Cooperative Hypermedia Management Systems
The benefits of including hypertext functionality in application systems have become widely accepted. Users expect applications to provide browsing and linking capabilities to augment search and command capabilities. Three approaches to providing such environments are feasible. The first two of these involve retrofitting hypertext functionality to third-party applications, and building an 'open' hypertext system that manages the integration of third-party applications with hypertext. The third approach involves building a task-oriented environment that enables a hypertext management system to be constructed, building block style, using third-party applications as building units that cooperate in the delivery of the required functionality. The paper argues that the last of these approaches, cooperative hypermedia management systems, is the most realistic. A model for such systems is described. Issues involved in designing and building such systems are discussed and examples presented.