Posts tagged "enterprise cms"

FileTek Releases Migration Tool, Adapters For SharePoint, IBM, Open Text

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Information and document management provider FileTek (site) has just released new content migration software that enables users to move documents that are stored on network files into enterprise content management systems.

The new Trusted Edge for Intelligent Content Migration (ICM) works by providing adapters for the majority of systems including SharePoint, Open Text’s Livelink and IBM’s content and records management software.

In essence what ICM does is to locate, classify and move documents based on administrator defined criteria into secure locations by uniformly classifying and tagging both new and legacy content during the archiving process.

Intelligent Document Migrations

Maybe it’s just an accident that this has been released only two months before the release of SharePoint 2010 but whether it is or not, it will give SharePoint users an additional adapter that will be able to take network documents and throw them into SharePoint.

While it’s not the only system that will benefit, all the buzz at the moment is SharePoint 2010 and this kind of release needs to be seen in this context just for the moment.

One of the principal advantages of this new software is that it will be able to burrow into shared drives across a network and all the information that is stored in them, be that information business critical or horoscopes downloaded over lunch breaks, identify what is needed, take it out of the shared files and send it to a safe repository.

For the large part, current software moves bulk data “as is” and pushes it all across to a repository so instead of having a disorganized and uncategorized stack of document files in your shared folders, you have a stack of disorganized and uncategorized documents in your records management, document management or enterprise content management system. And that’s not good.

ICM deals with this by tagging only relevant content according to pre-configured file policies that can be built around file type, path, name and even file content. Based on that it can make intelligent decisions on whether the content should be migrated. If the content is moved, it is tagged with further metadata to make it easier again to find.

FileTek’s Trusted Edge

This is not the first foray for FileTek into the world of unstructured content, nor is it the first time it has produced software to deal with it.

Last September it released Trusted Edge v4.0 which is able to get into employee’s laptops and desktops — transparently they say — to get all the unclassified content sitting there properly organized.

By its own estimates, FileTek reckons that up to 80% of unstructured content resides on either desktops on laptops and their focus with that release was to cull the content form “the edge of networks” and classify it all.

It too can work with the major ECM systems, including SharePoint, IBM Content Manager, Open Text Livelink and EMC. Watch out for further solutions to whip all that unruly content into shape!

Oracle Q3 Results Up 17%, Sun Is Performing, SAP Bashed

Oracle_logo_2010.jpg If Oracle’s results for the third quarter are anything to go by, the IT sector may well have turned the corner on the recession. In figures released last night, profits for Q3 hit US $1.2 billion, with revenues up to US $6.4 billion from US $5.5 a year ago, beating analysts' forecast of US $6.3 billion.

The 17% increase in revenue is the second consecutive quarter of growth after a series of declines during the recession even though net profits fell in the quarter because of the acquisition of Sun Microsystems.

Sun Performs For Oracle

Oracle's revenue of US $6.4 billion includes an additional 10% that can be attributed to one month of Sun revenue as the deal closed on January 26, and Oracle's third fiscal quarter ended Feb. 28.

Contained within that figure is US $458 million in Sun hardware sales as of now, although the company says that this could rise to US $1.2 bn when the final figure is in.

However, Oracle said its new baby had performed beyond expectations and contributed handsomely to Oracle’s strong growth with predictions of growth of between 31% and 36% for this quarter.

The Sun integration is going even better than we expected. We believe that Sun will make a significant contribution to our fourth quarter earnings per share as well as meet the profitability goals we set for next year,” Oracle President, Safra Catz said in a statement.

Oracle Revenue Streams

One of the most important indicators of the health of the software markets is licenses and Oracle’s figures weren’t disappointing. Sales rose by 13% to US $3.3 bn — 10% excluding Sun — performing better than Oracle itself had expected. Application sales also did well with an increase of 21% to US $1.7 bn.

Oracle’s data warehousing machine Exadata is also performing well and with only one month in the fourth quarter gone there are US $100 million in bookings so far.

