In our experience working with numerous WebCenter Portal customers, almost all of whom suffered from failed portal/intranet implementations, this difficulty to update and quickly edit page content always lead to stagnant content throughout the portal. This stagnant content made the portal less sticky and therefore the organization didn’t realize widespread adoption.

The difficulty to add and update content was magnified by the fact that in most cases, portal page updates were performed by system administrators. As you can imagine especially in a large organization, the ability for a few admins making page updates across human resources, finance, marketing, and IT departments would cause bottlenecks and it would be days or weeks before the various business groups would see their new content on the portal. Because the business groups really couldn’t take ownership of the content on the portal, less and less changes or updates would be requested.

To make it easier for customers to update their portals and ultimately realize distributed content authoring, Fishbowl Solutions released its Portal Solution Accelerator (PSA) framework in 2012 which included a profile-driven process to make page updates. Today, one of the most desirable and usable features of Fishbowl’s Portal Solution Accelerator (PSA) is the inline editor. This feature enables portal users with the appropriate permissions to edit content directly on portal pages. Now before I provide more detail on this feature, I think it is important to provide some context on how Fishbowl Solutions has continued to make this feature easier for the business user to edit content.

With previous versions of PSA, the process involved the user going to the content server to find the content item. They then would check out the item, and then use a WYSIWYG-style editor to edit the content. After checking the content item back in they would return to the portal, refresh the page, and hopefully see the changes they made. To highlight what I’ve outlined above, see this video starting at 44:48.

With the current version of PSA, the inline editor was built with the business user mind. Fishbowl wanted to ensure that anyone with the appropriate permissions could edit page content and that the process itself could be done directly on the page itself. This would ensure that more users across more departments could be involved with keeping content on the portal fresh and new, helping companies get more value through higher adoption. An overview of the process is as follows:

  1. Users with the appropriate permissions go to the page they want to update. Hover effects indicate highlighted sections that can be updated.
  2. They then click on the edit icon (pencil on paper) that will appear in the bottom right corner of the editable section.
  3. Once clicked, stylized versions of Content Server profile pages appear. Within this profile form, the user can make any changes to page content. At this point, this page (content item) is checked out from the content server.
  4. Once finished the user click out of the profile form. This checks the item back in, which could trigger a workflow process for page reviews. The user that did the editing can then see in near real-time the updates to the page they made.

To illustrate how easy it is to edit portal page content with Fishbowl’s PSA inline editor, this video shows some examples of editing content, approving those items through workflow, and then seeing the updates.

As you can see, the inline editor feature of Fishbowl’s PSA makes it easy for anyone to update content on the portal. This feature alone ensures that more people within an organization, across departments and roles, can participate in content creation. With content being created more frequently, employees should be more engaged and better informed leading to higher rates of portal adoption.

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