IHS Markit and K4

IHS Markit Benefits from K4 Upgrade and Custom Development

The Challenge

IHS Markit™, a world leader in critical information, based in London, had a problem. Their system had become outdated and needed an upgrade. At the same time, IHS Markit needed to consider its very sophisticated PHP scripting that exported vjoon K4 content to the CMS. The entire server infrastructure needed to be replaced with modern systems. Client workstations needed to be renewed, and the Adobe applications needed to be updated to the Creative Cloud. Plus, they had to continue to manage and output multiple publications, including daily and weekly newsletters.

Beyond the need for updates, the hardware running the K4 server had become older and increasingly unreliable. Personnel changes over the years had created a knowledge gap for how to properly maintain the aging systems. The company determined that their CMS also needed to be replaced. That project was undertaken in conjunction with the K4 system upgrade.

The K4 Solution

What had started out as a K4 upgrade expanded into a top-to-bottom system replacement. This included server installation efforts with the IT group, scripting development, close project management coordination with IHS Markit managers, coordination with the CMS development group, and user training on the new system.

Rather than updating the PHP scripting that drove the CMS export process, which would have taken months for IHS Markit developers to replace the old code, MEI made use of the advanced features available through K4 XML Exporter. No user guide or documentation describing the old code was available, so MEI examined the PHP to determine the export functionality. MEI replaced that functionality with XSLT and additional scripting, while enhancing the export process using K4 metadata and ImageMagick export options. (ImageMagick is bundled with the K4 system and provides robust options for image processing and conversion.) As a function of the enhanced export process, MEI programmed ImageMagick to convert print image file types—TIF, JPG, EPS, AI—to web-ready JPG images.

The Results

When completed, the new export process allowed IHS Markit staff to manage their entire web export process directly through K4 using the K4 Query panel. They no longer needed to rely on the external PHP processes that involved multiple external windows and functions. MEI not only replicated, but streamlined multiple aspects of the export process. Users could now size images for web export using K4 metadata settings. InDesign tables, which were being manually converted to images prior to export, could now be exported directly to HTML by converting InDesign styles to XML tags and then to HTML. Significant time was saved, and effort eliminated, in the MEI scripting upgrade. New HTML elements were added as well, providing enhanced output options for the IHS Markit web group. Finally, the export was configured to directly target the updated IHS Markit web CMS. The solution provides a fully automated migration and conversion of content from print to web.

IHS Markit is now benefitting from users working with up-to-date applications and the latest version of K4 running on powerful new servers. Robust backup and data protection strategies ensure that IHS Markit systems remain available and users able to perform their work without issue. The enhancements to their export process also allowed IHS Markit staff to save significant time and effort in their daily work.