Exadata is the fastest growing product in Oracle’s history. Introduced a little over a year ago, the Exadata pipeline is now approaching $400 million …This strengthens both sales growth and profitability in our Sun server and storage businesses,” Oracle President, Charles Phillips said.

SAP Bashing

In keeping with tradition though, CEO Larry Ellison took time to bash SAP. Predicting that they would continue to grab “huge chunks of market share” from SAP, Ellison taunted the world’s largest software company by suggesting the only thing SAP was beating Oracle in was in the number of CEOs it has had.

SAP’s most recent quarter was the best quarter of their year, only down 15%, while Oracle’s application sales were up 21%. But SAP is well ahead of us in the number of CEOs for this year, announcing their third and fourth, while we only had one," Ellison said

However good the sound bite, more significant is his assertion that Oracle expects to continue its charge on the market with Fusion Applications due to be released later in the year.

He said Fusion Applications, when released, will be sold as on-premises software, integrated appliances and in on-demand form.

Brighter 2010?

All posturing aside, Oracle’s results should give heart to an industry that has, like many others, taken quite a beating in the past 12 months. In 2009, tech spending dropped 9% compared with a decline in nominal gross domestic product of around 1%, according to Forrester Research.

However, things are looking up. On the same day that Oracle released its results, IDC also released research that shows that while spending on IT will not return to previous levels until at least next year, it will return to growth this year.

The research also shows that the recession hit business IT spending harder than anyone had anticipated so that annual growth will remain at 5.5% annually, much lower than previously expected. If nothing else, things seem to be moving in the right direction.

Lessons in Corporate Agility: A Records and Information Manager's Quiet Leadership

Personnel may change; business processes may change; retention periods do not. Every records culture is different. The Records and Information Manager requires the skills of an astute surveyor.

Not Your Typical Job

A Records and Information Manager for a project-driven organization is a role of implementing agility through quiet leadership. Since this environment typifies the 16% of companies that rely on in-house talent to build in-house applications, advocating proper retention decisions on electronic and hard copies equals swimming in tumultuous political waters. 

This is a tough, tough undertaking: project management companies are usually document control organizations. To develop into a sophisticated records and information management program  — which includes the categorization, retention and destruction of its records collected from a project’s lessons learned — is not typically on the list of the top three most important corporate initiatives — until this year. 

From Resource- to Results-Based

Research firm Gartner’s summary report, “Leading in Times of Transition: The 2010 CIO Agenda” claims the focus is shifting from resource-based IT to results-based IT. Applying lessons learned in this recovery, enterprises are transitioning their strategies from cost-cutting efficiency to value-creating productivity — the perfect cue for a Records and Information Manager to contribute to the health of the information technology environment. A presentation to the executive level, especially the CIO, must include facilitated discussions to decide who will financially commit to the correct, comprehensive records operations. 

The Dotted Line

en masse without further criteria applied. The holdings sit in either Tier 2—3 or offsite paper storage, which is the Records and Information Manager and Information Technology’s domain. 

Rarely is it clarified for a division head properly that once information crosses that dotted line to be declared as records, it is released into the custody of the assembled team.

 

To Inventory or Not to Inventory

It is the responsibility of the Records and Information Manager to express admiration for the CXO’s sense of ownership and firmly reassure him that he, or any of his appointed subject matter experts, will be included in the review process during the crucial moments. 

She must quell the terror against action items on any records holdings. A good response in the moment goes a long way. “What if we find The Wrong Thing?” is the common anti-inventorying war cry. “Obfuscation is not the mission of a good Records and Information Management program,” should be the appropriate response. “Worse yet: what if the company doesn’t know how to locate the record that helps?”

When Poor Morale Strikes

We live in an era in which Gartner states the CXO-level turnover is higher than ever before; the average CIO tenure is 4.4 years. Research firm Forrester claims that the cultural shift from information technology to business technology will consume 5-7 years of that department’s attention

In addition, 2010 is another year of jobless recovery. This high turnover contributes to a strange phenomenon that is a by-product of poor records practices: when best practices in records do not exist, the hours lost due to poor search and retrieval time trickles down to the analyst level and contributes to low employee morale. 

