Momentum 2012: Documentum xCP 2.0 – Learn from early adopters

The new thing this year is public and private cloud when it comes to Documentum and xCP. It took a while to release xCP 2.0 because they want to have a future-ready architecture.

Principles that have been used when designing xCP:

  • Open – ExtJS and Spring Java Framework
  • Performance – old Taskspace had some issues with performance
  • Unified tooling – support standard source control for team development
  • Cloud ready – embrace VMWare technologies
  • Future-ready so customers can move from on-premise to cloud tech later on.

Complete application debugging

Key innovations:

  • Stateless processes
  • Unified expressions and context data models
  • Oneclick application deployment from xCP Builder through xMS. Instructions is called a recipes. Driver information and connection string for the database is provide deployment time.
  • Easily extended GUI where you can inject HTML and Javascript directly into UI Builder

XForms could not be customized design time because of the Forms engine. Had to be redesigned.

The performance of the stateless engine is really good – can more or less act as a real-time data source. Useful when designing responsive UIs.

xCP generates .war .dar and config-files into an application package

Customer experiences from Streetworx Contract Lifecycle Mgmt:

3 weeks development time for the application.

Builder is quite different from xCP 1.x tools with many new concepts. Documentation is in progress and tools is in process.

Possible to create relationsships between an object representing a contract and an object like a milestone. Powerful abstractions.

They liked that xCP has Web/Enterprise 2.0-style GUI.

No more jumping between the tools which is nice.

One button deploy/test in one tool leads to rapid development.

Changes are propagated throughout the environment.

HTML in widgets is appreciated since it enables a finer control of the UI.

Stateless process:

– no more adaptors

Define input and output and map them to widgets on your page. You can do much more than a single DQL query without having to write a custom adaptor

Result lists are vastly more powerful than 1.x read-only tables

Tritek experiences

Said it was important to not look at xCP 2.0 as an incermental release – it is more major than that.

Bad:

  • New Process Templates are unvoidable
  • Business Objects take the place from Structured Data Types
  • Old artefacts cannot be imported directly into xCP Builder

Leverage rich widget-based UI with ExtJS and the spring framework for agile solution delivery.

  • Future is case management, xCP UI is very, very good at case management use cases!

Big change was moving from structured data types to business objects

  • Business Objects are like packages, presistent objects that represent case data
  • Big advantages to persistent data
  • Simplified DQL relationships

Big challenge for custom apps: No DFC equivalent for BO to replace SDT access

Large long-running workflows do not take advantage of xCP 2.0 features.

GA for xCP 2.0 is Q3 2012 – the time as D7

In xCP 2.1 they will have an importing feature that will upgrade some of the artifacts

the degree of manual vs automatic migration is not yet decided.

There is a technology convergence between D2 and xCP user interface technology.

Will there be a developer edition? Not yet decided.

The purpose of xCP is a targeted application which is specific which is different from the existing horisontal mobile application such as Documentum Mobile.

The web application will work on web browsers in mobile. Took out flash, active-x etc which makes it possible.

Possible to generate a set of services and then hook that up to a mobile application which is purposebuilt using iOS or Android.

xCP requires Documentum 7.

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EMC World 2012 General Session – Keynote with CEO Joe Tucci

A record setting 15000 people at EMC World this year meant that the keynote session was bigger than ever. Designed around a space/scifi theme by CMO Jeremy Burton it was really impressive to see. A giant continuous curved screen covered the whole front of the area.

CEO Joe Tucci talked about his view on the radical shift in computing we see right now. Moving into a cloud era which he think is a bigger shift than any previous.

Followed by Pat Gelsinger the focus was as usual around things that make noise – big boxes. Not a word about IIG and Documentum in the keynote basically. A bit sad because it is seem to be a general issue that ”traditional” IT-people only care about what is below the database. Unfortunately it is also the stuff that business people understand easily. Things that make a noise and you can touch. More abstract things like metadata, processes you find in enterprise content management seem to be harder to get and definitely harder to touch. Maybe not as sexy as big sic-fi looking boxes with huge hard drives either. A good show it was though.

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Momentum 2012 Session: Documentum Architecture with Jeroen

The Documentum stack is huge so this will be an overview. This more slide-oriented whereas the innovation track will feature more demos.

The Big Picture

Walks us through the stack based around different repositories

Model of the metadata on top of data. On the side of the slide you see a stack of supporting components he calls the ”I/O Stack”.

  • Multichannel Publishing (DocScience) 2way
  • Unified Analytics Platform (Big Data with Greenplum) 2way
  • Capture Services (Captiva) 1way
  • E-discovery services (Kazeon) 1way

Move away from coding into configuration is the main goal.

Content Server focused on on-premise deployment (SOAP/REST) – single-tenant.

NGIS in the cloud where it is focused on REST – multi-tenant.

