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Custom content editor

Oct 13, 20033 mins
Enterprise Applications

* XemiComputers Web Update Builder

Simple content management is an oxymoron but one of the simplest I’ve found is a product called Web Update Builder from XemiComputers (see links below).

WUB allows you to create custom client content editor programs that can only modify specially tagged content on Web pages using FTP to update the Web server content.

Content is tagged using special tags: There are also a few parameters that you can specify in the opening tag to set the title on the edit box and other user presentation issues. Download the software and check the help file for the full tag parameter description.

To prepare the Web pages to be edited you need to add the tags into local copies of each target page. Then in Web Update Builder you specify the HTTP and FTP locations of the pages, FTP logon parameters and optionally proxy server details. You can restrict client users from modifying the FTP logon details.

The client program can also be branded by incorporating your own logo in its display.

Once the editable files have been scanned and the tags validated you need to upload the list of Web pages to the server. A list is created in the first directory that contains pages that can be edited. When the client program connects to the server it knows where to find the list and can then determine which files are editable and where they are.

This is clever because it allows the list of files to be updated without modifying the client program (that said, I suspect that it would be easy to create multiple list files in different directories and wind up with clients getting the wrong file lists – perhaps the list should always be in the root?).

You can create multiple versions of the client software so that each user can have a different list of files to edit. The client software connects to the Web site on initialization and downloads the list of editable files. The user selects a file, it is downloaded, and the editable fields are displayed. Once changes are made the file is FTP’ed back to the site.

The client only allows you to create plain, italic and bold text and optionally URLs depending on the parameters set in the tag. A tag extension file for Dreamweaver is also supplied.

The system works well but I’d like to see the client software made more user friendly – currently it is more “techie” than it needs to be. I’d also like to see the addition of font color control (you can currently only have colored fonts by wrapping the tags in tags). The client software also needs an authentication system (currently you launch the software and it automatically connect and logs into the target FTP server).

Nit picking apart the software runs on Windows and costs $149 for unlimited users.


Mark Gibbs is an author, journalist, and man of mystery. His writing for Network World is widely considered to be vastly underpaid. For more than 30 years, Gibbs has consulted, lectured, and authored numerous articles and books about networking, information technology, and the social and political issues surrounding them. His complete bio can be found at

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