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.

Who is They?

This standard was developed by the “big three”, EMC, Microsoft, and IBM.  I like those three.  IBM is strong in SOA and a proponent of this architecture as a whole (and it might let their ECM products work together).  Microsoft is the popular gorilla in the room and without them, SharePoint would be left out and it would fail.  EMC, well, implementing their products has been paying my bills for years.  These days, other vendors are helping to pay those bills as well, but EMC still has the lead.

Oracle anyone?  They were at the table.  Also there was Open Text, SAP(!), and everyone’s favorite open source ECM vendor, Alfresco (who has an initial implementation already!).  These companies all bought into the submission.  I would love to know the story of why the three are those three and not four.  That is a whole other train of thought and is something for later.

The important thing is, just about everybody’s list of the top three or four vendors includes the companies in the collaborative seven.  This is important if adoption is ever going to happen.

Learning More

I have only had time to sample some of the coverage out there.  I have a few more posts to write on this topic, including coverage.  In parallel, I’ll dive into the actual specification and provide some real comments on the whole thing.  There are a lot of people to talk to out there.

  • Kas Thomas at CMS Watch chimed in with his initial impressions.  He is skeptical and he recalls the JSR standards.  The JSR standards failed because they are a Java API.  That limits its usefulness when communicating with non-java ECM systems.  This is language neutral and going to a broader standards body for approval.
  • Chuck Hollis at EMC has a great sales pitch for CMIS on his blog.  It is also well written and reflects many of the themes that I have been harping on for over a year now.  If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, none of it is new, but it is GREAT to see it espoused by senior management at an ECM community.  (More on EMC and this standard very soon.)
  • The 451 Group has a post on CMIS that is fairly balanced.  It also has a bunch of links that I will be following as soon as I hit Publish on this post.
  • Good to see that Bex is in the know.  Once I get up to speed, I’m going to enjoy the back and forth.

Stay tuned.  The next week should have a lot of activity here as I learn more and distill it all for you.  I don’t see a lot of sleep happening until I get a firm handle on everything.  Unfortunately, clients still need attention this week, so it will take me a few days to get everything covered.

I can’t promise what my next post will be about.  I have too much bubbling inside that is trying to come out.  Enjoy the ride before we settle into the reality of approving a standard.

This is just the beginning.  Let’s make sure it isn’t the end.

2 thoughts on “Enter CMIS, a Proposed ECM-SOA Standard

  1. Looking forward to your comments on the spec. There is a fair bit to digest–after all, the current v0.5 spec represents work that began in 2006. So, let’s keep the conversation going. Cheers…


  2. Patricia says:


    News on CMIS:

    Further enhancing it commitment to the recently announced Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS) specification, EMC Documentum announced the availability of its CMIS implementation. This early access release software is now available for download for use with the EMC Documentum Content Server platform on the following site: https://community.emc.com/community/labs/cmis

    EMC Documentum CMIS Early Access Release implements the CMIS specification for use with the EMC Documentum Content Server platform. The current release exposes the CMIS web service (SOAP) binding; the future release will expose the REST/Atom binding as well. EMC Documentum CMIS Early Access Release is delivered as a Java EE archive that can be deployed to a number of supported application servers.

    EMC Documentum is providing an Early Access Release of its CMIS implementation to enable customers and developers to familiarize themselves with the proposed standard. This will provide both developers and customers the information they need to jumpstart development or ensure that they include commitment to CMIS compatibility in future purchases and acquisitions.

    More News: Committee formed, EMC’s David Choy elected as Chairman:

    The OASIS CMIS Technical Committee is officially created this Monday morning (Nov 10th 2008).

    David Choy was elected the Chair.
    Al Brown (IBM) and Ethan Gur-esh (MS) were elected Co-Editors and Co-Secretary. (The Secretary’s role covers meeting minutes and TC website, etc.)
    David Nuescheler (Day) was elected Liaison to JSR-283.


Comments are closed.