Documentum – Momentum – EMC World 2014 – Vision Strategy and Roadmap Presentation

Immediately after the IIG / Documentum Keynote on Tuesday morning was the popular IIG / Documentum Vision Strategy and Roadmap presentation given by Aaron Aubrecht. As usual, this event was jammed packed. Slightly different format this year. See our thoughts below and let us know yours.

Roadmap or Demo

The format changed this year. There were less slides and details shared and more demos. It appears that many of the details regarding specific features in each release will be discussed during the “What’s new and What’s Next” sessions for each individual product. While at a high level this makes sense, I found myself missing the “fire hose” of information I could get from a single session. Many of the individual product sessions conflict with other sessions I was hoping to attend.

Aaron began the presentation sharing the vision that was presented Rick Devinuti’s keynote. EMC’s goal is to provide software that connects Content, Process, and Collaboration activities. Content alone does not provide the value that organizations require today.

The sharing of information in this manner leads to the following requirements:

  • Pervasive Governance (Security both in and outside of your docbases)
  • Mobile – Work is no longer what we do; it is where we sit
  • Cloud – How it can help transform your business
  • Extended Enterprise – Sharing information with suppliers and partner network

All of the product updates and individual features being added to the products will map back to one of these 4 pillars that EMC/Documentum is focusing on. The product announcements Aaron highlighted during his talk were:

  • Captiva mobile capture toolkit
  • Documentum Connector for SharePoint
  • xCP 2.1
  • Document Sciences xPression
  • D2

Mobile – Captiva Mobile Capture Toolkit

This session was mostly a demo – lots of things on the Captiva roadmap but we couldn’t get them all down.

The demo scenario used focused on reducing response times in the insurance industry to approve a policy. By reducing response times, companies are more competitive and save money. Scenario presented:

  1. Captiva Mobile allows the client to place their signature on a document, take a photograph of it and send it back to the insurance carrier.
  2. InputAccel would have the ability to determine if all the required information was collected.
  3. If some information was missed, the application could send out a follow-up email to the client reminding them of the missed information.

Information that previously took days to gather can be done in minutes without human interaction. This release also has improved OCR capabilities such as the ability to flatten color images to black and white to  improve the ability to OCR the relevant text. During this discussion of improvements in the “Mobile” area, Aaron also pointed to mobile features contained in Sycplicity, DCTM Mobile, xCP and D2 products. The Roadmap slide for this product was on the screen for such a short time, I couldn’t get details. Will have to try to grab the slides from Captiva What’s New and Next session. For industries such as Financial and Insurance, I imagine these features could add some real value.

Pervasive Governance – Documentum Connector for SharePoint

Kate Shaw went into detail on updates made to the Documentum Connector for SharePoint v7.1. She stressed the ability for Docucmentum to work with SharePoint.  We haven’t heard much about SharePoint at many clients as we feel strongly that it is dying down.  Back in 2010, there was more detail – see an old blog post here.  Kate did provide some good real-world examples:

  • Scenario 1 – Users think they are in SharePoint performing checkin and checkout, but behind the scenes the content is stored in Documentum. An example of this would be providing Vendors access to a SharePoint site to checkin/checkout, but the document is stored in a repository with other information that you do not want the vendor to access.  We have continued to see this Scenario as a stretch given the SharePoint storage alternatives.
  • Scenario 2 – Check out a document that is sitting in Documentum to a SharePoint site where vendors or a larger audience has access. Use SharePoint 2013 for collaborative editing (like Google Docs but from Word) and then check the document back into Documentum for formal storage, approval, etc.

7.1 SP1 planned release targeted for Q1 201 included Kerberos Authentication some UCF tweaks and D2 Support.

“Pegasus” release targeted Q4 2015 included some collaboration, linking, federated search along with ties to xCP, D2.  We never put too much faith in the far goals as they can change often.

The use-cases Kate presented where intriguing and applied to some of our clients who manually sync Documentum with SharePoint. Depending on price and ease of installation I could see this product adding value.

xCP (xCelerated Composition Platform) v2.1

Much of the time spent on this product was involved in explaining/selling the product to the audience and demoing the product. It would have been nice to have been provided some additional details on the enhancements in 2.1 especially since EMC billed it as a major release. v2.1 was released on March 10, 2014) and focused on the following items:

  • Interoperability with xCP 1.x and non xCP applications
  • Localized support for right to left languages
  • SSO support
  • Dynamic and re-usable page fragments
  • Preview mode for UI changes
  • Configurable UI events
  • Session variables and custom wizards
  • Support for process debugging
  • Improved process versioning
  • Custom client and mobile application support
  • Extended Enterprise Support  for App Server: Oracle WebLogic Server, IBM WebSphere AS
  • Extended Enterprise Support for Operating Systems: AIC 7.1 , Solaris 11
  • Extended Enterprise Support for Database: DB2 Enterprise

The next release “Moonbow” is targeted for Q3 2015. This release is will include collaboration, some case management, mobile support along with deeper RPS integration.  Again – Q3 2015 is pretty far off so we would expect some changes.

