RSS Data Feeds

Posted: 7th August 2010 by davy in Development, RSS

My client wanted to provide RSS feeds for published documents they had on their public websites.  The client publishes many documents on their website.  I looked at RSS to be able to provide notifications to users who were interested in particular documents. RSS is a great technology – it makes it easy to follow information you are interested in.  I’ve been doing a lot of work integrating it into Documentum and other CMS applications.

I designed and wrote an RSS data feed application in C# and Java which could be subscribed by any common RSS reader including IE 7/8.  Now the Irish public can be notified by tracking published documents that they are interested in.  The C# parts of the application process the CMS output and generate about 2000 RSS individual feeds.  The Java parts make it accessible on the client web sites.

I also used some neat XLST to provide an “RSS look and feel” without an actual reader for browsers that don’t support RSS directly.  If you look at this feed for a particular set of docs from my client’s web site  then do it with a browser like Chrome – both look very similar but on the Chrome case – the page is actually dynamically generated by XLST on the fly to look like an RSS feed. 

PDF Document RSS Feed 

This shows how it looks – first one is IE 8 – with a built in RSS reader.  You could use the feed on anything that supports it.  Chrome doesn’t – so normally an XML feed would just display the XML – which looks bad.  If the Browser doesn’t support RSS – then you get an RSS lookalike. 

IE 8 Reader

Chrome Browser – No RSS Reader


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