Interview with Todd Error: Manager of Business Objects, Diamond Site for Developers
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by Eric Landes
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On to the Interview

Could you explain why Business Objects has gone from Developer Zones to this new website?

The Developer Zone is a static site that brings together many resources from many different places.  With Diamond we want to adopt a more organic approach to surfacing content to users, so in the end it’s not only easier on us, but we end up servicing the customer better.  It creates a better experience not only because content is in a single place, but also because it’s more logically organized, currently by role or task and further through tagging and type.

Whether it’s a document or a sample, customers will be able to find content in ways they are more familiar with. This organic approach to surfacing content allows not only our customers to grow and learn, but enables them to be the knowledgeable providers to other users and to Business Objects by telling us what information is most important for them.

Could you expand on your statement "This organic approach to surfacing content allows…" by giving an example of how this would work?

The idea I am really trying to get across here is that content gets created organically in that a user posts a question and it gets answered by someone internally or externally which in the end may affect product delivery via improved documentation.  The content or answer to that question is indexed via the site search engine and the post can have structured tags applied to it and free tags specified by the user.  I would call that organic because it is all part of using the site.

For our readers, where is the best place on Diamond for .NET developers to look for answers to questions?

Because of the way the content is stored and indexed in a content management system if a user was searching for samples or help on displaying a report on the web, they might find the information in one of several ways.

A user might like searching so he could search for view, report and asp and select to begin with the first sample in the result

Viewing a list of samples – the user could go to and scroll to the list of samples, download the samples pack and go from there.

Reading the forums, the user might navigate to Web | .NET | Crystal Reports for .NET and look for an answer there.

For the best place to look for .NET on Diamond it would be

Is there a specific place to look for code examples for .NET developers?

Yes, absolutely, users can go to

Is there any significance behind the name diamond?

What’s in a name?  It turns out a lot actually.  We really wanted to stay away from being just another acronym.  There where a lot of names thrown around and in the end we chose Diamond because it has some history internally with Business Objects as well as the association it provides being a Crystal.  We also wanted to represent the potential users of the site and propose to them that we can help them create great applications by using the systems and framework we provide helping them find Diamonds in the rough.

What new features are there that weren’t available on Developer Zone?

With Diamond, customers have a place where they can access content and then provide feedback on the content or ask for clarification on anything that’s posted to Diamond.  Users can vote on what is most important to them.  In a way, this allows them be the publishers and the users to decide what the important articles and samples are.  The system and content becomes autonomous and organic through the enablement given to the user to not only ask the questions, but also to answer them and help those who may be struggling.

What features didn’t make it from Developer Zone?

Aside from the fact that we have not completed the transition 100% (There is still a lot of content we need to bring over.), the main difference users will see is the categorization.  We still have access to specific content by using tags, but gone is the concept of Zones.

What are the benefits to being a member on diamond?

In order to participate and interact you need to be a member, so if you want to ask questions, post a comment or question about a specific article vote or use the polls then you need to register. The other benefits will appear as time goes by.  Right now everything else is pretty open.

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