The Challenge of CMIS
I started this to talk about some of the things out there, but there is sooo much that I am drawing the line. Kas is writing some good things on CMIS as he attempts to grok it. Others, like Jon Marks, are grappling with CMIS as well. They raise some excellent points that probably deserve posts unto themselves. I find myself, today, focusing on the more immediate and of the more “outside-the-box” thoughts.
Updates and Announcements
- [CMIS-18] – Rename REST-Bindings to “AtomPub Bindings” or “AtomPub Extensions”: Now called “ReSTful AtomPub Binding”. Solid change as ReST is an architectural style, not a protocol.
- [CMIS-45] – “base type” vs “root type”: Base type is the answer. Was some confusion between some of the implementations as the spec used both terms.
- [CMIS-48] – Replace cardinality:enumCardinality with multiValued:boolean: Minor but not something to be overlooked.
- [CMIS-54] – Content Stream MIME type: mandatory or not?: Was some confusion between documentation and the schema. The answer is “YesNo” [See Florent's comment below.]
- [CMIS-85] – enumPropertiesDocument does not contain a string value for “Name”: Love typos.
- [CMIS-86] – Provide a new service that will allow search crawlers to efficiently navigate a CMIS repository.: Cool.
Second, if you think you missed my presentation on CMIS with Alfresco, you are wrong. There were audio problems and we are making a second go of it this week, April 22nd at Noon12:30pm EDT. I am hoping for a strong Q&A portion of the webinar, so come with your questions on CMIS and the AIIM iECM Demo. If I say that I’ll have to get back to you on something, then it is a great question.
Finally, I have been invited to co-present at EMC World on CMIS. Not the best time-slot, 10am on Thursday, aka get-away day. If you show, I promise to make it worth your while. More details as I get them.
CMIS, The Right Choice?
Saw a bunch of posts stream out from Stéphane Croisier about CMIS. They offer a fresh perspective, but I’m not sure that he fully gets it, yet. He doesn’t appear to have been living ECM for ages, but has a strong WCM/web viewpoint, and he likes CMIS so I am inclined to like him. They are good viewpoints to read though because, agree with them or not, he represents part of the audience for CMIS. One post talks about CMIS being disruptive. I don’t think it will be for ECM, but possibly for WCM and portals. I think the Drupal/Alfesco integration using CMIS is just the first example of how things might change in the WCM world. Disruptive is a strong word, but it could be that big to WCM.
Think of the impact to other content-focused applications. Take SharePoint. The next version, SharePoint 2010, will be out in the first half of next year with the tech preview in Q3 2009. As they already have CMIS examples with the current version, I see great things in the future. If you can tie SharePoint into a back-end repository with CMIS, the scalability concerns are almost gone. Who needs RBS or EBS? Disruption is almost the opposite of what may happen with SharePoint support, which may not be a bad thing.
When ODMA became fully supported in Office 97, I danced the happy dance. Less than a year later, all my clients wanted web interfaces with no FAT clients deployed. ODMA kind of requires a FAT client, so it withered. Some repositories still lean on it, and it is awesome. It is user application to repository standard, not system-to-system.
JSR-283 requires a Java interface. Not everyone, vendors and clients, use Java, so it fails. Even some of those that do, *cough* Documentum, don’t support it. Nice concept, but limited in full practicality.
Then there is WebDAV. If you look strictly at the AtomPub binding of CMIS, you get confused as to what the point may be. Remember, this is not just for applications to save and update content in a repository. CMIS has advanced queries and, as a whole, is able to function as a standard interface in a Service-Oriented Architecture. WebDAV does not have object typing, schema, folder navigation, or querying. WebDAV is a useful way to save content from your desktop applications to an ECM repository, but it won’t link-up to your ESB or serve as the basis for an integration like the aforementioned Drupal/Alfresco blending.
Yes, CMIS is missing a lot of things. Transactions is one thing that we need badly. I am depending on the statements of the TC, the people, that say this is going to be version 1.0 of several versions. If this is true, then life is good. It isn’t even at 1.0 yet, so small changes can occur (though Kas, I think the “folder” object is a neutral and broad term). Policies are interesting and could be great depending on how each vendor unitizes the object. We’ll see.
It is spring, so it is a time of hope. After all, who would have seen Microsoft, IBM, and EMC band together to create it, much less invite Alfresco, Oracle, SAP, and Open Text to play? I plan on dating, seriously, CMIS 1.0. When version 2.0 comes out, I’ll know that CMIS is serious and I can truly commit.