What Are APC ActionApps?

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In this section you will learn what ActionApps are, their advantages, reasons why ActionApps may be appropriate for your online publishing plans, what organizations use them today, and how those organizations benefit from ActionApps.

Benefits of Using APC ActionApps

Activists and NGOs get many benefits and advantages by sharing information over the Internet through APC ActionApps. These include: Easy to update: In APC ActionApps, you can update any news item in a few minutes, without any special expertise or affecting other published content. Ease of use: Users add content to a site using APC ActionApps' user-friendly forms, so your non-technical staff puts your information online. Searchable content: The ActionApps includes its own database. You can make your own searchable archives very quickly and easily. There is no special search-engine software to install. Content Pooling: If you want to share your information with other progressive organizations, APC ActionApps allows you to publish your information on your own Website, then have it appear on automatically on additional thematic portals and other Web sites of your choice.

APC ActionApps Features

The main features of the current version of ActionApps include:

  • Complete Web publishing system: No HTML skills required
  • Full online service: All you need is a Web browser e.g. Netscape Communicator, Internet Explorer
  • Item manager: All features are included in one browser-based control panel, including the ability to cut and paste information from other programs
  • Automatic expiration of content items
  • Configurable output: Easy integration into existing Websites
  • Moderation tools: Share the load of posting articles online
  • Content Pooling:
    • Share content with other ActionApps users on same server
    • Exchange articles between different ActionApps servers
    • Share headlines with other Websites using RSS (Rich Site Summary) format, to get potential news items from partner sites hosted on other servers, or to publish your news items to news lists?
  • Classify articles using built-in or custom categories
  • Search engine included
  • Multilingual support: Currently English, Czech and Spanish included (it is easy to add new languages)
  • Open source software: ActionApps are powered by "open source" software, which generally results in a superior product at a fraction of the cost of a commercial one, as well as the ability to develop additional features you need
  • Statistics: Online summaries of audience activity
  • Offline editor: Java client for editing articles while not connected
  • Threaded discussions

See the ActionApps FAQ for instructions on using these features.

How Do the APC ActionApps Work?

APC ActionApps are a set of Web applications that runs on your provider's server. You perform all publishing, editing, and administration locally through your Web browser, via user-friendly forms. ActionApps facilitate online publishing because they are “plugged in" to your existing Web site.

ActionApps integrate your content items into a larger database on the server, making it possible -- if you choose -- for your news to appear on other Websites that cover similar or related issues, on other thematic Websites or on APC portals. You have full control over what organizations you allow to select and republish your news, and vice versa. This sharing of information is called Content Pooling.

How Organizations Use ActionApps Today

NGOs use ActionApps to publish daily news and other regularly updated information on particular topics. Larger organizations that regularly produce a significant amount of information can set up several applications for different projects.

Other organizations use ActionApps to collect news items automatically from Websites of APC users from all over the world, then post the content on their thematic portal site.

Some organizations use ActionApps to create databases of theme-based links.


A User Perspective

Here are some examples of how APC and the organizations it works with are using Action Apps:

Econnect posts daily news about non/profit sector (in Czech)
Intercom Nodo Ecuanex publishes a bibliography on the Internet in a database structure. (in Spanish)
APC uses ActionApps in its News section to post news from its members and projects. ActionApps automatically feed news on certain themes (e.g. Internet Rights, Women and ICTs) directly into other sections of the APC Website, keeping those areas up-to-the-minute without any additional effort on the part of the Website manager (in English and Spanish)
Rabble.ca uses ActionApps to run all aspects of its progressive news and online community service (in English)

A Content Manager’s Perspective

The ActionApps content entry and management interface looks different depending on who is accessing. The Website administrator sets the level of access.

The Edit Item page - basic screen that someone would see if s/he was creating or editing an article
The Item Manager page - screen, that content editors use to administer multiple articles