Here we go again. A discussion around rich media and what it means for the EMC Documentum platform. ”Poor” media such as PDF and Office-documents have their natural place and support in the Documentum platform. However, I realize that one of the arguments that I often use to describe the differences between Documentum and other ECM-platforms is the breadth of file formats it supports. Especially compared to Sharepoint which due to its close ties to MS Office is mainly focused on these file formats and everything else is second class citizen.
The question is to what degree my claims are accurate in practice. Is Documentum the platform that handles ”all” types of content or is that just something that is true on paper. Let´s examine what rich media support really is and what it could be.
First of all, I’d like to break it down into components like this:
- Core architecture support for file extensions, large file sizes (over the magic 2 GB limit) and some streaming architecture.
- Metadata support and extraction functionality for image and video/audio file formats (i.e. EXIF)
- Transformation/rendition capabilities for image and video/audio file formats.
- User interface that supports image, video and audio content (viewer, storyboards, thumbnails, gallery views and metadata).
- Tools to organize image/video/audio content in albums, tags, geolocation, event detection based on dates (basically iPhoto on the server in a web browser)
- Tools to annotate and provide additional context around image/video/audio content.
- Analytics that can extract information from the actual content (face detection/recognititon, speech-to-text, voice recognition, pattern matching etc)
- Modification tools that lets you perform basic editing of image/video/audio content (rotate, split/merge clips etc)
The obvious question here is where you draw the line between features supported by your ECM-platform in the browser and what you expect people to do in Adobe Photoshop, Final Cut Pro X and Adobe Audition? The reason to put it on the ECM Web client is to leverage the computing power in the server, reduce need for desktop installs and possibly make it easier to perform basic rich media operations without having to learn Photoshop for instance.
Currently some of this is supported in the old DAM application but it is slow and looks old today. Media Workspace actually provide quite decent functionality along this front but is basically killed off due to the demise of Flash. Media Workspace has great support for nr 4 in my list and some organization feature from nr 5 through the support for collections. EXIF metadata is extracted and viewable in the Media Workspace client as well as some video metadata.
The new clients are not there yet though. The inline viewer for xCP does not support video at this time but support images. The new HTML5 viewer will only support PDF initially it seems. D2 has the possibility to support the Brava viewer which supports viewing videos in MP4, MOV and FLV formats. There is some video annotation support which allows you to annotate a specific frame in the video which is stored back as a dm_note object.
So there is some and I repeat some rich media support in there but it is spotty and not a coordinated approach on the client side. This does no reflect the situation server side though where there are quite capable modules available in the underlying platform. That is especially true for the Audio/video transformation services which is currently based on a broadcast-level tool called Telestream Flipfactory which really can do everything you need to do on audio and video. From Documentum D7 AVTS is instead based on FFMPEG and MTS is based on ImageMagick. However, that is capable of – few of those features are actually exposed or configured. Basically customers of AVTS are sitting on an unpolished diamond, possibly without knowing it. To me it is now a mismatch between what the platform can offer and what user’s are able to do when it comes to rich media.
What about the use case then, is there a business requirement for this? To start with the internet giants Facebook, Flickr, Youtube and Instagram has showed us how easy you can do rich media content management. User’s have adopted it and they have learned how to do it. However, traditionally rich media in the ECM or Digital Asset Management space has been focused on ”creative content creation” which means graphical artists, fotographers and their needs. Often in an ad agency context where it has been about creative content workflows that need to be managed and in the end billed properly. The Disney use case here at Momentum 13 is a good example. An application that supports their business-to-business operation of selling and licensing creative content to companies. Fairly advanced use cases in general.
But what about the more casual or ”light” DAM which Facebook image management represent. Isn’t there a a use case for that? There must be organisations that need to organize rich media that is created internally. I can think of real estate agents, insurance companies, car dealers just to name a few. In the military we are handing out digital cameras left and right and there is a big need to be able to make something useful of this in the long run.
Isn’t there a market opportunity for EMC here to provide DAM light on a true (already rich media-enabled) ECM platform to allow customers to manage rich media in line with everything else instead of buying a siloed product for just photo management?
Jeroen going over the colored architecture image again. I think the box ”content/xml” is new.
DFC is Java and DFS is SOAP. Now REST is coming.
Syncplicity will find its way into different parts of the stack as a technology, not only a product.
IIG is now shooting for the hybrid cloud solution where EMC sees growth. What was called NGIS but it has been renamed (by marketing) to ”SaaS solution”. Solutions that cross the boundries of the enterprise is the way EMC sees the world.