Second server architecture for the public cloud. Why? He sees different demands for public cloud.

The aim is to provide a multi-tenant solution where each added tenant cost as little as possible – preferably just another object.

For cloud D2 is first and xCP will be made available on the cloud later on.

Should be possible to design for the current stack – run it on the public cloud stack later on.

The mechanism for the transfer is XML – formalising the application model.

He has talks about a hybrid scenario – content supply chain – manage the extended enterprise with all suppliers as the use case.

D7 Performance Improvements

  • Talking again about improved context switch performance
  • Cache management has been improved -> Lower Memory Usage – Focused on Type Cache mainly
  • Improve the number of active sessions you can handle
  • Improve the response time
  • Reduced the number of sessions on Oracle database

Will affect the number of Content Servers needed as well as database deployment. Drasticly reducing the number of sessions needed to support a certain number of concurrent users as well as almost not affecting response times 0-500 users. Again shows impressive charts where the scalability of Documentum is much more linear than before.

REST Strategy

  • Big effort of implementing REST across the board
  • Pure REST approach (must support XML, JSON and Atompub)
  • Do not see it as an API but rather a design paradigm
  • REST as SOA Strategy
  • Discovery of services using resource linking
  • ns.emc.com for describing web concepts
  • Connecting resoursces accross products

The request service layer is an abstract layer.

New initiative called Linked Data Platform – Co-chair of the working group with IBM

REST and xCP – REST services provide access to xCP resources

xCP clients also use platform resoruces such as Folders, Documents and other Documentum types.

xCP clients consume xCP and platform serviecs.

Project Line of Sight

It is about Hyperic and the Documentum stack.

Immediate focus areas:

  • Enable monitoring Documentum products famialies
  • Linux and Windows
  • 6.7 SP2 onwards

Future:

  • -Captiva, DocSCI, Kazeon and other products
  • Provide data analytics and corrective actions enablement

Linked to the bigger initiative with xMS – a new approach to deploying Documentum.

Automated process to instantiate the complex deployments. Not only initial deployments but also upgrades and patches.

Each machine has an hyperic agent that connect to the Hyperic Server where the monitored data end up and can be consumed by he Hyperic Portal where you can:

  • Monitor
  • Discover
  • Alerts
  • Correct

Immediate targets:

  • Health and availability metrics
  • Diagnotics and logging info
  • Alertss and notifications

Later:

  • Documtum platform (CS, BOCS, ACS…)
  • XPlore and Webtop
  • Supports 6.7 SP2 and onwards

Reflection: What will become of Reveille’s Documentum products? Is there an overlap?

xPlore and Federate Search Services 2

  • xPlore 1.2 released Q4 2011
  • Customized Processing (post-linguistic analysis using UMIA customization)
  • Tokens are indexed based on different languages
  • Since xDB is a schemaless database means that you can modify the datastructure with any model changes.

Have phased out FAST – 1000 deployments with xPlore now.

Federated Search Services extend the reach for search. FSS does not index – it provides access to other indices.

D2, the power of configuration

The concept of D2 – The power of runtime configuration. The idea is to be able to combine a subset of users with a subset of content and apply a configuration to that intersection. That becomes the context. EMC has seen a lot of common patterns in Webtop customizations. Better UI if you can trim it down. Makes it possible to have a very targeting user configuration.

xCP

Rapid Application Composition (not configuration as D2)

Integrated set of tools to provide that. Actually means that there will be implications on all three types of users:

  • New User (D2 and Mobile for instance)
  • New Application Developer (Information, Process, External Systems, Analytics Modeling and the Composisiton)
  • New Administrator (xMS m.m.)

Defines a semantic model of the application. From that we generate an optimised runtime. Generates domain-specific REST Services.

xCP and the stateless BPM engine is mentioned as a big thing at this conference as well. More about that in the xCP session.

Big Data Analytics

Possible to integrate with Greeenplum in xCP 2.0 without any modifications. Works through JDBC Data Services configured in the xCP Builder that connects with Greenplum UAP.

The integration with DocSci is with Web Services.

Example of an insurance app where data is feed from a car devices monitoring driving behavior. Data is used to crunch large amounts of data into driver reports being output by DocSci and new insurance rates to be applied to the driver’s insurance.

The process defintion can be configured to interrogate the Greenplum Engine.

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Always Impressed by the Scale of the EMC World Dining Hall

Impressive, no other word for it. A story to tell people back home in Sweden. Had a recent experiences at a party where it took 200 people over 45 min to get food from a buffe. Here at EMC World the Dining Hall is just amazingly large. I mean serving breakfast to over 10000 people in an hour. Do the coffee come in pipelines and food in endless lines of trucks outside. I don’t know but it is way cool.

