Arnica WebTopics is a web-based tool which allows you to present and manage rich-text-formatted articles (messages) published in a hierarchical structure (categories - topics - messages) and exposed to end users in administrator-controlled forum-like format. Arnica WebTopics may be used to create discussion forums, knowledge-base systems, support incident management systems, content management systems, and other solutions.  Arnica WebTopics delivers a true thin client solution.

Design Concept  

Arnica WebTopics implements a simple yet powerful design concept: you create and relate to each other two types of entities: information categories and information forums. Categories are created to include topics and messages sharing one specific purpose. For example, one category may be "sales leads", other categories may be "software support incidents" and "hardware support incidents", and another category might be "human resources communications". Forums are created to expose one or many categories to end users with specific access rights. The same category may be exposed via different forums to different user communities. For example, categories "software support incidents" and "hardware support incidents" may be included in forums "customer forum" and "tech support forum" to give access with different access rights and different filters to external and internal users.

Within each category, information articles are broken into topics, each topic may contain one or more messages. In discussion forums,  a message would be a reply to a topic; in an incident support forum, a message would contain additional technical details added to the incident; and in a content management system, each message would be a new version of the information article.

Granular Features Control  

You decide which filters and features take affect at run-time when forums are exposed to end users. Arnica WebTopics provides a variety of filters and features to create custom solutions which may fit any business requirements. Here are some examples of filters: by category, by topic status (open, closed, escalated, etc. - list of possible status variations is fully configurable), by message date, by author, etc. Examples of features which allow or restrict certain functionality are: HTML vs. plain text editing, new message creation, edit existing message, edit only own messages or any messages, post replies, upload images and/or attachments, email subscription (notifications), delete messages, etc.

Version Control and Drafts 

Arnica WebTopics provides effective version control features to capture the last published version of information article (message) into the version history repository. Users may browse version history and restore a particular version from history if required. During editing session, authors may save intermediate version in the draft version of the message, share the draft with other users and publish draft to the live message when editing completed.

HTML Editing 

Arnica WebTopics includes built-in HTML editor, which provides authors an ability to customize appearance of the content they create by choosing different fonts and colors, tables, hyperlinks, bullet list, images, attachments and other rich-text editing features.

True Thin Client 

Arnica WebTopics is a true thin client solution: design, administration and end-user access are all done through a web browser. To ensure broader compatibility, WebTopics uses pure HTML/XML/CSS content on web pages and does not utilize client-side ActiveX components, DLLs, or heavy-duty JavaScript libraries.

Template Driven 

Arnica WebTopics is a template- driven solution. Templates are created using standard HTML content fragments with evaluatable expressions and may be used to customize virtually any presentation part of forum output: top level container page composition, headers and footers, toolbars, information cells, etc. Shared presentation features saved in a forum template may be re-used by multiple forums and managed centrally. A contemporary default template may be used for all new solutions, with further modifications added to fit your style requirements.

Standard and Custom Fields 

Arnica WebTopics provides a rich set of run-time message properties (such as message subject, message content, creation date, status, author, etc.), which may be displayed and/or edited on web pages presented to end users.  Additionally, these properties may be extended by custom properties created specifically for a particular solution, for example for a product support incident system such properties may be: product ID, barcode, product release date, etc.

Central Database Repository  

Arnica WebTopics stores its meta data (categories, forum definitions, templates, status lists) in a central database repository (based on Microsoft SQLServer or free SQLServer Express Edition) and allows for certain operations to be performed simultaneously against multiple forums or templates at design time, for example, meta search and updates against several templates at the same time, forum and template export/import, ability to use global parameters shared by multiple forums, etc.

Easy To Integrate 

Web interface of Arnica WebTopics and pure HTML nature of its content allows easy integration with virtually all contemporary tools and technologies supporting HTTP communication, such as .NET, PHP, Java, COM, Microsoft SharePoint, IBM WebSphere, open source portals and other integration platforms.

Arnica WebTopics may be used as a stand-alone tool or it may be integrated with web portals, such as Arnica WebPortal, Microsoft SharePoint, and others.

Access Control and Activity Log 

Arnica WebTopics supports user authentication and authorization provided by .NET and allows granular user access control with zero programming efforts through integration with the Arnica UnifiedLogon identity management system (single application version of Arnica UnifiedLogon is included at no cost with Arnica WebTopics).

Arnica WebTopics publishes detailed activity events into central database repository, enabling you to perform statistical analysis of activity by various parameters, such as per user, per forum, within specified date range, etc.