Saw a tweet today that was pretty exciting. It was referencing a “comparison” between SharePoint and Documentum. I was initially excited. I’d love to see CenterStage and SharePoint compared. I compared SharePoint to eRoom a couple of years back and wasn’t planning on a comparison with CenterStage until the database/list functionality was ported over.
My excitement was short-lived.
I instead encountered a piece that resembles propaganda more than a fair and balanced comparison. That may sound harsh, but I will defend the charge.
I first got an indication that there may be issues in the opening section. This quote in particular was interesting.
[Documentum] can be viewed as a content aware RDBMS layer above the traditional data layer.
That understates Documentum’s capabilities dramatically. The point being made in this section was that SharePoint was design from the UI to the backend and EMC has traditionally been focused on the backend to the detriment of the interface.
That is true and does help frame the conversation. Then things fell apart.
Comparing Apples to Peas
So things start to become interesting when the next section starts to discuss business logic. I won’t dive into the synchronous/asynchronous aspects of the BOF (it can be both), but the statement
Lately improvements in .Net and Microsoft SharePoint’s best friend K2 has begun to fully exploit the SharePoint vision
Uh, I thought this was a comparison between SharePoint and Documentum. If SharePoint is going to bring friends, like K2 blackpoint, to the show, can’t EMC?
He then begins to belittle the Process Engine. The term newish is patently incorrect. It has been around for years. I’m not saying that it is better than K2, either the blackpoint or full-featured blackpearl product, but we aren’t comparing Documentum and K2, are we? I thought we were comparing SharePoint with Documentum.
Microsoft has the lead here. I’ve used Documentum in the cloud, but they don’t have a commercial approach yet. The sentence that catches my eye here was:
Microsoft on the other hand is now releasing Office/SharePoint 2010 expressly to improve (if not completely mature) the cloud model.
Really? We are now comparing an unreleased version of SharePoint with Documentum. Forget that there is an upcoming release and announcements scheduled for May at EMC World.
Funny side note, Microsoft has decided to release SharePoint during EMC World. Coincidence? Unlikely in this industry, but distinctly possible. The Documentum related announcements could be unrelated to the Cloud. I would say that comparing SP2010 to anything should at least wait to see where those products are at the time of the SP2010 release.
EMC keeps its cards closer to the vest than Microsoft, so rushing to any conclusions about where things will be after EMC World is premature.
Besides, I’ve used an Amazon hosted Documentum instance before. It was a year ago for the AIIM CMIS Demo and it worked just fine. It isn’t a technology issue, so anything could happen.
That said, does K2 work with SharePoint in the cloud? Will it work with SharePoint 2010? These are all gaps in the analysis that are left begging for answers.
Oh, and for the multi-server installation. I can’t definitively tackle that one, but it FEELS misleading and wrong. I just can’t prove it without more research at this time. I don’t want to commit the same errors that I am bring the author to task.
Easy to Choose
It is easy to compare anything on just a couple of characteristics and pick a winner. Nothing is the best at everything.
“DOS is better than any operating system today because it’s memory overhead is incredibly small.” How many DOS deployments have you seen lately? There are reasons for that.
This is an extreme example, but it illustrates the fallacy of the approach taken by the article.
Give me a fair and balanced review. I don’t care who wins, just give it to me. I’ll be doing one of SP2010 to CenterStage this summer. I think that will be the right comparison point.
There are times when SharePoint is the right answer, and times when Documentum is the answer. The article, as written, will not help you figure out which is which.
I may be a partner of EMC, but I have more revenue coming from SharePoint projects these days than Documentum. Documentum work isn’t slumping as much as SharePoint work is booming.