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UAlbany’s Center for Technology in Government Announces Technology Transfer Agreement with MicroKnowledge, Inc.

New training opportunities will enhance New York State IT workforce skills

Contact(s):  Catherine Herman (518) 956-8150

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UAlbany CTG web application developer Jim Costello teaches an XML class to state agency workers.

UAlbany CTG web application developer Jim Costello teaches an XML class to state agency workers. (Photo CTG)

ALBANY, N.Y. (December 9, 2008) -- The University at Albany's Center for Technology in Government and MicroKnowledge Inc., Tech Valley's leading computer training and consulting firm, have signed an agreement for the delivery of CTG’s XML training curriculum. This unique partnership will allow the public to benefit from both CTG's expertise, research, and practice in the use of XML for Web site management and MicroKnowledge's 23 years of experience in the delivery of high-quality technical training. MicroKnowledge will begin offering classes using CTG's curriculum in January 2009.

"By standardizing the format of Web content, streamlining the workflow involved in its production, and automating its distribution and maintenance, XML eliminates much of the administrative overhead and uncertainty associated with Web site management," said Derek Werthmuller, CTG director of technology services. "As the use of XML in Web sites, services, and applications continues to grow, a clear understanding of XML and how to use it are clearly becoming critical skills for Web professionals."

Since the late 1990s, CTG has tested the use of XML on its own Web site, eventually converting its entire site to an XML basis in 2003, which resulted in an 80 percent reduction in the time and resources devoted to Web site updates and maintenance. For the past five years, CTG has continued this research and development with targeted applications of XML in a variety of Web environments.

CTG's successful implementation generated interest in XML among other New York state agencies looking for a better approach to information management. In response, CTG offered presentations and training sessions that eventually led to an XML Testbed where five government agencies worked with CTG to create individual XML-based prototypes for their own Web sites. The Testbed allowed for experimentation and exploration, and gave CTG additional insight into the training needs of government agencies.

As a result of this exploration and ensuing insight and in collaboration with MicroKnowledge, CTG enhanced its XML training curriculum as part of CTG’s Advanced Web Technologies (AWT) initiative. Under this initiative, CTG will periodically release practical resources grounded in applied research and applicable to government’s use of the Web.

CTG’s partnership with MicroKnowledge to provide this training will extend the benefits to a wider audience, while allowing CTG to continue research and product development under its AWT initiative. For more than 23 years, MicroKnowledge has provided high-quality training, consulting and documentation services to businesses of all sizes, government agencies, and not-for-profit organizations in Tech Valley and across the nation. Its clients include some of the largest and most well-known regional and national companies.

"Our partnership with CTG is based on our shared commitment to improving IT performance in government and across the workforce," says Beth Coco, chair and executive vice president of MicroKnowledge. "It is a perfect fit for us to work with CTG to deliver a unique product. The XML training workshop is based on proven, practical research that sets it apart from standard XML classes and offers high value to participants."

Beginning in January 2009, MicroKnowledge will begin offering the two-day training session, where participants will learn the fundamentals of XML and how to apply them effectively within their Web environments. Participants will learn through practice the basic structure and coding of XML pages for Web site design and other uses. Day One will provide hands-on training in creating well-formed, valid XML documents, and transforming them using XSL. All the basic concepts of XML—such as DTD, Schema, DOM, SAX, Namespaces, XPath, XSL-FO—will be covered.

Day Two builds upon the skills introduced in the initial class by providing a lab setting with structured and unstructured exercises. The structured exercises are provided as examples to students of the capabilities within XML/XSL and cover topics such as using XML to build navigation menus, advanced PDF formatting with XSL-FO, Microsoft Office XML, RSS as a simple entry into XML, and others. Students are encouraged to build upon these examples for their own uses within the class.

The Center for Technology in Government is an applied research center devoted to improving government and public services through policy, management, and technology innovation. The Center, located at the University at Albany, works with government to develop well-informed information strategies that foster innovation and enhance the quality and coordination of public services.

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Educationally and culturally, the University at Albany-SUNY puts "The World Within Reach" for its 18,000 students. An internationally recognized research university with 58 undergraduate majors and 128 graduate degree programs, UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as public policy, nanotechnology and criminal justice. With a curriculum enhanced by 300 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers. For more information about this globally ranked University, visit www.albany.edu. For UAlbany's extensive roster of faculty experts, visit www.albany.edu/news/experts.shtml.

Christopher Onuorah, '12
UAlbany Student

University at Albany sophomore Christopher Onuorah abides by one personal rule: Be content but never complacent.

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