JB Were Invests in ISYS
Australian stockbroking giant, JB Were & Son has a client-registered
website which allows large corporate investment clients to gain access
to the latest stock market research information. Using ISYS:sdk and the
Cold Fusion authoring environment, the JB Were Internet project team has
devised a user-friendly, highly intuitive service that maximizes knowledge
transfer to site visitors.
John Brand, Project Leader for Internet Development at JB Were, was responsible
for the public and client Internet sites as well as the company Intranet.
ISYS is used on all three sites.
The aim of the client project was to establish the ultimate online service
for the stockbrokers larger corporate customers. We wanted
to provide a service for the institutional clients where they could gain
access to research and analysis, said Brand.
The research information is mostly published in HTML and clients can
access password-protected information on investment and financial information
for industries, companies, commodities and the like with a wide variety
of search methods on offer. Searches can be done by stock, sector, analyst,
keywords or combinations, and can be cross-referenced against each other.
Clients entering the site with a password can save their personal query
preferences with re-executable transposable dates. For example, a client
might visit the site on February 3rd and define a query on all articles
about Coles Myer over the last three weeks. This query is saved and when
the client enters the site on March 3rd, he can trigger that query and
the system will serve up the information by calculating the last three
weeks from the day of the current visit.
This provides a tailored, personal aspect to the service. No-one else
can access an individual clients query. Once they log on, they enter
their own realm - a personalized Internet site, served with all the information
that JB Were can offer.
JB Were has implemented ISYS across a broad range of areas. ISYS:web
is used extensively on its intranet, and also used on the public Internet
site as the search facility. The company has many SQL databases and Brands
team has pointed ISYS at these as well. It is far quicker to make a query
from ISYS than it is to follow the search parameters of the databases
On the JB Were intranet, each department has its own information resources
indexed by ISYS:web but at the same time there is a company-wide knowledge
bank that ISYS also indexes.
While the client website contains research and analysis information,
the stockbroking firm also deals with a lot of rapidly changing data.
The automatic update feature of ISYS:web proved to be of great value to
John Brand and his team. ISYS automatically updates upon a change or addition
of data, which means that the latest information is always on hand. As
the stock market changes over night, JB Were staff are busy inputting
the details. ISYS then identifies the changes and updates its index so
that come morning, everything is already in the computer and able to be
When it came to the registered client site, Brand chose to use the ISYS:sdk
for its flexibility. ISYS:sdk allows the powerful ISYS search engine to
be seamlessly integrated into other applications. It has been used in
document management systems, human resources systems and help desk systems.
Now JB Were & Son has integrated the ISYS:sdk into a highly effective
client services website.
Because this password protected site is basically an information searching
facility not a site with a search facility attached, ISYS:sdk provided
a great level of customization. ISYS:web is a great facility to
add to a website, said Brand. ISYS:sdk is the best tool when
you want to create a site where the sole function is searching. The document
searching is part of the users realm.
While ISYS:web has security facilities and integrates with Windows NT,
the security requirements for this site were much higher. ISYS:web is
customizable, but Brand wanted complete control over the output and to
be able to fully manipulate the query options and fields. We needed
to create a transparent interface for the search engine to ensure compatibility
with the look and feel of the site. ISYS:sdk worked perfectly. The core
product is excellent.
Using ISYS:sdk also enabled Brands team to develop a more comprehensive
audit trail. This provides the staff at JB Were & Son with the opportunity
to review client queries. From this they can establish individual interests
and trends in order to further cater to customer needs. It also allows them
to regularly evaluate the service to ensure that clients are getting the
best information available.
J B Were & Son chose ISYS after sampling a variety of products. Brand
evaluated four Internet search tools and eventually narrowed the field
to two options, a North American product and ISYS. ISYS won based on customer
service and the ease with which it could be installed. I simply
couldnt install the other product, said Brand. Taking
two weeks to return my call, their technical support team in Australia
couldnt get it working either. It was also three times the price
When asked what the biggest hurdle in getting the site off the ground,
Brands answer showed the depth of thought and planning that has
gone into the project. The hardest part was re-evaluating what information
is. What do people want from a document? What is a document but a collection
A lot of information is generated every day. People dont
want to have to wade through it all to find what they want, but allowing
them to search stacks of documents isnt enough. We have a new medium
with the web, there are alternative ways to present information and we
need to find the best way to do it.
Weve had to look at how we change peoples' perception of what a
document is. Say you make a query and the answer lies within a 100-page
document. ISYS can take you to the exact spot within that document but
perhaps that isnt enough. Perhaps this isnt the best way to
present you with the information but at the same time, you might need
to see it in context, which is the rest of the document.
Its a constant challenge and has been the hardest part of putting
this together. We want to provide the full picture for people and present
information in the most beneficial and useful way. Thats meant a
lot of second-guessing and thought over how we serve up the answers to