JazBox®...the publishing industry's workhorse
Jazbox® is MediaSpan’s heavy-duty content management solution with an emphasis on connecting larger workgroups and automatically publishing content to multiple channels. These channels could be the Web, Mobile, an e-reader, print or whatever is next. With a database-centered structure, Jazbox® conforms to an individual paper’s workflow needs, streamlining the workflow, yet allowing for change and modifications in the midst of the production cycle. Jazbox®’s platform-flexible format and centralized asset management features help your publication consolidate processes, saving time and money.
Jazbox® focuses on connections among your team members, enabling information to flow clearly and naturally as news stories progress from concept to final products in multiple media. From across the desk or across the globe, Jazbox®-connected team members add value that goes beyond a story’s text, photos, graphics, audio and video to include contextual information that can be automatically re-purposed for multiple media presentations.
Jazbox® software is available for both the Microsoft Windows and Apple MacOS X platforms. Remote access is also available when Jazbox® is staged on a Citrix server, or via Microsoft Terminal Services, or via an Aqua Connect Terminal Server for MacOS X users. The Jazbox® database server is available on the Windows, Sun Solaris, and IBM AIX platforms, and uses database technology from IBM Informix and Oracle.
All Jazbox® functions are tightly integrated with Adobe’s InDesign for pagination, InCopy for editorial functions, and Photoshop for image manipulation. Jazbox® enhances these tools to provide full write-to-fit capability for print-centric workflows, and easy and consistent page design via database-managed styles and story shapes. Photos, graphics, and captions can be linked to stories for quick placement on a page.
OnePlan is a Jazbox® budget planning tool that can be used to track stories even before they are created. Reporters and photographers can be given assignments and deadlines. Customers can track upcoming events, potential contacts, important tips or proposals for stories, and schedule future activities. OnePlan can display real-time status of pages as they are processed by paginators during production.
The Content Syndication Server (CSS) is a tool that allows you to easily personalize and customize the syndication of content. Based on profiles you create, CSS can automatically generate multiple versions of an object, converting it into different file types with different attributes. Then the transformed content is delivered automatically to a variety of transmission channels, ranging from your own web site or file system to a group of your customers who receive your syndicated stories and photos. You choose the customization modules you need.
Besides CSS, Jazbox® provides many other tools that run unattended to perform functions that would otherwise be assigned to employees. There are import tools that handle stories, images, wire, and XML-formatted data. Edition Planner is a layout tool that constructs InDesign pages automatically. Automation tools can manipulate assets and move them through their production life cycle at scheduled times. System alerts can be generated to notify particular users when an event has occurred that would interest them. There are also a number of administration tools that are used to manage the Jazbox® system.
The Jazbox® suite supports the ability to easily share content between two or more sites that each possess a Jazbox® system. Assets can be placed in a location at one site where they are available for view or copy by users at a remote site. InDesign pages can be created in a way that allows them to be quickly reused by a different publication, which can be a useful feature for newspaper chains.
Jazbox® is a workflow-based suite of functions and tools, where assets are managed according to their current position in a given workflow stage. Jazbox® workflows can easily be configured to support any type of collaborative production effort. Content can be tracked by the workflow visualization available through the integrated Jazbox® browser. Workflows can also be manually overridden as conditions dictate, given proper user access privileges. A Jazbox® site can create as many distinct workflows as they require.
Jazbox® really shines with its very high level of automation. It provides unattended tools that can reformat raw data when importing new assets into the Jazbox® database. Jazbox® AutoDroids are highly-configurable ‘bots’ that can apply or manipulate metadata for files in a given workflow stage that meet particular criteria. The Content Syndication Server can be used to re-purpose a database asset or collection of assets into multiple file formats – simultaneously, on the fly – while exporting them from the Jazbox® database. Jazbox® users have more time to focus on the creative aspects of content production instead of the nuts and bolts of assembling content.
The Jazbox® user experience is highly customizable. Users can only access the assets, metadata, and product functions that are appropriate to their particular needs. Users can be members of multiple groups where each group is responsible for specific functions and portions of the workflow. Different departments can have entirely different views of how the Jazbox® desktop is presented to them. Barriers between different publishing roles can be as secure or as open as each customer chooses.
Jazbox® includes extensive XML support, which allows for importation of XML-formatted assets and metadata, as well as an extensive ability to produce XML, NewsML, NITF, and HTML formats for export from the Content Syndication Server (CSS). Both the import and export tools also provide support for XSLT technology, which can be used for reformatting content into other XML or similar file formats. By using CSS the Jazbox® suite is compatible with virtually all archiving systems.
Storing your valuable content in a Jazbox database is a safe decision. All Jazbox® systems provide full database redundancy, and use a warm backup approach that allows the second server to quickly assume the role of the active server should an unexpected issue arise. Optionally Jazbox® allows for a third database server that would typically be located at a safe distance from the main production site, in the event that a disaster recovery becomes necessary. The Jazbox® suite includes the Sentry collection of utilities that perform regular monitoring of the database health to anticipate issues that if left unattended could escalate into a problem.
Jazbox® has an excellent reputation for reliability, configurability, functionality, and automation. This product suite is an excellent fit for any large or medium-sized publication.