spacer back contents
ERCIM News No.49, April 2002

Jalios: Master your Content

by Vincent Bouthors

Jalios is a recent spin-off company emerging from the joint INRIA-Bull Economic Interest Group ‘DYADE’ . The company develops and provides innovative content management software.

Jalios has been created in December 2001. This spin-off from INRIA (Rocquencourt) and Bull develops and provides a content management software which is the result of a cooperation between INRIA and Bull organized through DYADE, a GIE (Economic Interest Group). Jalios is the third company resulting from this fruitful cooperation.

A Project: Pharos
Jalios has its origins in the INRIA project Pharos, which developed a collaborative infrastructure for web knowledge sharing. This project had two goals: the first goal, at the application level, was to build a collaborative recommendation service; the second goal, at the technical level, was to design a replication mechanism supporting disconnected replicates.
The application Pharos was primarily targeted at internal use, to take more benefit of the resources available from the web. Today, web sites based on this application are still of great interest and used either by technical contributors such as ( or by communities of interest such as educadoc, a French thematic index of Web resources for teachers by teachers.

The database replication mechanism was intended to allow any kind of topology and to allow to perform updates in each replicate even if not connected. This is of interest for nomad users willing to update their data (on their replicate) on their laptop while being on the road as well as for confidentiality and security reasons in defense or national security businesses. The work, conducted in a thesis, has lead to the definition of a framework for optimistic replication. The main problem was to handle synchronization between replicates: to detect conflicts, to solve those which can be solved automatically, and notify users of the other conflicts. Detection of the conflicts is achieved by the framework: the developer can program conflict resolution either by choosing default algorithms or by developing some others according to the semantic associated with the data. This main functional innovation has involved the INRIA research group SOR (

From Research to the Product
A light object-oriented data-base was developed to support the application and to prototype the replication protocol. This data-base is very similar to an explicit persistence mechanism: all basic operations (creation, update, deletion) are stored in a journal in XML format. This native in-memory data-base appears to offer obvious benefits for the developers: it makes programming very intuitive and it reduces drastically the need to perform request to retrieve data. On the other side, memory size and loading time of the database when rebooting the server are obvious limitations, but not for most of the applications : multimedia information are stored in the file system not in the data-base, and RAM is cheaper every day. Since the collaborative recommendation application had shown a need to share other kind of information we have decided to design a generic content management application, and to use the light object-oriented data-base as its kernel.

There are a lot of competitors in the domain of content management. Like other content management applications, Jalios handles independently content and presentation ; it takes use of the structure of objects to make easier multiple contribution, validation process, diffusion, and querying.

The replication is the main functional innovation of Jalios. Jalios also provides process innovations : it empowers each categories of users contributing to a content management site, letting them fully use their existing tools. People responsible for web design may continue to use their favorite authoring tool, like Dreamweaver, in order to edit HTML templates. All other users of the solution can achieve their task through their browser: the administrator who gives rights to members, the editorialist in charge of creating new types of publication and validating them, the writers who publish their articles and modify them after reviews, the readers who may interact, ask questions or possibly give their advice.

Our first customers have cheered Jalios for being a plateform that is easy and fast to install, easy to customize, and fully extensible. Some of them have selected it because it was a rapid prototyping plateform and kept using it, because it is an efficient solution for their production needs. Even though we are now launching our commercial operation, we are still interested in developing and looking for new partnerships to explore new usage and develop dedicated applications. One such application is being developed in a project with Renault (MAGIE) to provide a support for innovation, working group, survey, convergence meeting, knowledge transfer.

We would like to emphasis two points. First, it is very important for Research Institutes to provides researchers with support for creating a company to catch business opportunities. In our case, the help from INRIA-transfert were decisive. Second, we believe that process innovations may be as noble as functional innovation and if many research works focus on the second ones, the first ones are probably more important for industrial success in a competitive business such as the content management market.


Please contact:
Vincent Bouthors, Jalios, France
Tel: +33 1 39 63 51 53