Our Legacy Big Data Problem


imageA few days ago, I discussed how Big Data, as a technology, has relevance as a means to gain Insight. This is all fine and good, but is it a technology that we need in the Content Management space? Moore’s law seems to be keeping our data in good shape.

Except…

…inside every piece of content is information. It isn’t unstructured, it just isn’t in a structure readily interpreted by machines. That structure is what provides context and that context is the key to extracting insight.

Now extend that out to Petabytes. That is Big Data.

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Folders, A Nutritious Part of Your Content Management Diet


Sean Hederman of Signate Document Management wrote a rebuttal of  my AIIM article defending folders. He admits a bias as he works for a Document Management vendor built around search. I thought of writing a short response saying that he missed the point of my article and that he had nothing to rebut, but where is the fun in that?

My article was itself a rebuttal against an AIIM article saying we should get rid of folders by Chris Riley. I never meant to imply that we should get rid of search, only that we shouldn’t get rid of folders. I like search, and metadata for that matter. I complain vocally when search doesn’t work well.

With that in mind, here are his points. Each heading is a direct quote of a heading from his post.

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Documentum xPlore, The New “FAST” Search


Taking a break from talking about the economics and future of Content Management to look back at the reality we are facing today.  For all of the need to start moving to the future, we all still have problems that have to be solved today.

imageOne of my most challenging problems in Documentum is full-text search.  While fine for the average system, FAST is a beast.  It requires a large cage, is barely tamed, and takes a lot of work to train for larger tasks.  When you invest in it, life is good, but it is an investment of time and effort.  Like many, a chance to have a scalable, highly-available, reliable, and EASY full-text search as part of the system is something we’ve been missing in Documentum and most Content Management systems.

Well, that is changing.  At the end of October, the new Documentum xPlore search engine is being released.  Known during development as Documentum Search Server, xPlore promises to make life much easier for people.

Before I add any more details, the usual disclaimers apply.  Anything in this post talking about things not released, including dates, is subject to change.  If anything in this post fails to take reality, don’t yell at EMC, yell at me….and I’ll yell at EMC. 😉

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Traditional Enterprise Search Meets E2.0


So I was reading at Bex‘s post last week on Why Google Will Never be Good at Enterprise Search, and its great comments. I ended-up reading several posts out there in the blog sphere on the topic.  Search has been creeping up more and more in my daily work and I figure it isn’t a coincidence as trying to grab stuff from legacy systems or from multiple silos is challenging.  Heck, just trying to find things that some colleague created last year can be tricky.

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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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Taxonomies, Good, Bad, or Ugly?


Sumanth Molakala posted a great look at determining the amount of effort that should go into creating a taxonomy for a new Enterprise Content Management solution. This brings up a debate that I have had/observed among ECM professionals for years. Do we make Search the primary access method, or the second? I find that every professional has a leaning, and I have yet to find a solid predictor for any practitioners’ preference.

I prefer a good hierarchy, while Sumanth appears to favor searching. I find that the creation of a hierarchy helps me organize my thoughts and determine what is important about any given piece of content. Also, while Google may be trying to take the world over via the Internet, most users are more intimate with their old-fashioned network file structures. The ability to browse to a piece of content adds to user acceptance of their first Document Management application. Over time, many users transition into Search-first users. Until that happens and ECM becomes transparent, I believe that a good taxonomy is important.

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