Integrating Downloads and the Web Experience



We had the usual "every year or two" reorganization in July. What was unusual for me is that I got assigned to a new group and a new manager and have some fun new challenges. Unlike my singular focus on ESD over the past 8 years, my new role includes aspects of ESD but also strategy for a broader set of web applications. (I'm still managing the Sun Download Manager 2 project and will see it through to release however.)

My new team manages a suite of web-based systems collectively known as Common Web Platform (CWP). CWP includes:
  • eCommerce
  • Downloads (this is new to this team -- those of us responsible for new/enhanced download systems moved over.)
  • Portals
  • Sun Online Identity
  • Web Entitlements
  • Community, Collaboration, and Forums

As a "strategist," my new role includes formulating a development/enhancement road map for these building blocks that most effectively uses our time and resources while yielding the most customer experience improvement in the shortest time. It's an interesting challenge!

Let me cite an example involving my favorite topic (of course), downloads. With the release of Solaris Enterprise System, we also released the My Sun Connection (MSC), our newest portal framework (built on Java Enterprise System). Timing of the releases was no coincidence -- this enabled the initial integration of the download experience into the portal. Now, when you download Solaris OS or other components of the Solaris Enterprise System, we automatically provision MSC with content related to your downloads. By logging into MSC, you'll find the new "My Products" section containing valuable and convenient content related to your downloads. Content includes related content links, training and support options, blogs, and forums. It's really quite helpful, and I hope you'll check it out for yourself. I'm also open to hearing what other features and improvements you'd like in this space, so please leave comments if interested.

That's just one example -- the proverbial tip of the iceberg. We'll continue to build out these types of inter-relationships to flesh out a portal that we hope truly meets our customers' needs for focused information and functionality at their fingertips. We're working on a whole new download experience, too, that will seamlessly weave download capabilities throughout sun.com. I hope to write more about that shortly.


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About

I helped design, build, and manage download systems at Sun for many years. Recently I've focused on web eMarketing systems. Occasionally, I write about other interests, such as holography and jazz guitar. Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/garyzel

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