The Records Vision

Armed with the right time-study statistics, the Records and Information Manager must forge ahead with cooperation from her team of Legal, Information Technology and Compliance. She should highlight their collective vision of the culture’s records life cycle over at least the next five years.

The presentation should include commentary on improved employee productivity, decreased costs, revitalizing the organization, faster response time, minimized risk and improved asset utilization.

The denouement of the presentation is to align records management business processes to efficiencies and performance. Personnel may change; business processes may change; retention periods do not. 

All she needs is one CXO-level champion. Best practices require top executives voicing their support to activate change.

The Sweet Art of Diversion

Every records culture is different and the role requires the skills of an astute surveyor. An important moment in the life of every project is the contract — it would behoove a Records and Information Manager to contribute language that will protect her retention periods in the future. 

She should also tack on to the latest IT initiative to create business process results for the organization. The challenge is realistic expectations from all parties.

While it’s true that applying retention is as much the application of the sweet art of diversion as it is of adhering to compliance responsibilities, the path to success lies in the ability to discuss best practices with everyone, no matter their level in the organization.

 
CA Buys Nimsoft for US $350 Million, Sets Sights on Cloud Midmarket

T management software company CA (site)  has announced that it has just closed a cash deal worth US$ 350 million to buy monitoring solutions provider Nimsoft.

The Islandia, NY-based giant says this acquisition will open up a whole new customer base of midmarket/emerging enterprises and management service providers (MSPs).

The all-in-cash transaction will give it a stronger foothold with organizations with annual turnovers of between US $300 million and US $2 billion and which operate principally in the cloud computing market place. CA estimates that by 2013 these companies will account for up to 25% of spending in CA’s space.

In a statement issued at the time the deal was announced, Chris O’Malley, CA’s VP for cloud products and solutions, said the deal would also target not just enterprises, but whole national economies:

…CA will be equipped to capture several important growth market segments — including emerging enterprises, emerging national economies and the MSPs who are providing these customers with IT management services via the cloud … and complement our existing strength with large enterprise customers.

Nimsoft's Spot in CA's Recent Acquisitions

CA has been splurging a bit recently with two other acquisitions already this year — 3tera and Oblicore. Last year,  they bought NetQoS and Cassatt — all aimed at extending its cloud management services.

According to technology consultancy 451 group, this acquisition will have the most impact as it gives CA access to the Nimsoft marketplace, which consists of developers and vendors of network, service level, application and cloud management software products.

While Nimsoft’s operations will report under CA’s cloud products and solutions business line, CA intends to keep Nimsoft intact and independently run in the midmarket/emerging enterprise space and MSP segment, giving CA presence in that sector for the first time.

Nimsoft Unified Monitoring Solution

So what is CA getting? Released in October 2009, Nimsoft’s Unified Monitoring (UM) aims to give MSPs complete visibility of application performance and availability in both internal and external IT infrastructures.

While this is not unique, UM is easy to deploy, has little need for maintenance and streamlines the monitoring of business applications for multiple users. The result is a solution that will optimize the performance of applications by improving services and identifying gaps.

And it appears to be doing this quite successfully. In recent years, it has developed solutions for public and private clouds including Google Apps, the Rackspace Cloud, Amazon Web Services and Salesforce.com.

Currently, CA is competing with IBM (site), Hewlett-Packard (site) and business service management provider BMC. To date, only IBM has targeted this midmarket segment with products like Tivoli Monitoring Express, which provides management and monitoring to SMBs.

 
Oracle Enhances its ECM with Imaging and Process Management

Oracle (site) has announced two major additions to the document management module of its Universal Content Management (UCM) system today: Forms Recognition software and Imaging and Process Management 11g.

Offering End to End Business Capabilities

Some say the enterprise content management suite may have had its day. Oracle is challenging that view with a couple of new releases to its Oracle Universal Content Management Suite.