First integration with VIPR has been made on the SaaS solution but we can expect that coming to the Documentum platform as well.
Syncplicity can be the underpinning for the content flow between on-premise and SaaS solutions.
Enterprise Archiving Solutions (EAS). Promoted to be a full blown product but came from professional services. Based on xDB to provide a single archiving solution for both structured and unstructured content. Main use case is systems being decommissioned. Very expensive to keep these systems around for compliance reasons. EAS can maintain access to a lower cost. Also store inactive data from the production system in EAS and offload it.
Adopting OAIS Standard Framework from Open Archival Information Systems (ISO). Simulated 50 banks and 10 years of data. Transformed data in archiving buckets/packages. xDB stored each of these in a physical segment translating into a database file. Impressive scalability even with 100 000 segments. Argues that XML is a very future-proof format that easily can be readable in the future.
xMS – xCelerated Management System
Came into being when they started creating EMC OnDemand for Documentum. Needed a smarter way to deploy the platform. tcServer is the optimized for xMS. CLI tools that can be used with Maven or similar tools.xMS server also has a catalog that manages users etc.
Possible to utilize vMotion to spin up new VMs when workloads are heavy.
The performance improvements mentioned before was done using a DFC Test Utility that probably is available to customers.
xCP is more type intensive. Say from 50 to 500 types. Hence type caching optimizations.
D7 Security Enhancements
25% faster transfers for metadata and small files
75% faster transfers for 100MB files
Encryption overhead reduced 93% (multiuser)
Core Documentum products ships with RSA certified algorithms.
Optional integration with RSA Data Protection Manager fir Remote Key Management. Encrypted content and electronic signatures can be verified using this.
In addition to that they are investing heavily into IRM. Seeing more requests for SAML on the Content Server side.
From an API perspective DFC will still be around. The three APIs are:
- Services: SOAP API (not restricted to HTTP protocol (applicable for Java/.Net)
- Resources: REST API
- CMIS Web Services API (does not implement RM or IRM)
The main forward strategy for IIG is REST. They are embracing Spring technology for REST such as Spring MVC REST and the Spring Marshalling Framework. Now it is a pure REST implementation (which the preview wasn’t) with JSON and XML representation.
Michael doing demo of REST using XCode on a Mac for an iPhone application. Surprisingly easy to develop – took 1 hour. Faster than DFS and DFC.
Connectors available for Atmos and Isilon storage but also for Documentum.
Currently only push but push is on the roadmap. Syncplicity is the main technology to control how content leaves and enters the enterprise which includes security and encryption.
Michael highlights the Dormant States in D7 which allow applying upgrades without shutting the system down. Opens up for vApp Cloning and taking snapshots since the database in a nice mode with no changes possible. They have a long term approach to ease upgrading and Dormant state is one of them. Reduce the cost to move to new versions. It will block audit trails as well so if there are audits happening on read operations that will not work.
Documentum D2 is not using UCF – it is a Java applet.
Presented by Patrick Walsh, Principle Product Manager Documentum Platform and Aaron Aubrecht VP Product Management & XPO, IIG.
This session will focus on the core platform. Last year they tried to fit in everything and ran 20 min over time and half of the slides left unshown.
Talks about the need for IT to deliver business capability not just applying patching to Documentum. My personal reflection is that many IT-shops do not have a business perspective today. Maybe because they have budget efficiency requirements on them making reducing costs the main priority.
Few people in the room had actually upgraded to Documentum 7 and that is a problem that to much modern capability is left unused in many organisations. That is why the separation of upgrades to platform and clients is pushed now.
What’s new in Documentum 7
So repeating the same message of what is new in D7. Performance improvements due to intelligent session management (ISM) and type caching. ISM reduces memory usage up to 65 % by multiplexing communications between application server, content server and the database. Similar memory usage improvements with type caching.
Talks about xMS with automated deployment of a new D7 and xCP 2.0 stack for private VMWare private cloud environment. Deployment down to hours via XML-based blueprints describing the deployment parameters. Includes embedded deployment and configuration of Hyperic agents. We have yet to try this but I really hope that the blueprints represent a best practice starting point to develop our own blueprints.
Also improved content intelligence with xPlore 1.3. Includes large file support through partial indexing, content classification inline, added date-range search capability & metadata and of course the recommendation engine. It also features ad scriptable command line interface for automation and you can control xPlore from third party tools via Admin UI.
