I’ve previously posted on how D6 is laying the foundation for ECM 2.0 (E2), as well as some of the key features of that release. Before I start delving into some of those features in detail, I though I would go over what E2 is envisioned to be once it is delivered. Personally, this is a lot of marketing-speak, as is Web 2.0, but it shows a lot about the why in the future of Documentum.
Web 2.0 Experience: This would be the source of the made-for-press name. There are a lot of components of Web 2.0, but the two that I hear the most about in the ECM world are Blogs and Wikis. Well support is coming as part of Web Content Management offering in Documentum 6.5. What? Where you expecting D6? D6 is the foundation for E2, not the complete delivery of E2. Translation, tune in next year for more Web 2.0 support details. I can tell you this, they are thinking of throwing workflow and review processes around the posting of blog pages. This raises some interesting thoughts:
- Is it a blog if it is reviewed like any other web page? Doesn’t that make it an article?
- If blog posts are just articles, does that make the source materials for a blog protected under the First Amendment? Will the SEC like that if companies start posting blogs? I’m thinking the winner here is the lawyers.
Deep Analytics: They acknowledge that they have focused too much on the developers over the years and want to help give everyone a deeper look at the content, processes, and usage of the system. Now some develops may disagree with this, but when ignore the lack of how-to guides, Documentum is much more flexible in how you can customize it than most of its competitors. In D6 they are providing a JDBC driver and the whole engine is being driven by Business Objects. They are providing some canned reports, but I’m sure people will clamor for more of them. Hopefully EMC will listen.
SOA Platform: E2 should be part of an organizations SOA platform. This is part of the core D6 delivery. I’m going to have a whole post devoted to this later. It will be interesting to see how they deliver on this and to compare it to some of the more traditional ECM market leaders. I will say this, all you ace Documentum developers, you better start getting SOA savvy now.
Repository Virtualization: This is my least favorite, mostly because I disagree with this approach for an enterprise. The concept is that Documentum will manage content inside its repository, within other product’s repositories, on the network, and even on desktops and laptops. I think that content should reside in one place. Mind you, no ECM system can handle that kind of volume now. So what they are doing is using the acquired Infoscape to find content and apply polices to the content in place. That is fine, but importing it allows for central storage and control. Infoscape does let you do that as well, and I think it is a nice little product, but I wish the focus was on ingestion. All of this may be delivered in D6, but it will take some time before it works as well as advertised I suspect. Infoscape isn’t listed as part of the Documentum Family, so that should tell you something.
It all sounds good. The work that they are doing in order to deliver this vision appears useful even if you don’t buy into E2. Some people define Web 2.0 not as a collection of new features, but the use of the Web/Internet as a platform. From this perspective, E2 is right on from a naming perspective. Documentum is trying to become a platform for the enterprise and not just another application to throw at the growing problem of unstructured content.