Documentum – Momentum EMC World 2014 – InfoArchive, aPaaS, xDB and thoughts on the “third platform”

Significant announcements tied to Rick’s Keynote seem to be around the new product – InfoArchive, as well as the future direction aPaaS, application platform as a service.  For this post, we will try to summarize a variety of different sessions on InfoArchive as well as aPaaS and give our thoughts for impact to the current Documentum user base.

InfoArchive 3.0

Released earlier this year, InfoArchive 3.0 is “a unified enterprise archiving platform that stores related structured data and unstructured content in a single, consolidated repository.”    Built on top of xDB (XML database that came over with the X-Hive purchase back in 2007) as well as some of the Documentum 7.1 components, InfoArchive provides for storage of large amounts of data with a subscription (per terabyte) pricing model.

Discussed in one of the sessions, the price brought up was roughly $76,000 US per terabyte per year although sales representative should be contact for client specific pricing.  InfoArchive is a new product from EMC and designed for:

  • Legacy Application Retirement/Decommissioning
  • Storage of Archival content for Compliance

InfoArchive is available either on premise or ondemand and IIG views it, along with Mid Market Solutions and Mobile fromt end, as a “bridge to the third platform” (more on that in aPaaS section).  Most of the presentations around InfoArchive spent the first part of the presentation justifying the business case for a unified Archival Platform.  Specific business Cases:

  • Legacy Application – to get ride of hardware as well as services (and maintence) for old system.
  • Off Loading Production Volume – less data, the quicker the production system moves.

InfoArchive, like DEMA and SharePoint Connector arose out of the consulting division and was productized early in 2014.

Core of the solution is xDB – something also leveraged in the plans for aPaaS.  Team mentioned serval archiving Options:

  • Table Archiving – when the whole database table is archived – this would be for Legacy system retirement.
  • Data Record Archiving – transactions rather than a table.
  • File Archiving – print stream (old COLD) example
  • Hybrid Record Archiving

All of the above can be ingested into the system with chain of custody, audit tracking and validation in either batch or transactional methods.  Archive Services available include:

  • Access Rights
  • InfoArchive Retention Managment (not RPS – only date based at current time)
  • Encryption/Privacy
  • Immutability
  • Audit and Logs

Searching is basic with some good examples throughout.  Focus of GUI is simple reporting across sources (example patient number against different patient records).

TSG Thoughts – As  a new product, InfoArchive is a different market for Documentum that is typically focused on content rather than data management.  It gives something new to sell to existing clients as well as a new, strategic revenue stream.  Technically, the use of xDB is most interesting.  See our thoughts later in the post

aPaaS

As mentioned in the keynote,  Documentum is making a push into the cloud, both as a SaaS (Software as a Service) with their Supplier exchange, but also with a platform specifically built for cloud services (APaas).   IIG would like to position themselves with Infrastructure is a service provider.

Solution is tied to Pivotal – Cloud Foundry – cloud independent (Amazon, Rackspace…).  SPaaS approach – porting our content and processes into Pivotal – enabling to build content and applications.  Lots of detail in multiple sessions on the components including a REST, Spring focus, bootstrap.js and other technologies, mostly open, that are being built into the platform.

Summary Thoughts – Role of xDB and the Third Platform

Our thoughts through the roadmap sessions and over drinks last night, particularly when we didn’t see any plans for Documentum 8 content server, is that the aPaaS architecture combined with xDB might be the core of the “next” Documentum repository that would be more cloud centric, multi-tenancy than the current Documentum repository.  Another benefit of this as the “next Documentum” would be the final removal of some of the 90’s C++ code still on the back-end.  See our thoughts on previous attempt with DFS to remove the back-end DFC code from Documentum.  Some positive thoughts on the approach:

  • Offers Documentum a way to extend brand to cloud based applications with a more appropriate back-end.
  • Offers stability for existing Documentum users – like Webtop has – as the approach doesn’t force to Documentum 7.X users to upgrade.
  • Gives Documentum time to stabilize architecture (and evolve).
  • Gets rid of Oracle or other database backend with xDB reducing complexity of stack.

Challenges for IIG would include:

  • Branding – does Documentum have the branding for Archiving and Cloud Development
  • Funding – will clients fund this effort as part of consulting (like other efforts) or will IIG have to fund themselves.
  • Clients – who will be the first significant clients that can “production stress” the architecture and approach
  • Competition – with xDB as the core component of the third platform solutions – are their better performing solutions available from competitors or open source?

Let us know your thoughts below:

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