X-Hive and the Content Server


On the 17th, I had the fortune of attending a briefing/seminar on X-Hive. It was a series of presentations given by Jeroen van Rotterdam, one of the founders and architects of X-Hive. Jeroen is now the General Manager of XML Solutions for EMC. I was able to learn more about the product and its future within the Content Server.

X-Hive, the Product

I learned all about X-Hive. I learned that it is fast and can handle all sorts of large XML documents. I learned the the target customers are those looking for Dynamic Content. I learned that they support lots of XML standards. I learned more about the S1000D standard than I ever wanted to know.

Favorite relevant example: A car manual. The manual is my car is generic and has information on really cool options that I don’t have. With this solution, I go online, enter my VIN and/or my options, and from there I get sent, or can download, a personalized copy of the manual. It covers all of my features and ONLY my features. If I have the UK version of a vehicle, it notes that the steering wheel is on the wrong side.

I learned that the enemy is Mark Logic. This wasn’t just a casual observation. Pretty much every time the need to state how X-Hive beat, was beating, was countering, or any other competitive action was mentioned, it was aimed at Mark Logic. If half of what I heard was true, I’d never buy Mark Logic and buy X-Hive instead.

Of course, those Mark Logic guys will say that EMC will destroy X-Hive over time. They may also be cheaper. However, aside from one project that is debating moving from an open source solution, Berkeley DB, I’m more concerned about the future in the Documentum product suite.

You Will be Assimilated

I must say that it is nice to see an acquired architect excited about the future of his product. I took that as a positive sign. Their goal, I think by D6.5, is to have all XML content pulled out of the current store and placed in the new EMC Documentum XML Store (the X-Hive Database renamed). This will be embedded in the Content Server and viewed as a fourth storage component, adding to the existing database, index, and disk storage (for actual files).

Then the cool part was revealed. They are introducing a new product called Dynamic Publishing Services. Going beta this month and live later this quarter, assuming all goes well, this will deliver personalized content to users on the web. It is a nice enhancement that has been sorely missing. I know Vignette has this, and your average portal vendor, like BEA(now Oracle), does this all the time now. I’ve also wanted to do it in Documentum, but couldn’t.

Happy, Happy! Joy, Joy!

Now, it isn’t delivered and things can change. However, I can’t help but think that this was all pretty good news. Love for all you Web Content Management people out there.

Now they just have to execute.

5 thoughts on “X-Hive and the Content Server

  1. leecsmith says:

    Thanks for the info. There’s an EMC session over here in the UK in a month’s time to discuss D6 for a day. I was wavering on attending but they have one session dedicated to XML management and I suspect it will be a similar message which will be interesting.

    I’m actually interested in one of the touted advantages of XHive and Mark Logic around flexibility, notably that this type of storage removes the lock in to specified structures and thus the business can adapt to change much more easily. Sounds great but has someone considered the work required to then use this additional information. I can see in the very near future we’re going to see the boundaries of structured and unstructured content becoming more and more blurred.

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  2. I think that D6.5 is quite optimistic in terms of using XHive repository. I would expect that will mean also new set of API to access specific functionality.
    From an architectural point of view, i would expect that API to work regardless of the storage component, probably with an impact on performance.
    I feel quite optimistic that this technology gets finally incorporated in D. There wasn’t too much news in this area in the past years and I remember some frustrations i had while trying to solve problems with XML applications.

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  3. I agree that it is optimistic. However, they seemed pretty confident and they weren’t talking about doing anything more than storing the XML there, not everything. That is most likely a D7 timeframe, maybe.

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  4. “If I have the UK version of a vehicle, it notes that the steering wheel is on the wrong side.” As a Brit, I take umbrage to that 😀

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