Crypto algorithms switched from DDS to AES which seem about time! Leads also to improved performance.
Finally the EMC Syncplicity Connector for Documentum which allows for external sharing of information with security enforced at the endpoint.
What’s next for Documentum 7.1
Will come in Q4 2013. Full minor version.
Expanded infrastructure certifications:
- Solaris 11 (with Oracle 11g R2)
- AIX 7.1 TL2 (with DB2 Enterprise 9.7 FP7)
- Windows Server 2012 (with SQL Server 2012 and Oracle 11g R2)
- WebSphere 8.5 is supported in D7.1 while D7 supported alongside tcFabric App Server, Tomcat 7 and Oracle Weblogic
- RHEL 6.x, x64 in D7.1, Native 64-bit, multithreaded architecture- Intelligence Session Management & Type Caching.
xMS 1.1 is coming in D7.1
Smarter deployments (Automatic discovery of services and componetns for existing environments). Orchestration for externally managed VMs or physical hosts. Clustering support with HA and load balancing.
Web administration UI is coming with automated software patching.
Documentum REST Services API (Q3 2013):
- Standards based
- Mobile friendly
- Everything is a resources
Enhanced trust and security. Continue to harden Documentum.
- Stronger authentication security. Non-anonymous SSL.
- Authentication plug-in for Jasig Central Authentication Service (CAS)
- SSL Option for internal JMS – Content Server Communication
Great to see CAS support coming.
xPlore 1.4 is coming with faster response times for large result sets, improved diagnostics and automation for easier deployment.
Upgrading to Documentum 7
Talks about strategy forwards. Wants to reduce the number of configurations to test code against. Expect a narrower set of combinations of operating systems, app servers and databases.
Talks about the possibility to move upgrades for platform and clients separately.
The Enterprise Migration Appliance (EMA) is a response to the fact that migrations are complex projects. Happens not on the API level but on the database level. Traditional API-based methods are It is a virtual appliance with a complete server running on vSphere/ESXi environment. Also promotes migration solutions from both fme and euroscript.
There is an EMC Documentum 7.0 Rapid Success Program. To register go to: http://bit.ly/D70RSP by May 17, 2013.
Vision for the Documentum platform:
Best in-class ECM:
- VIPR integration
- Rapid content access through addressable caching
- Mobile SSO via SAML and OAuth
- Federated Identity Management and Dynamic User Enrollment for virtual trust zones
As much cloud as you need:
- Dynamic Scailing with xMS
- Cloud-based performance management and monitoring
- Content contribution and bi-directional sync with Syncplicity
The conference is now up to speed I think. It started off for real on Monday afternoon. Some sneak peaks poured out of the Global Partner Summit over Twitter though. One such thing was the rebrandning of all the partner program into something called EMC Business Partner. That means all Velocity partners and of course IIG Partners in no longer something seen in the branding. I am a bit afraid of IIG products will drown in the storage sea because there are so many more partners just focusing on storage. That will make hard to find those skilled in Documentum, Captiva and Document Sciences. I hope there will be a way to gather IIG-capable EMC Business Partners in some kind of online summary. I think the Alfresco partner directory is a good way to do it.
Migration & upgrades: Upgrade to lower costs and Unleash the power of EMC Documentum 7
Presented by David Mennie, Patrick Walsh and Peggy Ringhausen.
This presentation aimed to provide an introduction and overview of a number newly released products from EMC IIG. They outlined their presentation along the following themes
- Product Innovation
- Lower TCO
- Enhanced Security and Information Control
- Private Cloud Ready
- Best Practice Strategies
- EMC Professional Services Assessments
- Rapid Success Programs
- Intelligence Deployment and Upgrade Tools
- Scheduling Considerations
- Support Timelines
- Next steps
They choose to highlight three areas of innovation: Documentum xCP 2.0, Captiva 7 and Documentum D2 4.1.
One good thing about the new xCP is that it includes a viewer inside the GUI to be able to view documents along with all the context around it. By the way it is one of the things I like with Alfresco Share. It is an important way to reducing user mouse clicks. Saves time and effort.
All the developer tools from earlier releases have now been harmonized into one single tool called xCP Designer. Another aspect that is important is to be able to create a data-driven UI which is important if process orientation is not the best way to approach business support. That data can be internal or external from things like Greenplum.
David also hightlighted the new autolearning feature in Captiva 7.