When Aaaron asked the room who was on xCP 10-20% or less of the folks raised their hands. We seem to keep hearing about the benefits of xCP and am intrigued by the ability for Rapid Application Development (RAD) but have also heard many stories about the complexities of implementing the product.

Document Sciences xPression

The next product update presented was Document Sciences xPression v4.5 SP1, which is expected to be released Q32014. The “Aria” release is targeted for Q4 2015.

4.5 SP1

  • Fillable PDF Fields. Info can be extracted and stored as data points was the main feature demonstrated
  • Streamlined Upgrades
  • Normalized HTML

Aria Releaste – Targeted Q4 2015

  • Design Suite Usability Enhancements
  • Backward compatibility
  • Updates to System Administration

D2 4.2

Message was that the new v4.2 release (released Jan 31, 2014)was focused on an adaptive UI. Adaptive UI refers to the ability to have different views based on what you are looking at (a different view will display for a document vs. a task). Another update made to the D2 UI is the ability to have multiple views within the same workspace (folder view, document thumbnail view, etc.)

Email Integration was also highlighted. D2 now also includes the ability to send an email with a link to a piece of content or a copy of the PDF rendition. The Admin can limit email list to internal emails or allow for external emails. This email support feature includes auditing of who sends emails out and to whom the email is sent. There is also support for importing of emails into D2, including a nice drag and drop feature from Outlook. Other features included in the new D2 4.2 release include

  • Granular configuration export
  • Application repackaging and lock-down
  • D2 on iPad
  • Clipboard and drag and drop
  • Search result summaries and term-hit highlighting
  • Bulk import and export of content
  • Recycle Bin to retrieve deleted content.

Hawk Release – Expected Q4, 2014 would continue to have performance improvements and other admin/configuration changes

D2 Advanced Publishing Release – Targeted Q1, 2015 included publishing and virtual document updates.

Webtop

For long-time users, Webtop was mentioned – briefly.  Many have noticed that Webtop 6.7 SPX ends standard support on April 29, 2015 – at least last time we looked.  We were all promised a new 6.8 release last year as well as in updates like this one about “Webtop – don’t believe the rumors”.

Gandalf release – expected Q4 2014, is not adding new features. Release will certify new browsers

  • Email Management Improvements
  • Will be compatible with Content Server 6.7 SP2, 7.0, 7.1
  • New Certifications OS: Windows 8.1, Mac OSX, 10.9x
  • New Certifications Browsers: IE11, Firefox 24.0.x, Safari 7.0.x
  • New Certifications Application Server: JBoss 6.2
  • New Certifications Web Server: Apache 2.4.9
  • Office 2013 and native 64 bit support for Documentum Application Connector

We would expect that standard support would extend out 3 years standard and another 4 years extended unless another version of Webtop comes available.  We would also expect standard support of Webtop 6.7 SPX to extend to one year after Gandalf is released.

 Summary Thoughts

While I missed the old format of the presentation (more dates and a detailed walkthrough of each feature update), it was nice to see some demos of the different tools but we miss the dates (and all the cameras).

In this presentation IIG continued with the trend of the past few years of posting release dates and features that were within reach. Customers have obviously liked this approach and it is nice to see IIG continuing with it. Since a majority of users at the conference are still on Webtop, many of the updates discussed in this presentation will not impact them. It will be interesting to continue to monitor the adaption rate of D2 and xCP – which is obviously where IIG is focusing their efforts 2nd Platform efforts.

One of the important things noticed and discussed afterwards was “hey – where is the content server updates”.  Last year we saw how Content Server 7.1 and 7.2.  This year, there is not discussion on 7.3 or 8.  Discussions with Aaron and others afterwards, we see Documentum 8 as a rebuild of the content server with a focus on cloud/multi-tenancy that is difficult with the current architecture of the content server.  Look for another post in regards to thoughts on PaaS and InfoArchive  as Rick’s “Third Platform” as we will discuss our thoughts on XDB, REST, bootstrap.js and the rebuild of the server.

Pretty long post – let us know your thoughts below.

 

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