The addition of Oracle Forms Recognition and Oracle Imaging and Process Management mean that Oracle now provides end to end capabilities for managing content and complex business processes.

Part of Enterprise Application Documents

Both Oracle Imaging and Process Management 11g and Oracle Forms Recognition are components of Oracle Fusion Middleware.

Both solutions are also delivering on the implementation of Oracle's Enterprise Application Documents (EAD) strategy first introduced at Oracle's OpenWorld last October.

Enterprise Application Documents is a strategy that provides Oracle business applications an integrated set of content management services which includes document capture, imaging and workflow (using Oracle Image and Process Management) and storage, management and access to attachments (using Oracle Content Management).

Oracle Imaging and Process Management 11g

Oracle Imaging and Process Management 11g is an integrated platform for managing document images within business processes. The platform leverages solutions such as Document Capture and its web-based equivalent Distributed Document Capture, and the new Forms Recognition solution.

The solution supports a single enterprise content repository for all enterprise content using Oracle Universal Content Management and has pre-integrated adapters for the Oracle E-Business Suite and Oracle Business Process Management.

Capabilities of the suite include:

  • Intelligent data capture
  • Annotation and markup of images
  • Automated routing and approvals
  • Solution templates that include workflow, process rules. data forms and dashboards
  • Support for 27 languages 

It's also important to note that Oracle Imaging and Processing 11g is built on a new platform. Previously a .Net based application, it is now built on the J2EE platform and supports an SOA architecture, placing it firmly integrated in the Fusion Middleware platform.

Oracle Forms Recognition

Oracle Forms Recognition does not use templates to define extraction rules. Instead it incorporates advanced learning capabilities. You submit a sample of document types to the solution and it will figure out how analyze, recognize and categorize documents that are scanned into its Document Capture Solutions. This includes the ability to recognize a new document type without any administration intervention.

Once you have captured data using one of the two document capture solutions listed above, Oracle Forms Recognition provides the ability automatically extract information from those documents and integrate it into specific business applications as required based on the document type, business process and vendor.

Providing a 360 Degree View of Information

Remember what Hasan Rizvi, Oracle Senior Vice President of Oracle Fusion Middleware Product Development said during OpenWorld:

"…plans include the most complete ECM platform by providing a unified repository with end-to-end image processing," Rizvi said. “Oracle's plans include enabling more efficient and timely reuse of content while also continue delivering tighter integration with Oracle Applications as well as Oracle WebLogic Server and other Oracle Fusion Middleware."

It is true that the managing of enterprise content should not exist in a vacuum. It is completely tied to business applications and business processes. Enterprises do need solutions that enable them to have this complete view of their enterprise content without having to use multiple systems.

Available as both standalone products or as part of the Oracle UCM Suite, Oracle Imaging and Process Management 11g and Oracle Forms Recognition are available today. In fact, Oracle Imaging and Process Management was officially unveiled during an Oracle Webinar in late February. You can view that webinar or read a Q&A on Oracle's blog.

Sun Microsystems Chief Open Source Officer Leaves Oracle

 OracleLeader.jpgMarch 8 turned out to be Simon Phipps' last day at Sun. What does that mean for his pet projects, and Oracle's plans for Sun's open source properties?

It's Been Quite a Ride

When looking back at Phipps' time with Sun, he's overseen the release of a number of properties into the world of open source:

  • OpenSolaris
  • Java
  • Portions of Linux
  • The Sparc chip

In addition to these accomplishments, he also appears proud of his involvement in The OpenDocument format, the "corporate blogging revolution" and other parts of the open source community. 

What's Next for Phipps?

While Phipps says that he hasn't decided what he's doing next, he's still up for election for the OpenSolaris Governing Board. If elected, this would bring him to the mandatory three term limit so it would be his last term on the Board.

In this post, Phipps makes his election platform clear and also links to his candidate statement. 

What Might this Mean for Oracle and Open Source?