Over to performance the same diagrams that we have seen before where show. Really drastic performance improvements which of course mean that the old versions now look very slow. The benchmarks were made with Windows 2008 Server allowing for a multi-threaded environment.
New security features include FIPS 140-2 Level 1 compliance, Centralized Key Management and 128-bit AES encruption.
When it comes to D2 4.1 I think it is becoming more and more ”feature enough” (not complete) to include many of the advanced things you expect and is existing in Webtop-applications today. 4.1 also include Syncplicity integration to allow external sharing with people who does not have access to Documentum D2. Right now it is folder-based and one way (push). Pull is coming in 2014.
When it comes to upgrades the installer now supports version 6.5 and newer to upgrade to D7. The upgrade path include options to move to new clients without having to upgrade to D7 directly.
Support for DAM (including Media Workspace) and Centerstage 1.2 is coming in 2013.
Increase Productivity: Delighting Disney – How Disney Transformed their Support Support Experience
Disney uses to Documentum to power their Business-to-Business license operations for all their major brands. Theey use Content Server, DAM(top) and Media Transformation Services. It uses a 100% custom Flex application for search & discovery, organisation and delivery of content. The delivery and cache solution is also 100% custom.
To ingest content they have also developed a 100% custom Flex/Air application. Their CTS are highly customized for DMC’s custom thumbnail, preview renditions and CMYK compability (for print I guess).
All in all Documentum provids security and workflow around the creative assets (but only 2D art work).
It took Disney a couple of years before they realized that they needed some additional support from EMC, I guess also because they seemed to have a fairly small team in-house. They have a Technical Account Manager (TAM) assigned to them which conducts weekly meetings with Disney together with the Designated Support Engineer (DSE). The DSE also has access to a replica of the Disney system at EMC. Internally Disney uses four different systems from dev, verification, production copy and production.
Here again in Las Vegas for the biggest conference event of the year for. So it has been for quite a few years. Started coming here in 2007 and that was a VERY different conference than it is now. Both EMC World in general and Momentum in particular. Back then it wasn’t even called Momentum, I guess in an effort to harmonize all things EMC under one brand. It did not work out that well for us interested in Documentum. So they listened and now the Momentum area with lounge and our small ribbons on the name tag seem to be a stable concept.
Now I am seated in the Blogger’s space. A spacious environment for those of us who want to have a water hole to put down our thoughts on blogs and social media. New this year is ”laptop bars” with power outlets and internet on ethernet cables. Also new is the EMC Elect space for those of us belonging to that club.
Monday has become a little bit of a slow starter day, maybe because the first part of the day is devoted to the partner conference. For me the main sessions starts in the afternoon. Looking forwards to the EMC Elect meeting with Jeroen van Rotterdam and the rest of the engineering lead of IIG this afternoon. Wonder what the main focus will be this year.
Rohit kicked of Wednesday morning with a real show. Entered the scene to the Mission Impossible Theme Song and started telling us a story of mission to solve and how IIG technology could fit to these missions.
”Our missions should we choose to accept it…”
Rohit means that the reason we are all here today is that we believe in business transformation and that information is at the core.
Talks about the persona ”Sonia” – she values choice and flexibility. On the other side is reqmts on compliance and governance.
Rohit: ”To be love you have to be lovable, to be consumed you have to be consumable”. There is a consumability gap that needs to be addressed.
I think it is clever to connect solutions IIG can deliver to concrete examples but explain how info mgmt relates to solving problems in the examples.
This session was held by Dan Ciruli and David Le Strat. First up they presented the new unified designer tool in xCP which is model-driven and can be used to build the whole application. It really looks nice and is such an improvements from the days when we started with the Process Suite years ago.
My take on this is that xCP makes it easy to move model driven requirement repositories (UML, SysML, MODAF, BPMN) and connect to development in xCP designer.
Showed how dashboards was integrated in the UI where all information is visualised in context.
It is also where nice to see the search investments bearing fruit and in xCP 2.0 xPlore and CIS are integrated to power full-text searching with faceted navigation. I really like that content analytics is now a core concept they are talking about all the time. Big change from 2007.
Deployment is of course leverages through xMS and hyperic monitoring is connected to the virtualised environment. It is great to see IIG leverage other EMC products – it is about time. Agile development methods are already adopted in engineering which also will change release intervals. Expect releases twice a year, one around EMC World and the other at Momentum Europe.
