Documentum and the Search for Search

Those of you that follow Documentum’s products know that search has been a bug-a-boo the last few years. When 5.3 was rolled-out, there was much promised around faster search.  It is here, but at a price.  Additional hardware is needed and the version of FAST used by Documentum isn’t VMWare safe. To be fair, dedicating a server to search is part of the reason we have better performance, but it hasn’t been the panacea that we wanted.

In 7.0, we are looking at the prospect of Lucene support for the more plug-and-play repositories, while the larger ones will still be able to leverage a larger, multi-node, FAST installation. (Works great! Seriously, I mean it.)  This is fine, but supporting two search engines, neither of which you actually own, is an issue for any vendor.

So what is the solution? Last week I read an article speculating on the prospect of EMC looking for a search company to add to their portfolio. Now the article was pure speculation, but that is what makes it fun.  Let’s see if it makes sense and who could EMC acquire.

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RSA and Autonomy

Just wanted to share with everyone. I learned that the OEM agreement that I mentioned earlier between Autonomy and EMC is for the RSA product line and not Documentum. There had been a slight discussion going on in my previous post on the topic that Autonomy wasn’t destined for Content Server. Now we know.

So it seems that Search is still on the same path. Upgraded FAST and an option for Lucene in D6.5. This should also lead to more plug-in architecture for Search engines in the future. It also means that we need to watch Microsoft more closely once they close the deal in Q2.

The folks at Brilliant Leap! and Lee Smith had some interesting thoughts (Read in that order). However, with the information regarding RSA, it spins it a little straighter.

EMC Search Potpourri

Sometimes I miss the 90s. Search was so easy in ECM environments. Everyone used a bundled Verity and was happy.

Then things changed. People started to notice that if you actually used the system on an large scale, search performance degraded. There were many reasons for this. One was that vendors weren’t upgrading their bundled Verity engine. Another was that the engine was sitting on the same machine as the primary ECM server, so resources were being consumed at an increasing rate.

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The Federal Documentum User’s Group, November 2007

So I spent a good chunk of today at the local Documentum User’s Group meeting. Formerly a regional/local group, it has been recast as the Federal EMC Content Management and Archiving User Group. This isn’t a major problem as it doesn’t seem to actually be federally focused. I encourage all local DC users to attend. It is a well organized event that is very useful. Of particular use is the local networking with other practitioners. This meeting focused on D6.

Before I get into that, I did get official notification that Howard Shao has rejoined EMC. I’ve known this for quite a while, but had to wait for official knowledge before I could share. This is a very good thing. There were concerns that the departure of too many founders/visionaries would hurt the Documentum product. Hopefully Howard’s return will restore faith and move things where they need to go. Howard is sharp and I am damn glad he is back.

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