Oracle has stated that much of the activities happening across the various Sun developer communities will be integrated into the Oracle Technology Network. The company has also stated that popular conferences such as JavaOne will both continue and travel outside the US.

Many writers covering both companies and the open source community have wrung their hands in concern over what Oracle might do with key open source projects. Others, such as Ryan Paul, suggested that Oracle's has strategic reasons for handling projects like MySQL, Java and OpenSolaris in a way that might turn out well for the community.

Only time will tell where it all leads. But whoever's leading the open source charge at Oracle, it isn't Simon Phipps.

Ballmer: 70% of Microsoft Employees are working on Cloud-based Projects

For a company that is known primarily for the desktop, new comments by CEO Steve Ballmer that 70% of Microsoft's employees are doing something "cloud-based or cloud-inspired" seems an odd shift in focus. But then, everyone is in a rush to the cloud these days. Why would Microsoft (site) be any different.

Spreading the Word on Cloud Computing

On March 4, Ballmer spoke at the University of Washington on the topic of cloud computing. He talked about how Ray Ozzie, Microsoft's Chief Software Architect, wrote a memo five years ago talking about the importance of the cloud, and how they were all "stimulated" by it. But, as he points out, Microsoft is really only scratching the surface of what they could be doing.

That being said, Ballmer went on to say that Microsoft, like many other tech companies out there, are "betting on the cloud". Which explains why 70% of the company is "doing something that is designed exclusively for the cloud, or is inspired to serve the five dimensions." And what 5 dimensions are these?

5 Key Dimensions of the Cloud

If you want to know where Microsoft's focus is, Ballmer offered five key opportunities, "five key dimensions in the cloud, five key opportunities, five key things that I think need your best ideas, your best thoughts, your best invention, commercial inventions, academic inventions, product inventions to really drive forward."

  1. The cloud creates opportunities and responsibilities
  2. The cloud learns and helps you learn, decide and take action
  3. The cloud enhances your social and professional interactions
  4. The cloud wants smarter devices
  5. The cloud drives server advances that, in turn, drive the cloud

We already know what cloud-based opportunities Microsoft has been working on: Office Web Apps, Microsoft Azure, SQL Azure, LiveID, SharePoint and Exchange. And it's pretty sure there are some other things happening in Redmond that we don't know about.

A year from now, Ballmer says that 70% of employees working on cloud-based projects will be 90%.

You can read the entire transcript from his speech, or if that's just a little too long a read (because it kind of is).

 

The Cloud Creates Opportunity

To quote Ballmer,

this cloud thing is just another big step that the world is buzzing about, and thinking about, that will create the opportunities for all the folks in this room to do important research, to build important products, to drive forward, and do fantastic things."

 There isn't a day that goes by that we aren't talking about cloud computing in some way, whether it's a new service, new infrastructure or research on organizations today are thinking about or doing with the cloud. Ballmer is right, the cloud does create opportunity. How is your organization taking advantage of it?

Is Cloud-Based SharePoint 2010 a Viable Enterprise Option?

A recent paper released by Forrester Research (site) entitled SharePoint 2010: A More Viable Cloud Option argues that if you are looking at deploying SharePoint off the premises, with the introduction of SharePoint 2010 (site),  now is a good time to do it.

The problem with SharePoint Online until now, report author Rob Koplowitz says, is that cloud-based SharePoint, either standalone or as part of Microsoft’s Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS), demonstrates a number of limitations compared to an on-premise version. However, SharePoint 2010 closes the gap in functionality between the deployment options and opens up SharePoint Online to a wider range of applications.

And while there may be still some differences between SharePoint 2010 Online and the on-premise version, the report foresees Microsoft continuing to revisit the viability of including those missing features over time.

SharePoint Environment Improvements

In January, when we talked about SharePoint 2010 and the version of SharePoint Online that would run with it , we noted that the principal improvements would be the result of the multi-tenancy features that would see the online version coming a lot closer to the on-premise version  than the online version based on SharePoint 2007 did.

While the new version is unlikely to reach parity with this release, Koplowitz says, there are key improvements to the environment that will make SharePoint Online more viable for more organizations.

