use a single system without any stability or security concerns. After almost a year of testing, the company has created a fully browser-based environment that provides power for developers but maintains total control of system security and stability.

CrownPeak's decision to employ Microsoft's ASP (Active Server Pages) as its template creation language provides a flexible tool for programmers that is also a de facto standard. As such, the CrownPeak tool is accessible to the millions of developers who already understand the environment. Mindful that third-party developers and internal IT staff would value access to the system and require the power of a full programming language, CrownPeak created an entirely standards-based application interface. "For the first time, end-users and developers are now able to rent a world-class system," said Jim Howard, CEO, CrownPeak Technology. "We have the features and the power of any of the 'big name' applications on the market, but we're already installed, configured, and ready to go. This opens up a world of possibilities to organizations, which no longer need to install, configure, and pay for the expensive, often arcane systems on the market today.

"While the notion of software rental suggests to some a loss of control, our solution completely neutralizes that concern," Howard said. "Because content management is Web-based, developers are better off having us manage the core application for them. They keep total control over the implementation, the data, and the use of the application while we provide everything else they need - at a great cost advantage. With this innovation, outsourced content management has come of age."

"In creating the developer toolkit, we focused on certain critical factors," said Steven Gentner, CTO, CrownPeak Technology. "We have open functions that people can access to make connections to other systems, we have avoided proprietary elements, we've emphasized a short learning curve for new developers, we've given developers access to new technologies like SOAP, and we've taken care of all of the basics -- configuration management, syntax checking, support documentation and code examples, etc. In essence, we've enabled any external developer to access the same system and tools we've been using internally.

"CrownPeak's great advantage when providing content management solutions lies in our speed and flexibility of development," said Gentner. "As CMS veterans can attest, a large percentage of system implementation is configuration of user roles, permissions, reporting, and collaborative features, such as notifications. In our system, all of these elements are configured via a browser-based graphical user interface. All Access Control Levels, user roles, group definitions, and workflow are totally configurable, right down to the individual asset level. That's flexibility."

In practice, these levels can be fluid; some administrators have access to capabilities that other administrators may never see. By enabling a different interface for the business user, the "power user" and the developer, CrownPeak has combined maximum flexibility with maximum accessibility.

Templates are built using one or more template files. These template files define certain aspects of a Template including its presentation(s) (output), its entry form(s) (input), file naming conventions (filename), data validation (process) and many others. Using these template files, developers can create whatever custom formatting they can imagine, from defining a particular URL for an output page, to having multiple input forms create a single output. This technique makes creation of simple templates quick and easy, while allowing more complex templates to be specified with additional programming logic.

From an application security standpoint, Advantage CMS profiles users for typical locations, times and browser. Once enough profile alerts are triggered the system notifies both the website owner and CrownPeak staff of potential security violations. For networked organizations, CrownPeak monitors the application environment 24/7 and provides an SLA (service level agreement) guaranteeing specific security procedures. These techniques exceed most corporate norms, and indicate why many organizations considering Web-based content management are choosing to outsource.

As an enterprise-level content management system, Advantage CMS is highly inter-operable with other systems and applications. Connection options available to developers include SOAP, XML, FTP, HTTP, SMTP and ODBC.

About Crown Peak Technology
Based in Marina del Rey, Calif., CrownPeak Technology is the first company to provide world-class content management as a service, so that secure, feature-rich, enterprise level technology can be made available economically. As an Application Service Provider (ASP), CrownPeak builds and hosts easy-to-use CMS administrative interfaces and pushes the final assembled pages to client Web servers. CrownPeak thereby provides integration into existing Web sites without the cost and hassle of installing, integrating, and maintaining complex CMS software.

Ken Greenberg
Edge Communications, Inc.