Documentum Workflow Manager, BPM, and Licensing

We just finished a new 6.6 Documentum install for a client and ran into something slightly unusual.  During the installation, we were not able to install a workflow template from an existing archive, a routine install activity.  In the past, we could always move workflow templates between repositories using Application Builder and Installer and create new templates with Workflow Manager.  While Documentum Application Builder and Application Installer became unsupported with the release of Documentum 6.0, Composer was introduced as a replacement.  Up until recently, Composer supported the archival and deployment of workflow templates.  Most of our Documentum clients were surprised to learn that the 6.6 release of Composer does not allow workflow templates to be archived without having Process Engine, a component of the Business Process Manager (BPM) suite, installed in the repository.  This post will discuss this issue, as well as our thoughts on possible future Documentum licensing around workflow tools.

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Documentum Object Model and the Alfresco Content Model

The Documentum object model and the Alfresco content model have many similarities. Both software packages have the concept of library services (check in / check out), a data dictionary, and a hierarchical data model however implementations do differ.

In Documentum, administrators can create or alter custom object types with the use of Documentum Administrator, Composer, Application Builder, or DQL or API scripting. In Alfresco, there is one common way to create a custom type, including any constraint or pick list values. The configuration to create a custom object type includes creating a custom model Spring context file, a custom model definition file, and a custom web client configuration file. Continue reading

What’s New and What’s coming in the Documentum Platform

John McCormick gave the initial presentation at EMC World for the IIG (Information Intelligence Group).    While the presentation won’t be posted, some highlights on the “unofficial” roadmap included:

  • Q2 ’10 – D6.6 – Will be around Taskspace and Cloud Storage
  • Q3 ’10 – XDB
  • Q4 ’10 – DSS 1.0 – Dynamic Search Services – Built on XDB and Lucene
  • Q1 ’11 – D6.7 – License Management
  • Q2/Q3 – ’11 – D7 – Next Generation – Case Management Platform

A significant portion of the discussion focused on xCP and the concept of Case Management.   Our TSG thoughts were that this continues to be EMC’s push for BPM and the related products.  We would anticipate that BPM would leverage more and more DFS web services as the product moves forward.  Case Management will introduce the idea of a “smart” folder/container (case folder) with D7 and xCP 2.0. 

For Webtop users, John stated that Webtop would move through 6.6, 6.7 as well as the D7 release and would still be based on WDK.    Moving forward, John recommended:

  • Library Webtop Functions – Migrate eventually to CenterStage
  • Transaction Driven Workflow – Migrate eventually to xCP.

Overall – we still have concerns in regards to development environments with Webtop, xCP…. EMC seems to still want to control the development environment and our clients have struggled with interface/development environment releases.   Webtop/WDK, Centerstage/DFS, BPM/TaskSpace, CMIS….Choosing which development platform and upgrade decisions will continue to be a struggle for users.

Documentum Application Builder vs. Documentum Composer

First released with Documentum 6, Documentum Composer is a “unified development platform for assembling, configuring, and deploying EMC Documentum applications.”  Currently on version 6.5 SP3, Composer is meant to be a Documentum Application Builder replacement.  Although Documentum is trying to move away from Application Builder and into Composer, Application Builder is still available for use with Content Server version 6.5 applications through the use of Application Builder 5.3 SP6.5.

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