Flatirons: What's Cool About MarkLogic

We recently had Eric Seversen, CTO of Flatirons Solutions, speak at our mid-year company kickoff. While I know why I like MarkLogic, I always enjoy hearing why other people do — particularly when they have strong, real-world experience with both our product and other content software that complements it.

Flatirons Solutions is a ~100 person, fast-growing systems integrator, based in Boulder, Colorado. They focus on (1) single-source publishing based on DITA and DocBook, (2) digital asset respositories, and (3) publishing workflow and collaboration.

Flatirons partners with (1) EMC/Documentum and IBM in content management; (2) PTC/Arbortext, JustSystems (XMetaL), and Adobe in content creation and publishing; (3) and Mark Logic in content delivery.

In fact, because of their smarts and experience, Flatirons helped me in articulating two basic messages:

  • The creation/delivery dichotomy. Enterprise content management (ECM) systems are about content creation. MarkLogic is about content delivery.
  • The above, below, and beside message. Because MarkLogic is complementary to ECM, there are three different ways to integrate MarkLogic with a CMS (above, below, and beside).

But, I digress. Let’s go back to the slide in Eric’s presentation where he discusses why he thinks MarkLogic is cool. Verbatim:

  • It’s fast
  • It’s faster than anybody else
  • It’s way, way faster
  • It blows you away it’s so fast

Like I said, the Flatirons guys are good at communicating a clear and simple message. The slide continues:

  • It’s actually so fast that it …
    • Makes it possible to do real-time queries against large XML databases
    • Makes it possible to do large-scale personalization from XML data
    • Makes it possible to think about classic problems in an entirely new way

Not on the slide, but in my written notes were:

  • It’s game-changing fast
  • It makes it possible to do things with XML you thought not possible
  • It makes it possible to do with XML what you originally envisioned

While I love all the points, the last one is my favorite: MarkLogic makes it possible to do with XML what you originally envisioned.

I believe that many of our customers made a strategic, visionary bet on XML several years back, hoping that the tools and infrastructure would be there in the future to deliver on their XML vision.

For the most part, they were bitterly disappointed. They lost granularity by chunking content into CMSs. They wasted months and oodles of CPU cycles trying to shred content into relational databases. They preprocessed their content and hacked search engines to do fielded XML search.

Then MarkLogic came along and finally provided what they were expecting would be there the whole time.

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