Content Management, Platforms or Solutions?


Pendulum about to cut a man in half in the movie "Pit and the Pendulum"The Content Management industry is rife with contradictions. The biggest of which is that the business just wants solutions to their problems while IT wants a common platform from an established player to make integrations and upgrades less risky.

I’m not sure how we solve this problem and I am tired of watching the pendulum swing back and forth.

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Leveraging CMIS to Create Strong Business Applications


One of the things that I missed during my tour at AIIM was working with partners. I’m not talking about consultants, though I missed them as well. I missed the technology vendors. When I was at the Alfresco Summits last month, I was able to see a lot of vendors creating some cool technology to enhance a wide variety of Content solutions.

It was particularly fun to see several vendors that I had worked with in the past. IGC’s Brava product was one of those. Their viewer and annotation tool is pretty much the standard in large swathes of the pharmaceutical industry as they are vendor agnostic.

Another one that was good to reconnect with was Generis. One reason is because their CEO still has to pay up from a bet we made during the last World Cup. The other is because of what they are doing with Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS). While most of the industry has been coasting on the standard, Generis has been working hard to show its potential.

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Documentum Renewal: Application Separation


This is the first in a series that I am writing as a Christmas present to EMC.  I want them to think about Documentum as a platform for the future and not on just adding on chunks that can be used to drive revenue.  Revenue is important, but investment now means revenue in the future.

After all, if they want their vision of SkyNet to come true, they need to get to work.

Why Web Publisher Sucks

I talked recently about how there are many ECM vendors out there that have sub-par applications, like Web Publisher from Documentum, that shouldn’t be required to be an ECM vendor.  It isn’t that they aren’t capable of writing good applications.  It is that the landscape changes faster than the release cycles for the platform.

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Three Fundamental CMIS Use Cases


I’ve been meaning to get this done for a while.  Over the last year, I’ve run into people that saw a need for CMIS as a whole, but didn’t think that it mattered for them.  Usually, the reason was that they only saw one use case for CMIS.  Well, there are three fundamental use cases for CMIS, with multiple examples for each.

To facilitate understanding of the use cases, I have created a presentation which I have placed up on SlideShare.  You can go directly to The Point Of The Content Interoperability Services (CMIS) Standard, or view the embedded version here and read the elaboration of the use cases below.

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Content-Enabled Applications in the Age of CMIS


Craig Randall recently posted how he was presenting on Building Content-Enabled Applications at EMC World, at least until he was downed by injury.  Regardless of his injury, this is a topic of great interest to me and I had a few conversations over the past year with him on the topic.  I wanted to chime in on his post to both amplify it and see if we can get some dialog going in advance of the conference.

What is a Content-Enabled Application?

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The Challenge of CMIS


I started this to talk about some of the things out there, but there is sooo much that I am drawing the line. Kas is writing some good things on CMIS as he attempts to grok it.  Others, like Jon Marks, are grappling with CMIS as well. They raise some excellent points that probably deserve posts unto themselves. I find myself, today, focusing on the more immediate and of the more “outside-the-box” thoughts.

Updates and Announcements

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Vendor Support for CMIS


As I discussed yesterday, I’ve been waiting a long time for the Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS) standard.  There is still a fair amount of excitement out there as more people join the conversation.  I’m still excited, but the excitement is beginning to be tempered by reality.

There are two primary factors to standard adoption:

  • Is the standard technically sound?  It has to actually solve the stated problem.  It is okay if a standard is limited in functionality in initial drafts as long as it evolves to accomplish everything required.  At the same time, it must be easy enough to use.  These are not small technical challenges.
  • Is there vendor support?  Let’s face it, if the vendors don’t support it, then it will fail.  The JSR-170 and JSR-283 standards are perfect examples.  They aren’t supported by a critical mass of vendors.  The reasons range from the technical (we work in Java), to the philosophical (it is a bad standard, let’s focus elsewhere), and to the lazy (nobody cares so let’s ignore it).

Customers are important, but it takes a large mass of them to force the vendors to act.  I would qualify them as a secondary factor.  While I digest the technical aspects, take a look at the Vendor Support factor.

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