BBC and Press Association select MarkLogic to handle Olympics data

By Sooraj Shah
13 Jun 2012 View Comments
BBC Olympics

The BBC and Press Association websites have selected unstructured data-management software company MarkLogic to ensure they can handle the vast amount of data that will be created during the Olympics.

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John Pomeroy, vice president of Europe at MarkLogic, said both companies approached the vendor as they were dealing with similar issues in handling the data.

"They both had a fairly archaic IT infrastructure based on out of date database technologies," he said.

Pomeroy said the companies had two main objectives.

"One was to streamline architecture, so that rather than having multiple data types stored in different repositories and trying to pull them together in some sort of user front end, they were looking to manage all of the data types in a common back end depository," he said.

"The other was streamlining processes; both of these agencies are in the real-time news business and therefore it is crucial to have anything new in the right place [on the website]. In both cases they have gone for ‘dynamic semantic publishing' in which a correspondent will tag a particular article and then the system will analyse it and decide where it will make the article visible on the site."

Pomeroy added that this mean it counts out a lot of the interaction that had to take place throughout the workflow.

John O'Donovan, director, technical architecture and development at the Press Association said that the key benefit of using MarkLogic was its ability to manage data.

"It's an XML database that stores and manages different types of content such as images and video very well," he said. "There are not that many products that are good at that. If we went for an off-the-shelf solution we would have had to spend time customising it to fit our needs."

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