These include:

  • SharePoint Online Dedicated: Microsoft is to introduce a review process that will make code customization far more straightforward and accessible. Additionally, customizations that fall within the new “sandbox” definition will not require review at all.
  • SharePoint Online Standard: This edition will better align with the new server offering. The result is that users will be able to benefit from new capabilities including: My Sites, tagging, tag clouds, activity feeds, Office Web Apps, business intelligence, records management, forms amongst others.

Some functionality will continue to require an on-premise implementation. Microsoft (site)  has said it will be looking this over time. Also, easier integration with other internal applications often requires on-premise deployment.

SharePoint Online Deployment?

In light of the improvements, and because of remaining short-comings, the report has four recommendations for companies that might be considering taking advantage of the relatively low cost of online deployment.

These are:

  • Security and Compliance: Work with you legal and HR departments to determine if it is feasible to store data outside the enterprises on-site information store as there may be issues with compliance or security. However, even if the event that there are such issues, SP Online Dedicated may still be possible, while multi-tenant probably won’t.
  • SharePoint 2010 Online functionality: If you have not already deployed an on-premise version but considering SharePoint, then the costs for an online version might be worth looking at, including the costs of hiring or retracing staff as SharePoint particularly as functionality with SP 2010 is greatly enhanced.
  • SharePoint On-Premise and Online: Companies that already have SharePoint may take advantage of cloud-based services to augment an existing on-premise deployment (if only for reasons of cost). Common scenarios would include storing sensitive data on-premise while less sensitive business content could be stored in the cloud.
  • Partial Deployment: Another scenario is deploying a small on-premise SharePoint implementation to take advantage of advanced capabilities, while the majority of more commoditized capabilities like workspaces and portal content could be provisioned in the cloud.

If the principal reasons for not opting for SharePoint Online have been its limitations, then now is the time to rethink your options. While SharePoint Online based on SP 2010 is not the equivalent of its on-premise relative, it is close and Microsoft promise to keep looking at it.

If you are interested in reading more on this the report is available to buy from Forrester for US US$ 499.

5 Things to Consider when Integrating your Content Management System and Portal

Portals and content management systems are widely used in organizations today. For many, the desire to integrate them into a single collaborative environment is critical. But there's a lot to think about before moving forward. In this article we cover the basic considerations for integrating a CMS into an enterprise portal.

A Use Case for Integration

Collaboration is no longer just a buzz word; it is now an enterprise need. Some enterprises have already started seeing the benefits of collaborative work environments. They know that content management plays a very important and crucial role in building a successful collaboration environment by improving processes, increasing employee efficiency and productivity, and lowering costs.

A typical business use case around how content lifecycle plays a role in a collaboration environment would be:

  • A user logs in enterprise one stop portal
  • They create and manage content (check-in, check-out, update metadata, tag)
  • They then share the same content via Wikis, Blogs, Message Boards, Discussion Forums, etc…
  • In some cases they may submit content for formal review and approval via some workflow
  • They may also comment and/or rate other content
  • When they have finished, they log out of the portal

Today almost every Content Management System offers its own user interface that integrates content management and community/collaboration features. WebTop, damTop and CenterStage are examples of collaborative tools for EMC Documentum; Alfresco Share an example for Alfresco.

While these may be feature rich interfaces, an enterprise may not want to add another collaboration tool outside of their portal for managing content. The challenge then becomes how to enable content management capabilities via a one stop enterprise portal.