IIG sees that the value proposition depends on the maturity level. First the focus is to cut costs but changes to things like improving customer communications and finally is about driving innovation. My personal reflection is that we are not that mature since most people are talking only about cost reduction.
- Saved searches and query-based subscriptions
- Federated Search for outside repositories
- Dynamic and hierarchical facets
- Extendable analytics pipleline with custom knowledge cartridges
- Smart Case Behaviours (related case and dynamic case events)
Finally they talked about the different versions of xCP and that there is no easy way to migrate from 1.x to 2.x since they basically are two different products. However, for version 2.1 there is a migration tool planned.
Time for the opening keynote in the big hall and what struck me first was that IIG reused the same sci.fi theme that was used at EMC World although with a ”smaller” screen. The one in Vegas was huge! The theme is based on a spaceship tour that starts with ”Transform IT”.
Guatam Desai, the new head of marketing for IIG was first on the scene. They showed some promotional videos from partners, one being around Atos launching Canopy. Next came Adrian McDonald, president EMEA of EMC Corporation. What struck me about his speech was how little he specifically talked about Documentum or IIG frankly. It is a recurring theme that when executives from non-IIG EMC talks at is almost exclusively about IT in general, some storage and volume of data. Talked about the software-defined data center and stated that we live in the Analytical Age. Reminded us that there will be more information created during the lifetime of a person born today than all of humanity to this date. Even the slide showing EMC acquistions over the years did not include Documentum. I think it is quite strange to stand in front of a crowd of IIG people and not adapt your message the slightest. The delivery was not full of passion either, unfortunately.
So, finally Rick Devenuti entered the stage and he brought some real passion to this keynote. He felt like ”one of us” and he started off by announcing all the products.
Highlights the much improved performance. Fast deployment through xMS which means that Documentum can be deployed in hours instead of weeks. Continued to explain how the concept of browsing which for long has been the cornerstone of ECM needed to be complemented with search. All this means that a lot has changed and to illustrate that he quoted CMS Wire:
”This ain’t your daddy’s Documentum”
Rick chose to highlight continued focus on performance and scalability together with a new easy to use configurable UI together with increased accuracy.
Document Science 4.5
EMC’s tool for customer communications is also released in a new version with a new design client based on Microsoft Word among others things.
- Dynamic Policy Control
- Controlled online/offline document expiry
- Mobile access to secure documents
They started by defining what the New User really means:
”Clean, modern UI, access to info everywhere, on any devices, and wirh diversity of content types”
The move to D2 was because a realization of a more agile process away from traditional coding practices and towards easy instant configuration. As in Vegas people pointed out that it is not just about configuring the user experience but also a rules engine for content. One reason EMC acquired D2 was a realization that customers didn’t fit in the previous product boxes like knowledge worker, rich media, process etc. David also introduced an explanation of the difference between D2 and xCP which I think is the best yet:
xCP is configuration for ”design-time” while D2 is config for ”run-time”
The message was also that the usability that we all strive for comes when the UI is easy to use but also very easy to configure to different user’s needs. Today version 3.1 of D2 is consider the Power User tool but the plan is to move all these features gradually to 4.x releases of D2.
Rich Media viewer aligned with xCP is planned (showed video preview with collection objects in a lower bar) as well as some Centerstage features.
Ver 4.1 is planned for Q2 2013 and include the following features:
- Advanced search with facets
- Virtual document editing
- Native annotation (just basic – still a place for 3rd party tools)
- Syncplicty and mobile integration
- Extended widget integration
- Rich text comments
- Advanced property inheritance
- IRM integration
- Custom menus
- Administration widget
- Public API for integration into external zoos
- Distributed administration
When it comes to partner integrations things like the Brava viewer is supported in 4.1 and I think both an Active-X and HTML version of it.
Integration of the Euroscript reporting tool was also highlighted which of course make one wonder what the status is for Crystal Reports in the future. Earlier we saw a demo of Euroscript which featured reports in widgets that changed when interacting with other widgets in the UI.
Future D2 releases:
- Personalized home page
- Ability to package components in xCP as widgets for D2
- Data tables
When it comes to mobile in the short term:
- iOS 6 platform support
- Support for iPhone 5 (form factor adjustments)
- D2 Workflow config in order to support electronic signature signoffs and adding notes and comments to a workflow task.
In the longer perspective they see mobile clients both leverage D2 and xCP configuration. Clients based on HTML 5 for multi-platform support. The ambition is to have mobile clients fully integrated with information management and governance.