Thursday, July 31, 2008

New Applicaitons of Metadata and Electronic Document Management for Electronic Commerce

Each year I give lectures at the ANU on Metadata and Electronic Document Management for Electronic Commerce as part of Information Technology in Electronic Commerce ( COMP3410/COMP6341). While the principles don't change, and the technology does not change that much, each year I like to freshen up the course with some new examples. The area covered includes document representation, meta-data, data management, digital library, electronic document management and e-commerce.

It might seem surprising that the principles don't change, but e-publishing is much the same as publishing of books was, minus the paper. Similarly management of e-records is like managing paper files, without the paper. The difficult task with this is to convince computer scientists, software engineers and information systems students that it is worth worrying about the the details of policies and practices and that these are difficult topics.

Technologies have changed a little with XML being firmly established. This makes it important to point out to the students that there was a time before XML, HTML and the web and there will be a time after them.

One area worth looking at with recent developments are XML based office document formats. The controversy over ODF and OOXML as international standards has calmed down somewhat, and a detailed look at the similarities and differences, strengths and weaknesses of these (as well as alternatives) would be useful.

The examples used change most often. What last year was a complex challenge, such as how to build a global electronic publishing system for the world's ICT research has now largely been solved.

Some areas I was thinking of looking to for examples were:
  1. In flight E-publishing for the airline industry
  2. e-Courts
  3. e-enabling carbon trading and energy reduction systems

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