Using a Platform for an ECM Strategy


As I covered in my last post, Implementing an ECM Strategy without a Platform, you don’t need an Enterprise CMS Platform to implement a successful Enterprise Content Management Strategy. That doesn’t mean that you can’t use one or that using one would be the wrong approach. Just like there is no one-size-fits-all CMS, there is no single way to define and implement an ECM Strategy.

I am going to look at this in two stages. The first is going to focus on the purpose of and foundation for an Enterprise CMS Platform. The second is going to look at what capabilities a CMS needs in order to be a Platform.

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CMIS, Beauty Is More Than Skin Deep


Kas Thomas wrote a post about how CMIS could be called DMIS as it is more for document management systems than content management systems. This hit me on two fronts. The first is with the concept of “CMS”.

Why is it that when I talk to people about “CMS”, they are almost always referring to Web Content Management? Seems to be a pretty narrow definition of the use of content. Along the same lines, many “Information Architects” that work with these “CMS” applications seem to be senior website designers. I’ve met Information Architects that I felt deserved the title, but they dealt with things beyond, though including, the web.  Enough of that, for now, on to the main course…

The second, is of course the slight to CMIS. That is the focus today. While I encourage criticism of CMIS as criticism is important for growth, I don’t want misconceptions to perpetuate themselves.

Sticks and Stones

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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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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

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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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Answering James on CMIS


Back in December, James asked a few good questions regarding CMIS.  I thought I would take a minute to answer them as best I could, with apologies for the delay.  Any insight into making my answers more complete are welcome.  I am only on the outside looking into the process.

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Vendor Support for CMIS


As I discussed yesterday, I’ve been waiting a long time for the Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS) standard.  There is still a fair amount of excitement out there as more people join the conversation.  I’m still excited, but the excitement is beginning to be tempered by reality.

There are two primary factors to standard adoption:

  • Is the standard technically sound?  It has to actually solve the stated problem.  It is okay if a standard is limited in functionality in initial drafts as long as it evolves to accomplish everything required.  At the same time, it must be easy enough to use.  These are not small technical challenges.
  • Is there vendor support?  Let’s face it, if the vendors don’t support it, then it will fail.  The JSR-170 and JSR-283 standards are perfect examples.  They aren’t supported by a critical mass of vendors.  The reasons range from the technical (we work in Java), to the philosophical (it is a bad standard, let’s focus elsewhere), and to the lazy (nobody cares so let’s ignore it).

Customers are important, but it takes a large mass of them to force the vendors to act.  I would qualify them as a secondary factor.  While I digest the technical aspects, take a look at the Vendor Support factor.

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Enter CMIS, a Proposed ECM-SOA Standard


I am almost too excited for words.  Every thought I have is leading down ten different paths.  You may ask why.  Simple, they finally announced an ECM-SOA standard.  This new standard, Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS), has been submitted to OASIS for approval.  This is the same standard that I initially learned about at EMC World.

Emails streamed to me all day alerting me to this announcement, and I was blissfully offline.  Now I wish some people (you know who you are) had told me to pay attention this morning.  As it is, I’ve decided to let everyone of you know about it and give some thoughts to the effort.  I still have to review the actual specification and find out what this means to each of the key vendors.

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Knowledge Management is Marching Along


For anyone that ever thought that Knowledge Management is dead, go forth into the blogsphere and watch it emerge anew. Like a Phoenix, it is rising from the ashes and beginning debates over again. It is nice to go back in time at reflect at how things were. It is even nicer to see the concepts that I’ve always thought important being revived as KM again.

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