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
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 (http://www-sor.inria.fr/).
From Research to the Product
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.