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Timothy Davis: Globalized Personali(z|s)ation – Baked in goodness

written by Timothy Davis, 29. January 2013

I’m going to assume you  have an understanding of traditional WCM Deployment Patterns and recognize that the core that all OpenText Web Site Management(RedDot) is a baking machine. When OpenText WSM publishes it renders the approved final version of the content out statically to a location. That doesn’t mean its WCM journey is done. I’m about to describe a method to deploy a global personalization system. However, you could swap out where I have OpenText Delivery Server for ASP.Net, PHP, JSP, RoR, Django, or any language or framework you want. OpenText Professional services has a set of practices to help meld your development methodology with content creation to liberate your application developer. But back to the topic at hand. When I talk about Delivery Server it is often in the context of par-baking, which I have used before seeing Seth’s post or other sources.   The following method of par-baking in particular allows you to optimize personalized delivery without segmenting user storage by location. This scenario has come up many times over the years. Here is a general answer:

By setting up N (you could assume 3) data center locations, with Global Traffic Management (GTM) routing systems could sufficiently route traffic to one of N data centers closest to the client.  This would allow for optimal delivery speed of content, both personalized and not. For this discussion lets assume each data center location would have its own database server locally that does not have replication to the other database instances.  Content would be replicated from WSM Management Server in the current data center out.  This can include DynaMents or XSL configurations.  Any configurations can be promoted from development to all N production data centers using Delivery Server transport packages.  Users and personalization data remain a concern.  WSM Delivery Server with the Developer Toolkit activates SOAP web services that expose an API to edit user data, as well as a SOAP based Web Services Connector in Delivery Server.  With these services and connector, a Delivery Server DynaMent configuration can be developed such that when the profile of a user is updated, the change will be replicated to all data centers via Web Services DynaMents.  The synchronization could be configured for optimal user experience: to occur asynchronously with the use of AJAX.  This would prevent blocking of page loads for distant calls with longer write times.

For global companies performance of their sites is a factor in the User Experience. Having friends and colleagues in Australia and Germany I know this from feedback I’ve gotten working on shared servers. I’m lucky enough to have friends in Europe who now work at Compuware (Gomez) they’ve conveyed the experience gains of having your contents hosted in your region or country so there are real ROIs in investing in global infrastructure. This doesn’t rule out CDNs. In fact this works for active content and user profile synchronization with DR as well which is important to support a CDN strategy for your origin servers. Pairing up this approach with OpenText WSM multi-language capabilities to produce localized sites is always a great combo.

Have thoughts on the approach? Using a database level replication and having a good experience?

About Tim

I'm Tim Davis. My primary professional interests are web, web content, and mobile. Currently I lead services team centered around OpenText Web Site Management (FKA: RedDot) for the Americas.

Source: Globalized Personali(z|s)ation – Baked in goodness

© copyright 2013 by Timothy Davis