Content, Security, and Standards

imageI am about to do what I stopped doing several years ago, start paying attention to James McGovern. Why? Because he is talking about several important issues that need to be dealt with in the industry.

Years ago, James and I discussed Security standards around Identity Management, primarily SAML. While my focus on the time was on Documentum, the issues were universal. Since we last interacted online, James has moved on to HP in an advisory role for clients.

Sadly, the issues we discussed are still prevalent in the industry. In fact, these issues are becoming more important with the advent of new players in the cloud space.

Sure, the new vendors support integrations and work with existing Active Directory installations. That’s nice. So did the established vendors. The problem remains, there is no standard way to pass both Authentication and Authorization.

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I’ve Been Doing This Four Years?

This year as I write my post observing my blog’s anniversary, I am hit with conflicting realizations. One is that I cannot believe that it has been four years already. It seems like only yesterday I wasn’t blogging and I was just another local hack consultant.

Now of course, I am a hack on a much larger scale.

The other thought process is that when I go to events it seems like I’ve been doing this forever. When I started this blog, blogging in the Documentum space was thin. There were some other Content Management bloggers, but it wasn’t nearly as widespread as it is now. It used to be that if you blogged about Content Management, you made the blog roll. Now things change so much the roll has been sitting half-way through a revision for several months.

I started during the days when Johnny Gee was the only widely known Documentum blogger. That does seem like forever and an ago. Over that time, the Word has come to define who I am in the industry.

So, who is this annoying hack known as Pie……..?

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Launching the New Box, Progress Made One Step at a Time

imageSo a funny thing happened on my way to the West Coast this week, I was invited to a product launch at  I’ve always been a fan of the concept of Content Management in the Cloud and the direction Box has taken in the Content Management space.

The established vendors are having to determine how to change both their business models and architecture before they more to the the cloud. Box is already there, they just need more features.

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An ECM Keynote for 2010

I’ve been talking about a lack of leadership and vision in the ECM industry.  This is evident when you attend keynotes at various conferences.  Most keynotes at industry conferences are focused on what has been happening and what is happening now.  John Mancini’s keynote at the AIIM conference was as close as it gets these days.

Of course, AIIM can’t deliver the future, they can only point to it, so what do we do? We wait. What are we waiting for? Well, I’m not waiting right now.  For your consideration, I present to you a keynote on the future of ECM…..

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Documentum Renewal: Identity Management

Continuing my Christmas present to EMC.  I’ve talked about Application Separation and the need to Focus on the Core.  Now it is time to revisit a critical piece of the puzzle, Identity Management.

This is not a new topic for me. One of my most popular posts this year is the Single Sign-On, SAML, and Authentication in Documentum post that I wrote back in 2007.  I’ve talked to EMC engineers and product managers about this issue repeatedly over the years.  It was one of those things that James McGovern always pinged EMC on when he was a regular blogger.

This is the reason that I feel eRoom died. This is what will stop application developers from using just any ECM platform.

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What ECM Needs to be Today

A couple of weeks ago, I threw my vision of where I described the future of Content Management.  I took it beyond ECM to Omnipresent Content Management (OCM for now).  Lee Dallas then build upon that future by changing the very content that we generate and manage.  The question still remaining is, what is ECM going to be today and over the next couple of years?

Last year, I threw out a new definition for ECM.  I still think it applies, but the story around it has evolved.  Here is that working definition of ECM.

Enterprise Content Management is the empowerment of all content within an organization. This is accomplished through the centralized management of content, allowing for people and systems to access and manage content from within any business context using platform agnostic standards.

Let’s look at this definition in today’s light.

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The Future of Content Management

About a week ago, Julian Wraith asked the ECM world what they thought the future of Content Management was.  He then said that he was going on vacation and would check back in a week.  So like all good techies, I waited until the end of the week before even starting on the task.  I did want to answer because I felt my ECM Definition needs a vision to where I see ECM taking us.image

Before I dive into the topic, I wanted to frame my answer.  I am backing off the term ECM 2.0.  As I think on it, the “2.0” is over-used, and doesn’t really apply directly to ECM.  ECM may support and be an important part of an Enterprise 2.0 system, but that can be achieved with old tech.  I am still ECM focused and see it changing, but slapping a version number is not the way to indicate the evolution of ECM.

The last thing about this future state is that it will not be here tomorrow. It is a future that is years away.  Some organizations may be there soon on a small scale, but the full-scale vision is a world where we are all there. So without further ado…

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Tip: Federations and Replicating LDAP Definitions

This was going to be part of my post, Documentum and LDAP, Time to Grow Up, but I decided to pull it out as a short post in the Tips section.  Partly because I haven’t posted a Tip in a while, and partly because I think this deserves a little more attention.

The issue? A Federation and multiple LDAP definitions. The solution, simple, but poorly documented.

The Heart of the Matter

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Documentum and LDAP, Time to Grow Up

[Edit: See Comments for details on the “Why” of the edits.]

I’ve spent the last several weeks working on LDAP issues.  Some have been simple, others, not so much.  Suffice it to say, if you have Documentum 6.0 sp1, get the hot fixes for LDAP.  They are readily available from EMC.  Most of these are rolled up into D6.5 sp1.

Those issues aren’t isn’t what I want to talk about today. What I want to talk about is the advent of large systems and the need for applications, like Documentum, to accommodate the broader reality of some of today’s environments.

Before I go much deeper, I want to state that some vendors handle this worse than EMC, and some handle it better.  I’m not going to name names.  I do know at least one major player that does a much worse job, and I am pretty sure I can accurately pick one that handles it better.

ALL vendors need to understand this problem.

Enter the Multi-Domain Enterprise

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SharePoint and Documentum, Patience is a Virtue

Well, the time has come to talk about the elephant in the room, SharePoint.  It was a slow conference for me regarding SharePoint.  I didn’t attend any normal sessions on it as I was usually being pulled away by other items.  I did get a lot of time with Andrew, Erin, Craig (yes, Craig), and a boatload of partners talking about the SharePoint problem.

Problem?  Yes, problem.  The problem is that nobody knows what to do to make everyone play together.  I’ll tell you right now, playing together is required.

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