Integrating a CMS repository with a portal solution provides the following benefits:

  • Create, manage and most importantly collaborate on content within and across the community from a single stop enterprise portal enabling collaboration across the organization.
  • Effectively utilize social collaboration tools — wikis, blogs, message boards — from the portal framework by attaching content that is already created and managed within the CMS Repository.
  • Take advantage of better governance, security and compliance policies (retention etc) for their content. People and communities can collaborate and share content based on standard rules .
There are several key architecture and design decisions that need to be evaluated to come up with a robust integration solution between your content management system and your portal:
  1. Define the business specific coarse-grained CMS service to be consumed by portal service
  2. Evaluate and decide on the technology option to implement and host the CMS service
  3. Evaluate and decide on the technology option for writing portlets for content management
  4. Decide the option/strategy on SSO (Single Sign-on)/Authentication from the Portal to the CMS
  5. Define the strategy for Community, security/authorization management

1. Define the business specific coarse-grained service to be consumed by portal layer

Almost all Content Management providers expose their services as web services that can be consumed from any client application (like a portal). But these services tend to be atomic in nature with the lowest granularity. As a result, business specific custom reusable composite services may need to be designed that will call these atomic services.
 
PortalCMS_ESB.jpg

2. Evaluate & decide on the technology option to implement & host the CMS service

There are multiple technology options to implement the CMS Service:

CMIS

Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS) is a technical specification for integrating with a ECM (Enterprise Content Management) repository via Web Services. It is a language-independent, repository-independent API for content management. The objective of the CMIS standard is to define a common content management web services interface that can be implemented by a content repository vendor, enabling service interoperability across repositories through standard SOAP and Restful Bindings.

This might be the best option to go with for implementing the common reusable services for any portal or third party integration. The back-end repository can be changed at any time without design and code rework on the front-end system.

CMIS Version 1.0 is just out for public review. Though the vendors have started building their CMIS implementations based on the draft spec, it may not be mature enough and production ready very soon. However, enterprises can start using vendor provided draft implementations for non-critical business applications.

It is important to note that CMIS will enable only standard content management capability. Most content management systems have more rich functionality; functionality that, if required by the enterprise, will require additional custom development.

SOAP

Most Content Management Vendors expose repository capabilities as standard SOAP-based Web Services. This might be another good choice to use as integration strategy. The downfall is that the enterprise will be locked down to a specific vendor.

REST

Some vendors also provide the repository capabilities as REST services. REST is lightweight and simple to use. However, sometimes it is not a good idea to send large amounts of data/content via uri. Like other REST Services, transaction and security management might be harder for a large enterprise implementation. And once again, the enterprise will be locked down to a specific vendor. 

The OOTB/Custom services can be deployed in standard Application Server Container (like JBoss, Oracle, WebSphere, Tomcat, etc…) or any Enterprise Service Bus. Services can be made available via a standard SOA (service oriented architecture) registry taking advantage the company’s existing standard SOA governance model.

The appropriate Web Service client must be generated from the service WSDL via JAX-WS or Axis, or some other tool. This would be consumed from Portlet Service.

Portal_CMS_ServiceBus.jpg

3. Evaluate & decide on the technology option for writing the content management portlet

A Portlet Action and Service needs to be designed to call the underlying CMIS, CMS Web Service or REST service. In many cases an enterprise may already have a portal platform, so content management features will need to be enabled for that portal.

Here are a couple of ways to do this:

Vendor Supplier Portlets

Some CMS vendors provide a JSR portlet, but it may or may not match what the enterprise is looking for from a collaboration perspective. It’s not as simple as taking the vendor provided portlet and dropping it into the portal platform. Aside from usability and functionality, authentication, security, transaction and other features need to be aligned with enterprise’s strategy. In most cases some work need to be done.

Write Your Own

An enterprise can decide to go ahead and write its own portlet to meet the business need. There are multiple choices to write a portlet :

  • Pure JSR 168/286 Portlet (with JSR Tags)
  • Struts Portlet (JSR 168/286 compliant)
  • Struts Portlet using Container Provider/Vendor API
  • JSF Portlet (JSR 168/286 compliant)
  • JSF Portlet using container Provider/Vendor API)

The JSF or Struts framework have their own strengths. You should design and develop JSR compliant portlets. The portlets should not be tied with the CMS vendor’s specific APIs so you don't loose portability. Pure JSR portlets might be the best choice, but JSR Complaint Struts portlets or JSR compliant JSF Portlets might be used as well.

