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A Customized Approach: "Of Mice and Tickler Databases"

September 2005

Sharon Hite, of the NIEHS Computer Technology Branch, gave a web-based presentation Aug. 24 on custom uses of SiteScape. More than 60 members of the SiteScape client community - twice the usual participation - tuned in for the "webinar."

The presentation, "Of Mice and Tickler Databases," discussed some of the applications Hite has developed for NIEHS users and the process she used to develop them.

SiteScape Enterprise Forum is a web-based platform that combines project management, knowledge management, and document management with workflow, team collaboration, and access control to address a number of needs. Since the product is completely web-based, it works equally well for Windows, Mac, and Linux users. NIEHS has several groups using SiteScape for both the standard features and customized applications.

The majority of clients use the SiteScape customizations team or contract with one of the business partners to produce applications that go beyond the standard functionality. Hite's presentation showed that users willing to take the time to understand the product can write their own custom applications. She also highlighted some best practices for developing and using those applications.

Hite is well-known in the SiteScape community for her work in customization. She spoke at last year's user conference and was asked to speak again at this year's conference. She is a member of the Client Advisory Board, which oversees the client community and advises SiteScape on future directions for the product. She has written white papers on developing integrations with other products, such as Crystal Enterprise and ColdFusion. After she wrote a paper on incorporating an open-source rich-text editor in SiteScape that would allow Mac and Linux users to make entries in rich text, the company included that editor in the next version of their product. Many more of her suggestions have been incorporated in the current version or in the upcoming version.

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