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.
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.
I am almost too excited for words. Every thought I have is leading down ten different paths. You may ask why. Simple, they finally announced an ECM-SOA standard. This new standard, Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS), has been submitted to OASIS for approval. This is the same standard that I initially learned about at EMC World.
Emails streamed to me all day alerting me to this announcement, and I was blissfully offline. Now I wish some people (you know who you are) had told me to pay attention this morning. As it is, I’ve decided to let everyone of you know about it and give some thoughts to the effort. I still have to review the actual specification and find out what this means to each of the key vendors.
Overheard a comment that lowered my hopes for this presentation. They are working on an ECM SOA standard with other vendors. Everything else is NDA, but we may hear something in September. Let’s see what Patricia Anderson from EMC will share.
I haven’t been a big booster of JSR-170, the Content Repository for Java Technology API, or its sequel JSR-283 here. It isn’t that I have anything against them, it is just that I think that the bigger problem is at a higher level of the architecture stack. I think ECM systems should be accessed through Services and not APIs whenever possible. It is also a little too technology focused.