Reports from the Content Management Frontier


The following are excerpts from an explorer hiking the Gartner Hype Cycle for Enterprise Content Management (ECM) technologies.

Day 1, Reached the Peak

Today we finally reached the Peak of Inflated Expectations. The view is simply amazing. This technology is going to revolutionize everything. Everyone is excited and  teaming up with their friends. Documentum just got some great new equipment from EMC. I suspect that those two will be very happy together for a long time.

Life is good.

Day 2, Getting Crowded

Apparently everyone is excited and more and more people are joining us on the Peak. While the view is still lovely, the ground is starting to get muddy from all the people trampling everywhere.

Stellent showed up with their new pal Oracle. Everyone thinks they are a bunch of posers but they are mostly keeping quiet because Oracle has a bit of a temper.

There seems to be a new noise. I’m going to go check it out.

Day 4, Ooops

That noise from the other day? That was the beginning of an avalanche that carried the entire group off of the Peak. According to our maps we are in the Trough of Disillusionment. It is hard to validate because nobody can get a clear signal anymore. It is a bit gloomy but some people seem to think we can get out.

OMG! Open Text ate Hummingbird while we were sleeping! They must be panicking already.

Tensions are very high.

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Measuring ECM Performance


I was reading a post by Lopataru on his blog. For those that haven’t read his blog, Lopataru is working on his PhD research, focusing on Content Management. He is trying to determine what makes a Content Management system high-performance. I’m not going to analyze his thoughts, but I am going to add some independent thought to the issue.

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The ECM Magic Quadrant


[Updated 11/10/2008 in order to make Gartner, Inc. happier, or at least less angry.]

[Edit: See the newer The Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Content Management, 2008 write-up.]

The latest version [This is the now old 2007 version] came out a couple weeks ago. There has been, and will continue to be, some criticism of the Gartner, Inc. methodology. For now, let’s set it aside and look focus on what the report says. While it may not cover all the vendors, and may not define “leader” in the same manner as others, the information inside can still prove useful.

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Retention Across the Enterprise


James McGovern, in responding to my previous post, brought up an interesting problem that I’d run across before, but hadn’t paid much attention to at the time. Not because we didn’t see the importance of the problem, but because we were several stages away from being able to even worry about it. When you don’t even have policies, getting into the nitty-gritty about implementing them across multiple systems from one control is not first on your list of concerns.

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The ECM WSDL Discussion Leading to More


Tell everyone that you aren’t going to have time to write many entries and people start blogging about cool and interesting topics. Here is a quick rundown of the ECM WSDL analysis and my thoughts.

  • Our old buddy James McGovern started the whole thing off. He has apparently been sharing is frustration with his significant other and he wrote a post on the sad state of WSDLs in the ECM space. They are ugly and poorly written in his experience. Not having delved into any out of the box WSDLs in ECM, I can hardly argue. It wouldn’t shock me though. Hopefully the DFS ones will measure up better. James then starts to talk about the ECM systems having a standard Document Query Language and a common WSDL built upon that structure. Sounds good to me. In fact, it is a nice, positive contribution to the whole ECM standards issue.

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ECM Standards, SAML, and the DFC


Time for some more dialog with James McGovern. I love this kind of discussion because it raises awareness of the issues in the community. James replied to my last post on Standardizing Authentication. There is a problem with written communication sometimes. No matter how clearly you think you write or explain something, someone will always either misread, misunderstand, or misinterpret something. Before I get into that, two things first.

In another post, James says something nice about ECM. Understand that ECM provides value regardless of whether it has standards. Can you feel the love? He does qualify that he isn’t pleased with the vendors, but we now know how he really feels.

Second, I wanted to say that James is dead on with this statement regarding SAML and Documentum. The beautiful thing is that you shouldn’t have to learn how to write this type of thing as this should be out of the box. He is absolutely correct. I shouldn’t even need to think about how I would implement SAML in Documentum. That is EMC’s job. Now on to the rest of James’ response/analysis.

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