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Momentum 2012 Session: The New Documentum D2

Here we go, the first session at Momentum 2012 at EMC World 2012 in Las Vegas. After breakfast in the enormous Dining Hall we gathered in the Momentum area of the conference for the first session around newly acquired Documentum D2 client. Responsible for the session were Brian Roche and Boris Carbonelli. Peggy Ringhausen is also working with D2 and was present at the session.

The main goals for this project are:

  • Respond quickly
  • Deploy easily
  • Delight Users

The overall idea is to compress the time from inception to roll-out to end users, something Documentum users has not been used to especially from the WDK era. Sure WDK was a great (even price-winning) technology of its time but we grew accustomed that even small customizations of the user interface took many days of development and required recompiling the application or at least restarting the server. That has all changed now.

New in EMC Documentum D2 4.0

  • Cross-browser Support (all the major ones)
  • Workspaces
  • Themes
  • Widgets
  • Cross repository search
  • Open Simultaneous workspaces
  • View Centerstage Spaces

There is a set of fredefined workspaces  but you can also create your own with drag and drop widgets from the widget gallery.

Customers thought it was important with themes so that was included in this release. Very easy to change and modify themes without restart.

Interface is based on Googe Web Tool (GWT) which of course makes me wander about how the convergence with the ExtJS-based interfaces will look like.

D2FS

D2 do not use UCF for content transfer instead there is either a D2 Applet or a D2 Branch Office Caching Services (BOCS) plugin that does the job. That of course also means that Java needs to be installed on client machines. D2 is also available in the EMC Ondemand solution.

Just as their CTO Jeroen Brian promised to do less slides and more demo so after a 15 minutes or so it was time to fire up the doing on a Macbook. The demo of the user was made in Safari whereas the admin and configuration stuff was run in a virtual machine inside VMWare on that Mac.

One thing that I enjoy with Documentum Centerstage is that it restore sessions and similarly D2 restores the interface just where you left it. It is a vital approach to lower the threshold for how users quickly can get back to work by picking it up where they left it.

Workspace Gallery include a set o predefined workspace which contains different widgets depending on the targeted user category. Things like:

– Consumer

– Contributor (full, preview, vertical)

– Web

Very fast browsing which is nice. Autohide of the menu and he could easily group documents by status. You can also go full screen directly from thumbnail to show slides or full pages. I wander what the default size of the renditions are set to. Need to be big enough to actually avoid firing up Powerpoint or Keynote.

It seemed very easy layout configuration of widgets, just drag them around to where you wanted them.

There is a new Centerstage Browser as a widget which is great I think. I think it is wrong when certain type of contextual information about an object can only be viewed in a certain client. Different presentation of course but not different information in different clients.

The also have a new web widget to show web pages inline in D2. Google Gadgets can be included which means that there already are a catalogue of things to start from. You can also interact between Google Gadgets and widgets in D2.

It is possible to configure what widgets made available to users not only available workspaces.

Did a demo where he apply watermark upon download of file to computer. Changed the setting for the watermark, hit saved and showed the same watermark again with no restart. Cool!

D2 Config is configured using a Matrix which to me looked a bit strange at first.

The horizontal Lines contain rules whereas the vertical Columns define in which context to apply each rule. Behind each rule for instance lies complete configuration options so the interface initially looks like you can’t do much but the configuration options are huge.

Show how easy it was to create a new tab and show a new field with an attribute with a drop down menu which can be populated through Dictionary and DQL

No server restart – no compilation required. Applies for visible metadata or style of water marks. Themes can be switched runtime.

Internal widgets are those coming with the product and external widgets (develop yourself or use from internet like Google Gadgets.

Demoed how to search for Gadget using the tools search, inserted the widget URL from the Gadget and used it in a workspace.

Also workflow information is available as widgets in D2:

  • Workflow
  • Browser
  • Task lists
  • Task Details
  • Attachment
  • Notes
  • Performers

No workflow map as of now.

Besides watermarks headers and footers can also be applied dynamically upon download

D2 4.0 is scheduled is Q3 and after that there will be a release every 6th months according to the current release schedule.

There is another product called O2 which is used to transfer MS document properties to and from the repository.

 

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On my way to Las Vegas and EMC World 2012

 Managed to get access to the lounge at Chicago O’Hare while waiting for our flight to Las Vegas later. Really looking forward to come back to Vegas and the Momentum conference. Last time at EMC World was 2010 in Boston where I was a speaker. I really hope they have kept the Momentum-feeling that I think we all appreciated. Our own area for the sessions, a lounge and a badge of some kind indicating that we are all about software and not huge hard drives. Will be great to listen to all the sessions around Enterprise Content Management and information management as well as interact with both EMC staff as well as customers. Those of us that like to go to conferences like EMC World have one thing in common. We have seen the issues large organizations have with digital content and want (even know how) to something about it. That understanding is sadly not something to expect in our daily lives. I really, really hope that we will see interfaces on top of Documentum that we can show colleagues with pride this year. Modern tools on top of a great platform.

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