RSS Behind The Firewall

NewsGator Technologies introduced Enterprise Server on Thursday, a business-class application for enabling RSS content delivery behind the firewall.

The product includes the NewsGator RSS reader and optional integration with Microsoft Outlook to deliver feeds into that e-mail application. The application syncs across multiple interfaces so that if someone reads a feed on the Web, it’s marked as read whether the person next signs in to NewsGator from a mobile device or the desktop.

“We found that the plug-in was being used mainly in corporations,” said Sandy Hamilton, executive vice president of sales and marketing for NewsGator. “As the number of users continued to grow in the enterprise, IT directors were asking us to develop a server-based product behind the firewall, where no desktop client is required.”

NewsGator Enterprise Server makes use of Windows Active Directory, providing single sign-on to all users’ applications, including the RSS feeds. This function lets IT administrators assign feeds to various users or work groups.

The “Smart Feeds” feature lets users create custom feeds based on keywords. “The knowledge worker spends a lot of time searching for information,” Hamilton said. “With Smart Feeds, if that word or phrase is mentioned anywhere in the RSS world, it pushes that article down to you.”

NewsGator’s enterprise offering comes at a time when businesses are beginning to find benefits beyond the blog.

“Organizations worldwide kept pointing to an increase in the number of RSS feeds behind the firewall,” Hamilton said, “whether from a [Microsoft] SharePoint portal, internal blogs, or internal CRM or ERP applications that put out RSS feeds. That’s the fastest-growing area for RSS.”

Hamilton said that major enterprise software vendors, including Siebel Systems, plan to add native support for RSS to upcoming releases. Microsoft recently promised that RSS would be deeply embedded in its upcoming Windows Vista operating system.

Hamilton said he wasn’t worried about competition from Vista. NewsGator is a Microsoft partner, and he said one big difference between NewsGator Enterprise and Windows Vista is that the latter wouldn’t let IT administrators subscribe groups of users to feeds.

In May, KnowNow released KnowNow 3 Enterprise Syndication Solution, an enterprise RSS aggregator that delivers constant, managed feeds along dedicated channels via Web browsers or mobile devices. A July partnership with Moreover Technologies added human-edited news feeds and blog content to the service.

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