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Roskill Information Systems

A world leading provider of information on international metals and minerals markets. Multi-currency, e-commerce website; and Document Management System

Roskill Information Services is one of the world's leading providers of information on international metals and minerals markets. For almost 40 years the company has produced highly detailed, independently researched market information reports and databooks for corporate clients around the world.

Roskill's web-based systems (designed and developed by Netsight) fall into two categories; The public website which allows them to sell both hardcopy and electronic versions of their publications to clients in over 100 countries, and a sophisticated extranet and document management system that allows their network of researchers around the world to share information and collate research whilst creating the reports.

Roskill Public Website

Roskill Public Site screenshot 

The Roskill site features an e-Commerce system that allows shopping in one of 3 currencies (GBP, EUR and USD which can be switched at any time). Customers can purchase whole reports (in paper or electronic format) or a selection of chapters from any number of reports. Once the customer has placed their order (managed through a web-based back-office system) they can download the electronic reports for a period of 72 hours. The site also offers "teaser" information to entice customers to register.

The site uses XML to store report data on the server. This format was chosen because it allows easy integration with the already-established internal report generation process. An XML schema for a report was constructed containing such data as ISBN, description, chapter information (including pricing), appendix listing etc. This information is then rendered on-the-fly using an XSLT rendering engine to produce the resultant HTML reports that viewed on the web site.

Web-based management reports are available in the back-office system so Roskill can pull up any order and view the contents, customer information etc. A register-referrer log also allows Roskill to see who is registering on their site and what reports they are interested in - which is invaluable for marketing purposes. The site also includes a news publishing system allowing Roskill to publish news on a daily basis to the site.

Roskill Extranet and Document Management System

Roskill Document Management System screenshot

  • Full text/PDF indexing/searching of 25,000+ documents
  • User-friendly Plone interface
  • Integration with automatic document scanner
  • Remote FTP content upload
  • Automatic Link checking/management
  • Public/Private workflow to ensure quality of content

The Roskill DMS provides a central repository for text, PDF and spreadsheet data, providing up-to-date information on the metals and minerals markets, including news, pricing information etc. Much of the content of the site is lifted from print using an automated Xerox OCR document scanner. This information is uploaded automatically as a full-text indexed PDF to the system where the metadata can be added.

The Plone-based DMS allows the uploading of text, PDF, XLS data and indexes the text and PDF data for keyword searching. Each "Cutting" has a set of advanced metadata searchable in various ways so that users can find the one article they are looking for out of the >25,000 currently available on the site. Integration with the document scanner means that scanned 'paper' documents can be searched by full text content, or metadata, in the same way as information entered directly into the system.

The Public/Private workflow ensures that any new content is initially only visible to Roskill staff. This gives them the opportunity to add metadata, clean up the document and approve its contents before the document is made available to members of the site.

The LinkChecker functionality performs regular checks on the entire contents of the DMS to ensure any hyperlinks in documents remain valid. Any invalid links are reported to Roskill staff for correcting. This ensures that the availability of information on and off the site is at it's highest.