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Case Study: HCL Technologies

HCL Technologies is one of the largest IT companies in India, with annual revenues exceeding $6 billion. Their ACE team, based in Chennai, produces a number of directories for US clients.

The Challenge 

The team had been using an out-of-date, unsupported software system for producing the directories. They needed to find a replacement for that system, and to get it up and running and fully operational very quickly.

The project requirement:

  • A multi-user system that would allow a number of employees to update the data and publish the directories

  • Manage various different projects within one database

  • Migrate existing data from the old system

  • Import the raw data from spreadsheets into a CatBase database

  • Perform various complex data manipulation tasks on the imported data, such as extracting product codes and linnking them to categories and Brands

  • Provide an easy-to-use interface for employees to update the data: 

  • Enable employees to easily create Publishing Styles to publish each directory’s data in various formats - for example:

    • An alphabetical listing by company name

    • Separate sections for Men’s, women’s, and Children’s products

    • Sections sorted by Category

    • Indexes

  • Automatically include graphics such as logos and icons

  • Produce complex mail-merge letters 

  • Produce various reports


The CatBase Solution 

CatBase Version 7 was installed at HCL’s offices in Chennai. A CatBase team spent two weeks in Chennai training the ACE staff and helping them to set the projects up.

Work began on the project on October 1, and the first directory project was completed at the end of November.

The solution consists of: 

  • CatBase Data Chameleon Edition, Multi-User

  • Xtags plugin for Adobe InDesign: this plugin enables advanced tagging features for files imported into an InDesign layout, such as automatic image placement and the creation of tables 

  • Custom CatBase scripts to manipulate and set up the data 


The Workflow 

  • The data is provided by the clients in Excel spreadsheets. 

  • The spreadsheets are imported into CatBase 

  • As data is imported. a script runs which performs various tasks depending upon the particular project's requirements 

  • Publishing Style Sheets have been set up to tell CatBase what data to publish and how to sort and format everything 

  • Publishing Projects have created – one for each directory project – to automate the publishing process. 

  • The data is published to tagged text files. 

  • The tagged files are imported into the appropriate InDesign templates; everything is automatically formatted, ready for a final review before going to press 


The Result 

Here are some examples of some styles of publishing the data: 

What the Client Said:

​"CatBase is a best application for data publishing. User friendly, easy to access, overall it's a superb tool."Bebin  Pankiraj, Project Manager/Designer
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