Use CMIS or Die?

When discussing the Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS) standard with organizations, progress is measurable when the developers start asking me if they have to use CMIS.

The answer is of course no. In the recent Forrester report from Cheryl McKinnon on how CMIS is being used in the “real world”, this excerpt explains the balance to be struck.

a large insurance company evaluated CMIS but chose not to use it due to developer comfort with a vendor’s existing application programming interfaces (APIs). However, the technology management team is actively monitoring CMIS for future projects, such as integration between their customer relationship management (CRM) system and ECM repository.

They clearly value CMIS but had a very common decision to make. Use the API we know over the standard we do not know. When do you make the transition?

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Strategy Versus Tactics in Content Management

One of the things I REALLY like about my job is the chance to talk to clients, prospects, and people throughout the industry. Nothing helps you learn a technology or vertical like a project, but nothing helps you keep a broader perspective than talking to a wide array of people.

Last month I visited two such companies that were taking different approaches to the same situation. While both approaches have benefits, I began to ask myself…

Which is the best approach?

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Why CMIS 1.1 Is Pretty Awesome

Before I get to the meat of this post, I want to start with a confession. I have been a slacker. If you look at my word cloud to the right, you’ll see CMIS as a big piece of the proverbial Pie. Even before it was a public term, I railed for the need for a standard in the Content Management space.

Now that the first update to the Content Management Interoperability Standard (CMIS) has been out for nearly three months, why am I just now blogging about it? Now that  browser binding, retention, holds, and type mutability have been added to CMIS, why am I not proclaiming the wonders of CMIS 1.1 from every rooftop.

I…uh…got busy.

What I want to do today is talk about why this update means everyone should be looking deeper into CMIS and reconsider it for every Content application created. In fact, as much as the need for standards in Content Management existed when I started writing about them, it is even more urgent today.

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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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Using a Platform for an ECM Strategy

As I covered in my last post, Implementing an ECM Strategy without a Platform, you don’t need an Enterprise CMS Platform to implement a successful Enterprise Content Management Strategy. That doesn’t mean that you can’t use one or that using one would be the wrong approach. Just like there is no one-size-fits-all CMS, there is no single way to define and implement an ECM Strategy.

I am going to look at this in two stages. The first is going to focus on the purpose of and foundation for an Enterprise CMS Platform. The second is going to look at what capabilities a CMS needs in order to be a Platform.

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The AIIM CMIS Demo: Looking Back at 2009 and Ahead to 2010

I’ve published a lot on the Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS) standard since it’s initial public announcement in September of 2008.  One problem is that a lot of that content is spread out in multiple blog posts.

Demo Picture Well Thomas Pole, the AIIM iECM Committee chair, and I have written a whitepaper talking about the demo that the committee built for the AIIM Conference last year.  It talks about the ups and downs of designing and building the demo.  It classifies the demonstration using the three  fundamental CMIS use cases that I crafted this past summer and talks about what the upcoming demonstration is going to achieve.

If you want to read it, you can download the PDF version right here.

Did I mention that it has pretty pictures?

The section talking about the future is excerpted below.  There will be a more detailed post on that shortly.

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CMIS, Beauty Is More Than Skin Deep

Kas Thomas wrote a post about how CMIS could be called DMIS as it is more for document management systems than content management systems. This hit me on two fronts. The first is with the concept of “CMS”.

Why is it that when I talk to people about “CMS”, they are almost always referring to Web Content Management? Seems to be a pretty narrow definition of the use of content. Along the same lines, many “Information Architects” that work with these “CMS” applications seem to be senior website designers. I’ve met Information Architects that I felt deserved the title, but they dealt with things beyond, though including, the web.  Enough of that, for now, on to the main course…

The second, is of course the slight to CMIS. That is the focus today. While I encourage criticism of CMIS as criticism is important for growth, I don’t want misconceptions to perpetuate themselves.

Sticks and Stones

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Talking on CMIS at EMC World and Other Slides

In case you missed it, there were a lot of presentations last week at EMC World.  While most of the slides are only available to attendees, there are a few exceptions.  The first is my presentation.  Since I wrote part of it and was a co-presenter with Karin Ondricek of EMC, I was given permission to share it online.  I’m throwing it out there for everyone to see, especially as I didn’t take notes on my own presentation.

One thing that I always convey when I talk about the AIIM iECM demo, that isn’t on the slides, is that it took 1 hour to add Nuxeo to the Federated Search demo, and that was with declaring the CMIS Web Services manually within Visual Studio.  That took half an hour.  For more details on the demo source code a other valuable links, look at my previous post on the The Source Code from the AIIM iECM CMIS Demo.

Mark Lewis’ Keynote

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