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Eland NewsRoom is a client/server news management system enabling the reception and transmission of messages over a variety of links, the local creation of messages, the handling of messages in a variety of ways by user-defined workgroups, very sophisticated message switching, and the application of these features to marketing and distributing information output in a variety of ways.

Eland NewsRoom is designed for round-the-clock operation, it also provides a Fault-Tolerant configuration to avoid downtime and loss of data even in the event of hardware failure.

Eland NewsRoom runs on industry-standard PCs and utilises all popular network operating systems. It uses the IBM OS/2 multitasking operating system for its servers and MS DOS, Windows 3.x, Windows 95, Windows NT or OS/2 for its client software. NetBIOS is the network transport protocol.

Eland NewsDesk is a subscriber news management system. It can receive messages over serial links such as leased lines, dial-up, radio-data and satellite links.

Communications

  • Up to 32 serial asynchronous lines per server.
  • Multiple servers can be daisy-chained.
  • Speeds between 50 baud and 57,600 bits/second.
  • Connects with
    • Dedicated satellite, microwave and land lines
    • Internet
    • ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network)
    • PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network - Standard telephone)
    • Radio-data transceiver
    • Public telex

Organisation of Messages in Folders

Eland NewsRoom employs an intermediate sorting area called Folders - the systemís basic organising unit. Messages can be placed in multiple folders without unnecessary duplication of data.

  • Received and transmitted messages are automatically grouped in Folders according to the line on which they arrived or were sent out.
  • Locally created messages are automatically grouped in Folders according to the person or workgroup which created them.
  • Received and transmitted messages can be grouped in Folders according to the information in the message header.
  • Text analysis can be used to group messages in Folders based on their content, with or without reference to the origin of the message or header content. (This is an advanced form of the " message filters" or " rules" found in some email-only software.)
  • Messages can also be placed in Folders manually.

Folders can be associated with any of the features and links on your system.

Message Switching and Message Handling

Once messages are grouped in Folders, these can be used to switch messages among the different lines connected to the system, to route certain messages to the database together, and to display to users only certain groups of messages at a time.

Folders can be Daily or Permanent.

  • Daily Folders are typically used to hold the messages received or transmitted on a line, agency category or Eland Database category or combination of categories for each day, or the output of a journalist or workgroup for each day. These Folders are opened and closed each day at midnight so that they include all the relevant messages of that date.
  • Permanent Folders are typically used to hold background material collected over time (by the database or manually), diaries and plans, feature stories or other works in progressí, or messages on a particular topic or by a person or department, where a ready record is desirable.

User Features

The user's working area consists of one or more windows showing the Titles of messages in the active Folder, a View window which shows the full text of the highlighted Title, an area for selecting other Folders, and hotkeys or a toolbar for carrying out NewsRoom functions on one or more selected message.

  • Messages in a Folder can be edited using the Eland system editor or any other text editor or word processor on your network.
  • Messages can also be called with other software installed on the network, such as spreadsheets, desktop-publishing suites, CD-ROM authoring systems.
  • Messages can be transferred to other Folders. This enables workflow management and internal email between workgroups and individuals.
  • Messages can be printed and can be exported to any accessible disk.

Database Sub-system

Any NewsRoom Folder or combination of folders can be sent to the database sub-system for processing. The results of the processing can be used for routing messages, or can be obtained on an ad hoc basis for any range of dates.

Classification System

User-definable categories for text analysis with up to 72 search terms each. Search terms may be word or phrases, exact match or partial match. Each Folder sent for processing can have its own set of categories.

Full-Text Search and Retrieval Engine

Builds an index file for each Folder and enables users to search for words and phrases, or combinations of words and phrases using Boolean AND, OR and NOT operators.

Database query results can be edited directly, allowing journalists to gather background material from your archive and move straight into their preferred word processor or text editor to produce their story.

Distribution Services

  • Using the Folders, any set of messages can be routed to any subscriber:
  • The messages can be transmitted using any line connected to a NewsRoom Communications Server. The transmissions can be done
    • in real time,
    • at intervals during a range of times
    • at specified times during the day
    • on command.
  • The messages can be put into an electronic mailbox for pickup by the subscriber.
  • The messages can be put into a continually updated set of HTML files, including hypertext links among the messages dynamically established by the Classification System, for access via a World Wide Web server.
  • The messages can be fed to a network fax server for distribution by fax.
  • The messages can be printed out for delivery on paper.

System Security

Access to NewsRoom data and features is governed by a set of access levels which are password protected.

Passwords can be encrypted using an optional hardware key, so that not even the system administrator can gain access to anyone else's account without their knowledge.

Fault-Tolerant Configuration

This protects you against downtime and loss of data due to equipment failure. It runs on-line backup copies of your most important processes on separate PCs. In the event of any fatal fault in the live system, the on-line backup will pick up where the live system left off. Used in conjunction with a similarly fault-tolerant network operating system configuration and uninterruptable power supplies, this "failover" option offers you the maximum in protection.

Language Support

  • Eland NewsRoom can handle data in any alphabetic language for which operating system support is available, including right-to-left languages like Arabic and Hebrew.
  • User interfaces and documentation for Eland NewsRoom are currently available in Arabic, English, French and Spanish.
  • The database sub-system provides full searching capability regardless of the language or mixture of languages of the data handled by the system.

Connectivity

  • Your reporters - whether across town, in another city or in another country - can file their stories to your Eland NewsRoom system, using a direct modem connection, the Internet, an on-line service or public telex. (Eland NewsRoom connectivity)
  • You can exchange news with other agencies using any available link.
  • Eland systems provide an open application programmersí interface for working with third party hardware and software.
  • A script language is provided for interacting with remote systems such as electronic mail and for interpreting the headers of news agency messages.

 

Network Interfaces

  • Internet via LAN or dialup link (GENI).
  • World Wide Web server via HyperText Mark-Up language (HTML) files with related stories dynamically linked by the Eland Classification System, enabling you to publish your product on the Internet.
  • NetFax Network fax server via user-configurable interface.
  • DCE, Hasler and other telex converter boxes via a user-configurable interface.
  • Codan, Euraf DTS, and other high-speed radio-data transceivers via a user-configurable interface.

Special Features for Broadcast News Organisations

    • Eland Broadcast NewsRoom systems enable radio stations to send sound files quickly and affordably with no loss of sound quality.
    • They enable television stations to organise their running order, feed autocue devices and manipulate broadcast cartridge trolleys.
© 2001 Eland Data Management Systems & Eland Systems Limited. All rights reserved.