Is RSS Ready for the Enterprise?

Mike’s take: Again, we see here the benefit to enterprises as being that of time. Wasted time that is. Time spent searching for the information one knows they need. RSS like other services, can be predefined to present the information one wants, when they want it, and how they want it. All leading to reduced time and costs employees incure attempting to do their job better.

Is RSS Ready for the Enterprise?

Yuval Tarsi

Apr. 30, 2007
RSS is a format for syndicating news and content from Web sites such as media outlets, community sites and Weblogs. Recently, RSS has been extended beyond news and this trend hasn’t escaped the corporate world. Now, companies routinely use RSS to inform customers about new offerings and products. The next natural step forward is to provide employees with changes to enterprise application data using RSS.

The main challenges to using RSS in the enterprise include ensuring appropriate data security, providing requisite scalability, conforming to existing security and access policies and making sure that solutions don’t introduce additional security layers to administer. In short, delivering secure RSS in the enterprise is fraught with dangers and pitfalls.

Let’s examine the challenges faced delivering enterprise data to today’s information workers through secure RSS.

RSS in the Consumer World
Consumers subscribe to RSS on news sites for local weather and company stock prices. After subscribing to feeds, users periodically receive updates viewed with RSS "readers.”

Several popular RSS products view RSS feeds:

  • Web Aggregators – RSS-aggregating services provided to consumers over the Web by third parties. Consumers access Web aggregators using a Web browser, such as Microsoft's Internet Explorer or Firefox. Web aggregators serve as intermediaries between feed consumers – or browsers – and feed servers.
  • Desktop RSS Readers – Consumers download software programs called desktop RSS readers that are able to receive, store and render RSS feeds.
  • Web Aggregator Gadgets – One variant of a Web aggregator is a software tool deployed as a Web "gadget" (or widget). These run within consumer browsers.

RSS in the Enterprise World
The convenience of RSS hasn’t escaped business and IT professionals. It introduces a new way to access enterprise data and potentially revolutionize information sharing between employees, partners and customers. Most importantly, RSS allows workers to customize their own workplace computing experience, enabling them to create personalized applications for specific organizational needs.

Real-world examples include:

  • Support managers subscribing to CRM updates that track high priority cases
  • Salespeople subscribing to CRM and ERP application updates that track key customers' sales orders and support histories
  • Sales managers receiving automatic updates on high-value sales leads with high closure potential
  • Product managers subscribing to SFA application updates that track uptake of new products or modules

This information is already accessible to organization employees, however, workers often waste hours searching and retrieving the data they need.

RSS increases worker productivity by radically changing how they consume critical data. Through personalized RSS feeds, workers can focus on the job at hand, rather than searching for information.


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