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The Definitive Guide to Interwoven TeamSite  
By Brian Hastings and Justin McNeal
Illustrated. 576 pp.
Apress. US$109.99
ISBN-10: 1590596110 / ISBN-13: 9781590596111

In the beginning, the Internet was like an unruly but gifted toddler that was hard to control and even harder to figure out what to do with. Now, the Internet is like an even unrulier teenager whose gifts have turned out to be more profound and full of impact than any of us realized in those early days. For most companies, trying to manage a web site is more frustrating than trying to get that unruly teen to clean his or her room -- content just seems to spill out everywhere. Sometimes it ends up where it's supposed to -- on the company web site -- but sometimes valuable content gets lost and becomes as useful as last year's Christmas present lost underneath the pile of dirty jeans and t-shirts behind the bed.

Enter InterWoven TeamSite, a web content management tool for enterprise-level corporations. TeamSite is the cornerstone program of Interwoven's Web Content Management suite. It allows corporations to make sure that valuable content -- no matter where it comes from or where it's hidden -- ends up on the web site on pages that are consistently branded across the site. It allows more centralized web management, and at the same time allows business users to update their own content, speeding up business processes and driving down overhead.

TeamSite is a valuable addition to the corporate tool chest, but like with all tools, it comes with the barrier of having to learn to use it. Hence The Definitive Guide to InterWoven TeamSite, the outstanding "how-to" manual by experts Brian Hastings and Justin McNeal. Extremely practical in its outlook, The Definitive Guide to InterWoven TeamSite is a necessary asset for people who want to improve their content management systems, whether they approach the problem from the information technology side or the business analysis and management side. It is rare to find a book that serves the needs of both technical and non-technical people so well, but The Definitive Guide to InterWoven TeamSite does just that.

Using a fictitious yet typical financial company as an example, The Definitive Guide to InterWoven TeamSite will help project managers to create and manage the project plan, business analysts to define business needs and dig out necessary information, system analysts to plan and visualize the overall architecture of a good content management site, and software developers to become familiar with Interwoven code modules and customize code. That McNeal and Hastings have accomplished this in one very readable volume is as astounding as, well, getting teenagers to clean their room.

The Definitive Guide to InterWoven TeamSite uses the Rational Unified Process (RUP) of content management. Before you give a shudder at yet another techno-acronym, be assured that RUP is a framework that simplifies development projects. It is closely aligned with the real-world requirements of life in the business world. For example, other development frameworks require that all the requirements of software be defined before any development takes place. Authors McNeal and Hastings point out how unrealistic this is. In the real world, requirements often change faster than development proceeds, meaning that application features can become out-of-date before they are even completed. In RUP, software development includes end-user and stakeholder input and feedback at each stage. It also allows for visual modeling of the software, a process that reduces communication gaps between users, designers, and analysts.

Brian Hastings and Justin McNeal are co-founders of Rational Solutions, an Internet technologies and web services consulting company based in St. Louis, MO. They both have years of experience in web technologies with a focus on content-management system implementations. This book is part of their emphasis on and devotion to the continual sharpening and expanding of technology skills for those who work in or tangentially to technology fields.

Sylvia Breau, for Notable Book Reviews
Notable Book Reviews received one or more copies of this book in exchange for this review.
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