Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: Technography

Author:David Buell
Posted:12/11/1998; 12:05:08 AM
Msg #:1105 (In response to 876)
Prev/Next:1104 / 1106

Hello all:

There are actually a number of options, but you have to look at the enterprise market and products for process design, process re-engineering, functional design, database design, engineering requirements, et al.

As a timely coincidence, I am doing some consulting with a Telco in this area (aka Meeting Facilitation and Shared Understanding for Project Groups), and have a couple of questions about Frontier's ability to support some of the things we are doing.

- How easy is it to create relations between items in the Frontier database on the fly?

For example, if I have 3 outline topic headings and the discussion is going fast and furious, how do I make sure that a sub-topic that appears under each heading is unique in the database (i.e. a single instance)? Cloning on a per-item basis?

The reason is that I don't want to end up with 3 different versions of the subtopic in each of the three headings, I want just one sub-topic and I want it to be *related* to each topic heading, not copied nor just labeled identically. I also do NOT want to have to normalize the database by hand in order to achieve this, and I certainely don't want to be hand-managing a bunch of links on the fly.

- I know I can represent that data collected during the meeting using XML, so the back-end out of Frontier for post-processing is covered, but it would be good to have a graphical input facility to allow one to create NODES and LINKS. Can Frontier use COM/VB or something similar to hook up to a product like Visio and in doing so provide the underlying data model for the graphics being displayed in Visio?

As an example of what I am talking about, download a 1MB 30-day eval of a product called QuestMap (, which has a very fluid and completely graphical interface for entering in info in real-time during facilitation, and even has an integrated methodology called IBIS to use as a guideline when using the software.

It's also worth checking out for additional general information on this topic, as I think they actually own QuestMap at this time.

Hope this helps.


Dave Buell (

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