CMIS has Arrived, Demo Anyone?


The news today?  CMIS is now an official standard! I’m pretty stoked about the whole thing.  When I started this blog, after I got through my initial list of topics, it was the desire for a SOA-based standard for ECM that provided the desire.  Now that my desire has been met, almost three years later, what will I do for inspiration?

Simple, push for CMIS 2.0! In all seriousness, that is a post for another day. I want to focus on the actual release of the standard and the Demo where you can see it in action.

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Let the Games Begin, The 2010 AIIM CMIS Demo


As promised, here is the “official” announcement of what the iECM Committee is doing this year for CMIS demo at the AIIM Expo.  This year we are trying to create a reference application that we can actually use for a long time and grow with new functionality.

We are looking for participants to help us out.  Read through and see if you would like to contribute.  There is also be a formal presentation on the demo scheduled for the AIIM Conference, and there will most likely be a panel discussion like the one held last year.

Here we go.  I copied it here, but you can download the PDF version if you prefer.

“Mission Statement”

To analyze and evaluate the CMIS standard in terms of it usability and the benefits of employing CMIS in the development of new services and applications which leverage one or more existing ECM systems; and to develop experience reports that capture best practices in the use of CMIS and CMIS compliant products.

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The AIIM iECM CMIS Demo, 2010 Remix


Last year, AIIM‘s iECM Committee put together a demonstration of the proposed CMIS 1.0 standard for the AIIM Conference in Philly.  Well, we are at it again for a bigger and better demo.

How is it going to be better?  I am glad you asked.  Here is what we are aiming for this year:

  • More vendorsLast year we had three vendors (Alfresco, EMC, and Nuxeo) participating.  This year we already have four vendor commitments and we haven’t started groveling for more participants yet!
  • More CMIS scenarios:  Last year we only showed CMIS in the Federation scenario.  This year we are going to be showing TWO Federation scenarios AND, as a bonus, an Application to Repository scenario.  That’s right, we are going to be switching our front-end application between the different repositories ON THE FLY!
  • Real-world use cases: Okay, maybe not “real” world, but we are going to be using the Health Care Industry as a basis for this year’s demonstration.  Our meta-data model and use cases will focus on the management of content of a patients health care record.  Things will be simplified, this is a CMIS demo after-all, but you will be able to see a real-world application for CMIS that doesn’t involve a generic ECM interface.
  • CMIS Version 1.0: This is really just for me.  Last year everything was draft this and beta that.  I’m expecting a much more streamlined development process this year.

You want more?  How about this…there is going to be a session on the demo at the AIIM Conference this year presented by myself and Thomas Pole, the iECM Committee Chair talking about the demo and a whitepaper that will be developed in conjunction.

In the next few days, you will see a more detailed description of this year’s demonstration and a whitepaper that Thomas and I have written about the status of the standard, the story of last year’s demo, and what we are planning for this year.

Exciting times people, exciting times.

Three Fundamental CMIS Use Cases


I’ve been meaning to get this done for a while.  Over the last year, I’ve run into people that saw a need for CMIS as a whole, but didn’t think that it mattered for them.  Usually, the reason was that they only saw one use case for CMIS.  Well, there are three fundamental use cases for CMIS, with multiple examples for each.

To facilitate understanding of the use cases, I have created a presentation which I have placed up on SlideShare.  You can go directly to The Point Of The Content Interoperability Services (CMIS) Standard, or view the embedded version here and read the elaboration of the use cases below.

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Talking on CMIS at EMC World and Other Slides


In case you missed it, there were a lot of presentations last week at EMC World.  While most of the slides are only available to attendees, there are a few exceptions.  The first is my presentation.  Since I wrote part of it and was a co-presenter with Karin Ondricek of EMC, I was given permission to share it online.  I’m throwing it out there for everyone to see, especially as I didn’t take notes on my own presentation.

