I had a mission at Momentum this year that I had to perform for some of my eRoom clients. I had to determine the viability of CenterStage as a replacement for eRoom. Two facts answered my question:
CenterStage 1.1 is scheduled for GA in Q4. Calendars are a year away.
Really? Where have I heard that before?
That’s All Folks!
After I learned the above facts, I made the following announcement on Twitter:
Needless to say, it turned some heads. There is one good spin…the release date for 1.1 hasn’t shifted, it is still Q4. Just don’t ask which Q4. It is like the developer that keeps telling the PM that they will be done in 2 weeks.
There is no way I can look my eRoom clients in the eye and tell them that they should wait for CenterStage if they want to launch a new initiative. Even if I believe in the roadmap, why should they believe in it? Given the focus on Case Management, how can we even be sure that the CenterStage will continue to receive the proper funds and staffing to meet all the goals.
Two years ago, CenterStage was awesome and was heralded as the replacement for eRoom. Here we are, two years later, and we don’t have data tables and calendars yet. We are still on version 1.0, though we did get a service pack in there.
Why did this happen? They were probably a little aggressive two years ago, but still, there had to be some continuing issues with implementing the features in the Documentum repositories object model in a manner that was efficient.
I bet all those architectural problems could have been solved with xDB. Just a guess.
So what to do now? While CenterStage is separated from the platform, as it should, the product isn’t being innovated like it should be as part of a more focused development team.
As far as I am concerned, EMC is currently not a provider of collaboration solutions.
Repository Services for SharePoint, EMC’s One Play
Meanwhile, did anyone notice a little announcement from Redmond on May 12? Apparently there is an earth-shattering, world-saving, product out from Microsoft. You may have heard of it, SharePoint 2010.
Last I checked, EMC has some decent products that work with SharePoint. One has been out for over a year and already works with SharePoint 2010, the poorly named “EMC Documentum Repository Services for Microsoft SharePoint”. For the rest of this post, we are going to call it Dave.
Dave is pretty good. It allows you to put the power of Documentum behind SharePoint. Dave has a few functional weaknesses, but it is ahead of all the other competitors in regards to capabilities and the larger ones are being addressed.
Seems to me that SharePoint may be a good collaboration tool to use with Documentum.
Of course there are the headaches of managing two infrastructures and all of that storage. Now if only Dave could work by talking to a Documentum instance in the public cloud. Man, that would make my life easy and make Dave an easy sell to customers.
On the Plus Side…
Well, there are two good things to come from all of this:
- I don’t have to worry about writing a complete CenterStage-SharePoint analysis anytime soon.
- At least EMC can use all of that CenterStage code to replace Webtop.
Webtop is on a perpetual lifetime contract with EMC, but I can see CenterStage in place to replace it and become their default cloud interface.
I figure given the current focus, CenterStage should be mature around the same time the Content Server is ready for the cloud.
The only question is if I’ll have retired by then.