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AMB Forum Fosters Free Thinking

Ideas were flying fast at the Access Management and Billing (AMB) module user forum on July 15th and 16th in Ann Arbor.  The forum format allows us to get input from a number of you in identifying the best direction forward for a particular area of Advantage, in this case the AMB module. 

Participants from Agora Publishing, American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association, Crain Communications, Massachusetts Medical Society, Motor Information Systems, and The Taunton Press made up a lively group with diverse viewpoints and ideas.

Why AMB?  Many Advantage clients and prospective ones -- are seeing a growing volume of content access business.  Pay-per-view and other one-time transactions can be accommodated through the PRO module.  However, on-line access on a subscribed basis -- once considered merely a side benefit of a print subscription -- is now big business.  Clients needed a more direct solution for handling that business especially if you want to provide access horizontally across your publications, by subject, for example.

AMB was developed more than five years ago to accommodate these business needs.  It has seen a lot of changes since then; in fact, a great many new features have flowed into the module in the last year alone.  The forum group was able to view and work with these new features in a preliminary version of the 2008R3 release.

A big part of a content access operation is the content delivery system.  Participants had some good interaction on this topic.  AMB can provide authentication (who) and authorization (what) information through web capsules or through a batch feed.  Matt Varblow used the Capsule Workbench to show how the web capsules involved with this operate.

We reviewed how AMB is structured and how access agreements are entered and maintained.  The group identified several potential improvements, but the main suggestion was to provide a streamlined way to establish an access agreement.  For access sales to consumers, most clients agreed, many of the agreement data elements would be used only on an exception basis.

We will be incorporating these suggestions in future releases. Many thanks to all who participated!  Your input is invaluable, and it is always great to work with you.

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