EMC World 2009: Documentum Foundation Services (DFS) – Best Practices and Real World Examples

One of my most popular session notes from last year returns for a sequel. Not a bad way to start the conference. Let’s see if Michael (MT) Mohen of EMC Professional Services can deliver on their promise to provide us with lots of new material…

  • Enterprise Content Services (ECS) is umbrella term for Web Services offered, so it includes Documentum Foundation Services (DFS)
    • ECS provides service composition
    • Provides payload scheme and data model
  • Records Management is not part of the core DFS package and must be installed separately (already learned that the hard way once)
    • Also means that the separate deployment will share session with primary DFS implementation, plan session management accordingly
  • DFS is going to be foundation for Microsoft Office integration down the road as well. (Good for firewalls, maybe same approach for common CMIS integration cross-ECM platforms)
    • Microsoft and Explorer Integrations
    • D6.5 sp2 has Native UCF client for .NET applications
  • DFS can call Service Based Objects (SBOs)
  • D6.5 sp1 DFS has “more” support for Aspects
  • DFC is NOT going away (Another year, same statement. Very good!)
  • DFS will work with D5.3, just be wary of workflows and BOF components
  • (So we are getting sidetracked, running out of time for actual best practices)
  • “REST” version is coming out as a new DFS binding (Let the REST wars begin)
  • Kerberos coming soon, not just DFS
  • xDB support is coming in DFS
  • More demand for XA, JTA based transaction support OOTB
  • Content Transfer
    • Check latency
    • Large files do not work that well in Web Services in general
    • Options: – HTTP, Base64 (smaller files), UCF (tight desktop integration and ACS/BOCS), MTOM, UCF.NET
    • Recommends no content transfer through an Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) (Damn straight!)
  • UCF Performance Tuning White Paper no available
  • D6.5 sp1 has Native 64-bit (not Content Server though) support improvements to UCF
  • UCF appears to be a little faster than MTOM. Says to base it on model and not performance. (Performance is close enough to validate the point)
  • Documentum Developer Edition
    • Lucene for search engine
    • 3GB RAM
    • 1.7 GB Download
    • 5GB hard disk installed
    • Requires .NET 2.0 or higher
  • Uses Set Identity to set identity when not using SSO solutions, though some security folks don’t like it (Only feasible security-wise when it is on the server)
  • DFS and Adobe FLEX has a middleware component, (3 parts to make it work)
    • .mxml
    • remoting-config.xml
    • DFSSearchService
  • When setting repeating string attributes, use a semi-colon delimited string
  • Query Max Result Count does not default to -1, but to 100, if query will exceed 500, cache and cycle through the results
  • Use “requiresAuthenticatio=false” for non-session work
  • Validate attribute names
  • Return DataPackage for services that return resultsets – use DFS Data Model
  • When validating a DataPackage, check for NULL, then see if DataObjects are NULL if DataPackage isn’t NULL
  • Install manifest for DFS into Composer, Documentum Services Catalog Repository
    • Registry for consumer discovery
    • UDDI v2 standard
    • Default port 9010
  • DFS passes things in clear text
  • SAML code has a performance hit (+1-2 seconds)
  • Source code at ftp.emc.com/outgoing/EMCWorld
    • White Paper on Documentum and Adobe Flex
    • DFS Extensions…Workflow in 5.3
    • SAML sample code (!?!)
    • Kerberos (pre-release) that works with SharePoint and Documentum
    • DFS and FLEX
    • DFS JavaBean

Best part about the session, I now know where lots of sample code sits. Going to download it soon so I have it for a long time going forward. Now back to my never-ending quest for coffee. I may go absorb Joe Tucci’s keynote, but I may try to find some people and trade stories.


All information in this post was gathered from the presenters and presentation. It does not reflect my opinion unless clearly indicated (Italics in parenthesis). Any errors are most likely from my misunderstanding a statement or imperfectly recording the information. Updates to correct information are reflected in red, but will not be otherwise indicated.

All statements about the future of EMC products and strategy are subject to change at any time due to a large variety of factors.

25 thoughts on “EMC World 2009: Documentum Foundation Services (DFS) – Best Practices and Real World Examples

  1. Interesting! Thanks for extensive notes…I was sitting in the room next door listening to David Mennie and Patrick Walsh about Digital Asset Management….if you want to say hello I am that girl in pink 🙂


  2. Ingo_Z says:


    thanks for again taking notes like last year. Couldn’t make it myself this time. Keep ’em coming. 🙂

    Cheers from Norway!


  3. Chris Campbell says:

    It’s a good thing that I attended this first. I think for next year EMC should consider scheduling the sessions in a way that builds off each other. For example, the first day is “foundation day” where sessions concentrate on DFS, DFC, the conceptual models of TCM, Knowledge Worker, etc. The second day is more application and roadmap driven. The third day is more of a best practices, deep-dive and hands-on. Sessions could be repeated on the third and fourth day.

    As you mentioned in a later blog post, I noticed more than once people asking questions that were handled in earlier sessions or if we wanted to know more to attend sessions that were held yesterday. Having more of a flow would help prevent overlapping, keep the distracting questions to a mininmum and just give an overall better experience.


    • Ingo_Z says:

      Hi Raoul,

      the files used to be there. I downloaded them right after Pie posted this blog. I imagine that have been moved somewhere else… Just checked and it is roughly 180 MB of files.

      Maybe Pie can find out where the files went?



      • Raoul B says:

        Thanks Ingo.

        I guess EMC changed the rights on the folder. I always get a read error on [.] meaning a permission issue….



  4. Sander says:

    damn, the code is gone!

    Just when I am getting ready for a Kerberos SSO implementation.
    Any help on getting that pre-release code?
    The ftp link just shows me an empty directory…




  5. Sander Hendriks says:

    Hi Pie,

    I was wondering if you’ve heard anything from Micheal Mohen.
    I still haven’t seen any code in the FTP link you gave.
    I the mean time I figured out some of the SSO stuff myself, but I am really looking for a Kerberos authentication plug-in for the Content Server. I hope that is in the pre-release code…


    • Hi Sander,

      Documentum does not provide a Kerberos authentication plug-in.
      The code provided on the FTP site enables kerberos authentication between a DFS client and DFS server. That’s all.
      Then they use (as always) a superuser to generate a documentum ticket to authenticate to Documentum server. It’s ugly, isn’t it!
      If you want real Kerberos SSO (end to end), check this out:



    • Raoul is partially correct. Kerberos is not supported, but it is coming this year, in theory, and there was a pre-release version shared by Michael. I can only find the “KerberosOnDFS.rar” file. It is 36MB in size, so I can’t just randomly throw it out there.


  6. Sander Hendriks says:

    I looked at the Content Server release notes for 6.5SP3 that came out this week, but it didn’t mention Kerberos support.
    Therefore I am assuming that the rumours are true that official Kerberos support should be in the Documentum 6.6 release later this year.

    I hope you can wait that long.



    • Michael Mohen says:

      Looks like the official Kerberos support for DFS will be out in the D6.6 release; the code we presented at EMC was very basic and I’d wait for the official code to come out. If anyone needs any of the code from the session, just ping me at mohen_michael@emc.com.

      See you in Boston!




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