EMC World 2009, The Case of the Incredibly Shrinking Momentum

This year was the second year where I “felt” that there were less Documentum sessions than the older traditional Momentum conferences.  This is strange as there are more components to Content Management and Archiving, Documentum, than there were even two years ago.  Luckily, I have the conference handbooks for the last three EMC World conferences and I can check numbers while I watch a new repository build.

The EMC World 2007 conference, while under EMC World’s wing, still felt like the session count wasn’t that far off.  I remember a few grumblings, but nothing documented, so I’ll just use that as a baseline with the understanding that the previous year was at least as good.  I believe 2007 was the year that the long-standing pre-conference tutorials vanished, so calling it even is a throwing EMC a bone.

Let’s See Some Numbers

Continue reading

EMC World Orlando, 2009 Edition

Well, I finally broke down and registered for EMC World.  This year it is May 18-22 in Orlando. I got my hotel reservations months ago and wasn’t in a rush for the actual registration as the price has yet to change. I don’t need a free gift for registering early. In this economy, it is all about the Benjamins and the impact on the balance sheet, so no discount, no early registration push.

I was thinking about talking about my plans for EMC World, which looks pretty good, but the I realized something…This will be my 10th Documentum User Conference!  So I have decided to flash back a bit to the previous conferences.

Continue reading

D6 is Coming!

Been slowing down a bit as I focus on several work and family activities that have precluded me from writing many entries. However, today I saw something in the Documentum Developer Site News feed on the side of my blog. EMC is gearing up for the release of D6 and I am starting to get excited. I’m not the only one if the hits on my blog are any indication.

Continue reading

EMC’s Vision of ECM 2.0

I’ve previously posted on how D6 is laying the foundation for ECM 2.0 (E2), as well as some of the key features of that release. Before I start delving into some of those features in detail, I though I would go over what E2 is envisioned to be once it is delivered. Personally, this is a lot of marketing-speak, as is Web 2.0, but it shows a lot about the why in the future of Documentum.

Continue reading

…And the Wait Ends

The EMC World 2007 Presentations are available for download. Things are better than expected as they are available directly from the EMC World 2007 website as opposed to Powerlink. They aren’t organized as I would like, but they are there and they are fairly simple to find as they are listed alphabetically.

Anyway, the upshot is that soon I will have some new posts. Some topics that I am going to post upon are SharePoint, Documentum Foundation Services, and TaskSpace, among others. If anyone has a request for a specific D6 or Architecture related topic, just add a comment and I will either add it to my list or move it up my priority list.

And the Wait Continues….

I had previously mentioned that there were some things that I wasn’t fond of at the combined EMC World 2007. Many of which were annoyances and didn’t significantly impact my ability to get what I needed from the conference. We have a new development. On the EMC World website, they have stated that the presentations will not be available until June 12. To make matters worse, they will be accessible only on PowerLink and it will require the user to search for the presentations.

Let me put this into perspective for everyone. This is the website that took 6 months to get my contact information correct after they moved it from the old Documentum Support site, and I know some organizations that just gave up on that effort. The search has always been tricky at best, even when you “qualify” the search with their pull-down lists. Plus, now we are waiting almost 3 weeks after the end of the conference to get them, when the linkage between memory, notes, and slides will not be very strong. In prior years, I would start downloading presentations before I even flew home.

I took good notes in most sessions. I hope everyone else did. If not, keep track of blogs and EMC forums for explanations on your favorite topics. If you have one that you missed or need refreshing, ask me and if I know, I’ll answer.

D6, ECM 2.0’s Foundation

Well, EMC World didn’t give us much new, but it confirmed a lot of important facts about the upcoming release, as well as labeling their thought process in the marketing world. Each product has some neat new features, but I am only going to hit the big ones that stick out in my mind. Have a question on it, leave a comment and I’ll see if I know, or maybe another reader will.

NOTE: These features could change! Having managed release cycles for a few products, it is simply amazing how much can change at the last minute. From my discussions, I feel pretty confident that these features will be delivered or I wouldn’t be taunting you with them.