One thing that I always convey when I talk about the AIIM iECM demo, that isn’t on the slides, is that it took 1 hour to add Nuxeo to the Federated Search demo, and that was with declaring the CMIS Web Services manually within Visual Studio.  That took half an hour.  For more details on the demo source code a other valuable links, look at my previous post on the The Source Code from the AIIM iECM CMIS Demo.

Mark Lewis’ Keynote

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The Source Code from the AIIM iECM CMIS Demo


I’ve been promising this for a while, but it is finally available.  I had all these plans, but I decided to just get the code out for everyone as I seem to keep getting busy.  You can tell that the code was written to work and not to be supported.  All you critics can relax, I know already.

Before I go any further, I want to thank Craig Randall for his sample application that helped me get started. That application is also available on the EDN as well. Read his write-up, Consuming CMIS WSDL in Visual Studio and then go to the EDN for his code.

I also want to thank Thomas Pole for helping to write the User Interface, design the object model,  and leading AIIM’s efforts around iECM and CMIS in general.  Some of the code you will see is his.

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Upcoming CMIS Webinar


Just wanted to take a quick break to let everyone know that I will be speaking on Alfresco’s webinar on CMIS this Thursday, April 9th, at Noon EDT. Unleashing CMIS: From Federated Search to Developer Tools gives an introduction to CMIS, including some history, and then dives into the creation of the AIIM iECM Committee’s CMIS Demo.  I’ll be talking about the entire process and then showing a brief demo of the actual application.  At the end there will be a Question and Answer session.

So if you missed the talk at AIIM, or are just late coming to the CMIS party, come along and see the first multi-vendor CMIS implementation.

Register here.

How CMIS Made Me Re-Visit Visual Studio


By now, if you are a regular reader, you know that I worked on the AIIM iECM Committee’s CMIS Demo for the AIIM 2009 Conference, Info360. If you read my initial write-up on the effort, you saw that we built the thing using .NET.  Specifically, ASP.NET for the UI and I wrote C# for the guts of the search federator. The question you may be asking is why did Pie choose to use Visual Studio 2008 when he has been living in the Java world of Documentum and open source for so incredibly long?

Well, the decision to use .NET was based on simple math. A free, reliable, IIS Server to host an application is better than paying for a server to host a LAMP stack. The other thing you may not realize is that I used to be a certifiable Microsoft developer, or is that certified? No matter…let me explain.

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My Day at AIIM Expo 2009 with CMIS


Okay, let’s be clear.  I didn’t travel around with CMIS all day. On the other hand, CMIS got me to the AIIM Expo this year, opened a few doors, and started many a conversation. It is amazing what standing on a soapbox for a year and a half can accomplish. It was an interesting day that was well spent and I wish I had two days at the conference.  I was always rushing trying to get to see everyone and talk to everyone, and I failed. I did accomplish my primary objective, and that was a success.

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How the iECM CMIS Demo for the AIIM Conference was Made


Okay, that title should handle all of the words I need for lots of hits.  :)  In all seriousness, that title is exactly what I am focusing on in this post.  I’m going to cover some of the background and non-technical challenges in putting this demonstration together so that you can better appreciate what went into the effort. You can read the official announcement for the official description.

Before I do that, I want to offer thanks to the following:

  • Thomas Pole: Thomas is the chair of the iECM committee for AIIM. He was in charge of this demo and was able to identify a host platform for us to run the system on for no charge.  In addition, he built the User Interface while I focused on the back-end components.
  • Betsy Fanning: Betsy is the Director of Standards at AIIM.  She helped keep us on track and coordinated with the various vendors that participated in this effort.
  • The iECM Committee: They helped make sure that what we were doing made sense from a business perspective and worked with us to develop the requirements and design.
  • The Vendors: This is more than the obvious ones. I’ll go into more details in a subsequent post. I just want to say now that all the vendors involved worked hard in this effort. Just because you don’t see their content right now doesn’t mean that they didn’t participate.
  • Harris Corporation and Washington Consulting, Inc.: Thomas’s and my companies, respectively, helped us by allowing us time and additional resources to build and put our pieces together. We both have full-time day jobs and only support from our companies made this possible.

Okay, on to the show…

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