Portal_CMS_AppServices.jpg

4. Decide the strategy on SSO/Authentication from Portal to CMS

User sessions need to be created in the CMS repository to do any kind of CMS related operation. If the portal solution is already integrated with an SSO infrastructure (OAM, Netegrity, etc…), this will be easier to do. The SSO Provider can generate the token, and that token can be passed and used to create a session for CMS related operations. A plug-in may need to be written in the content management system to authenticate the SSO token (if a plug-in is not already available for the specific SSO provider).

If the portal solution is not integrated with an SSO Provider, the named user Authentication approach can be followed. A generic userid/password combination is stored in the service code and the CMS session can be established using this generic id when required. This generic user is going to run all the services on behalf of other users. The SAML standard also can be used to establish a CMS session.

Portal_CMS_UseCase.jpg

 

5. Find the strategy on Community, security/authorization management

There are portal solutions — such as Liferay — available today that come with built in community concepts. Also any enterprise can build community capabilities within the enterprise portal. And most content management system also offer collaboration services and features. There are a few choices available to bridge the gap:

  • Have the portal be the single source of truth for community. So the community and its governance, security, creation, modification and deletion capabilities would be propagated to the CMS real time via the portal.
  • In cases where the portal will not be the single point of entry for the content management system, community capabilities and security would also need to be created and managed in the CMS. In that event, portal community and security information will need to be brought in sync.

Conclusion

Integrating a content management system with an enterprise portal solution is not trivial as it involves integration between different products. But a successful integration backed by a solid business goal and technical architecture can bring the business value right way and improve the overall organization performance many fold.

 

About the Author

Palash Ghosh is a BEA Certified Enterprise Architect, IBM Cerified OOAD & SOA Soln Designer and has more than 11 years of software architecting, designing, management experience working with the global fortune 100 companies focusing on providing business and technology solutions across diverse range of technologies. He is currently leading multiple initiative(s) in ECM, Portal, Collaboration & SOA/BPM space for fortune 100 Companies. His current interests include SOA, cloud computing.

SpringCM To Bring Government To Cloud-based Document Management

A new partnership between cloud content management provider SpringCM (site) and technology consulting company Acumen will bring cloud-based solutions to government agencies, particularly document management and workflow solutions.

The move towards cloud computing follows plans in the Fiscal Year 2010 Budget of the United States Government to introduce pilot software projects that will cut the cost of content, information and records management, and introduce on-demand case management and workflow management.

SpringCM already offers these solutions, but with the experience brought by Acumen Solutions, which already advises Federal agencies on commercial content management best practices, Steve Maier, SpringCM VP and general manager of government solutions says they should be able to align their document management solutions with government needs.

Government Cloud Adoption Difficult

However, Maier doesn’t expect the move to the cloud by government organizations to be an easy one. In an audio interview on the Fed Cloud Blog last month, he said the technology purchasing pattern of government departments, which are inextricably linked with procurement processes, will make cloud adoption difficult.

“The government is interesting because, given the size of their procurements and the things that they do, they’re a little hamstrung by the procurement process. I don’t think there’s a shortfall in desire, but the procurement process is very much tuned to the status quo,” he said.

He says that because with SaaS, users are buying services rather than assets, the procurement process will have to be reprogrammed and that this could take up to two year to do.SpringCM Platform.jpg
SpringCM Platform

SpringCM 5.4

Late last year, SpringCM released v5.4 of its SaaS-based enterprise content management system, which did much to upgrade its ability to provide secure records management.

It took records management a few steps further with several new capabilities including:

  • Setting retention period of a document using a date field inside the document
  • Automatic classification through a SpringCM Advanced Workflow

It also took reporting and dashboards two steps further with more out of the box reports and more options for dashboard customization.

On top of that users can design and deploy their own ECM applications by accessing these core services through web services, email and fax, web client and other approaches.

There is no indication of when the first results of this partnership will be visible, but there is considerable pressure across government agencies to cut IT costs so it will probably be sooner than the 24 months that Maier predicts.