  • Aspects: If you don’t know what Aspects are, they are a part of the Object-Oriented world that basically adds another dimension to the complexity of any OO design or implementation. That being said, they can make life much easier. Right now, say you have an object type for project documents. You have a couple of pieces of meta-data including a Project lookup. No biggie, extend dm_document (or your enterprise document type). What if you have project emails coming in through DCO? You have to extend the dm_mail_archive type in the same manner. Thus you are managing the model in 2 places. This can get worse, but we’ll stop there. With Aspects, you can create a Project Aspect and apply it to the types dynamically. That’s right, Aspects can be applied at any time to a document, not just when a document is created. Ain’t life grand?
  • TaskSpace: This is a new UI into the Documentum world. It isn’t just a way to charge people for a new interface, it is actually useful. The key new UI behind their Transactional Content offering, it takes a user straight into their Documentum Inbox. Once their, they can look at task information and see the actual content in the same web page. Using the Brava! viewer from Informative Graphics, users can annotate and process their work within one screen. In addition, it introduces “Smart Folders”. These are just canned searches that return all content with, for example, Account #43839. The user doesn’t need to navigate the folder hierarchy to see all the related content. This is something that if you haven’t seen and you use workflows, you need to see.
  • Improved BOCS: Right now, Branch Office Caching Services can only cache data that has already been requested by someone accessing that server. In D6, you can use predictive caching to have the content ready and waiting. PLUS, it will have write-back capabilities so that distant users don’t have to wait for the content to get back to the Content Server before they continue working on something else. This is going to make the One Repository model truly viable for the global organization.
  • Documentum Foundation Classes: This is a big change. EMC is moving to a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). This is going to make life a lot easier down the road to write new user interfaces and to have different systems interact together. I already have uses for this on my projects. EMC is already using them. The new SharePoint Services for Documentum coming in D6 sp1 is going to be built on this completely. Following that will be the next generation of eRoom built using ASP .NET as the interface and Content Server as the backend.
  • Java Libraries: I wrote previously that this was the biggest risk, and I stand by that statement. However, it also offers one of the greatest boons to every Linux lover out there. Right now, Content Server is certified by OS and Processor. Same for the install package. In D6, theoretically you can just drop the WAR file into an App Server and you are done. I’m sure that there will be a few details, but this opens Linux up to non-Intel platforms and lets IT shops everywhere stick with what they know. The only question, how will the classify the supported platforms? For that we will have to wait for the release notes.

First Thoughts on Momentum (aka EMC World) 2007

So, as I sit here awaiting one of the many over-priced rides back to the airport, I thought I would write-up my notes from the conference this year. Then I decided, why not blog it? Thus it begins…

Not going to rant on the obvious this year. If you went, you know. If you didn’t go, don’t worry about it. For all of its new-found flaws, Momentum is still the best place to go to find out what is going on and to get access to the Documentum product staff. This year proved no different.

The focus this year was on Documentum 6.0, or as it is affectionately known – D6, which is coming this summer. This was good and bad. I wanted to know more about it, but D6 was the focus at the last Momentum, so some of it was a repeat. D6 holds a lot of promise for the future of Documentum. Two of the largest changes coming are the complete replacement of the underlying binary libraries into Java and the introduction of a new level of abstraction on top of the DFC, the Documentum Foundation Services (DFS).

Of the two, the changing of the libraries is worrisome. My initial concern was performance, but they are now going to use an embedded version of BEA WebLogic 9.2 instead of Tomcat. This has apparently given them a 15-25% performance improvement over the current architecture. No problems. However, I worry about the replacement of the binaries from a quality perspective. Balagi, during his keynote stressed the importance of quality going forward. He admitted, implicitly, that they had rushed 5.3 out and that it had been a mistake. I have my doubts. Even if the statement on quality is 100% sincere, that is a lot of functionality to test in a lot of environments. We’ll know soon enough.

So why would I even begin looking at D6 before SP1? Check in soon and I’ll go into the highlights that make the changes worth while.