Documentum/Momentum EMC World Prep

The agenda for Momentum, the Documentum portion of EMC World, has recently been posted (http://www.emcworld.com/images/Momentum_2011_Agenda-master4webpage.pdf).  For this post, we thought we would highlight things we (TSG) or our typical clients attend.   Overall, EMC has divided the sessions into “tracks” focused on Architecture/Best Practices, ECM, Software Developer, Information Governance, Case Management, User Group, Capture and Labs.   Continue reading

Virtual Momentum Lisbon 2010 and Midwest Documentum User Group

One last reminder – Midwest Documentum User Group (MWDUG) is coming up this Friday, October 29th, in downtown Chicago – presentations will include American Electric Power, United Airlines, Documentum Roadmap as well as others.  There are still spots open if you are interested in attending.  http://www.mwdug.com

As we were talking to users outside of the Chicago area about MWDUG, it isn’t hard to see that travel is still being restricted during the downturn (or post-downturn).  Obviously, not many of us could travel to Lisbon, Portugal for Momentum 2010 this month.   One thing unique this year is that
EMC/Documentum has opened up the ability to attend Momentum virtually.  Slide decks and presentations will be posted next week and available virtually for only $200 – signup is here – Virtual Momentum.

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Documentum 6.5 Upgrade – Character Encoding Issues

Special Note:  Anyone that is planning an upgrade from Documentum 5.3 to 6.5 should look closely at this note as some types of upgrades (clone or in-place) could result in content that was retrievable from 5.3 not being available in 6.5.

This post was developed based on recent work for a major pharmaceutical client.  The client, on Documentum 5.3, was developing a consumer interface application leveraging Lucene.  As we mentioned in a previous post, the client chose Lucene over FAST based on benchmarking results for over 150,000 documents.

Background

For the application, the client was leveraging OpenMigrate with DFC 6.5 to retrieve content and metadata for nearly 1,000,000 documents from their 5.3 docbase to be indexed in Lucene.  Per the product release notes, using DFC 6.5 to access a 5.3 repository is a supported configuration.  An issue was identified when around 5,000 documents failed to migrate.  In reviewing the error logs from OpenMigrate, the DFC call IDfSession.getObject() to retrieve documents from the repository resulted in errors.  After reviewing the stack trace, it was apparent that the error was being thrown from within the DFC code.  The team was surprised by the error since the documents were able to be retrieved without a problem using client applications working with a 5.3 DFC, such as Webtop and Samson.  The DFC error messages that were encountered are shown below:

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Documentum – Top 12 Tips

Every couple of months we like to step back and offer a “What’s next” post in regards to our thoughts on what Documentum customers should be considering with their implementations.  For this post, we will highlight our thoughts based on a thorough review of EMC World and our client briefing discussions. Continue reading

Documentum Search Services – The Real Deal

Way back at Momentum 2001 in Chicago, I remember having an in-depth conversation with a Documentum architect in integrating Autonomy into the Documentum platform. TSG was implementing Autonomy at the time and Documentum was looking to build a pluggable architecture into Documentum in which any search engine could be integrated. The 5.3 platform helped usher in that pluggable architecture with the replacement of Verity (now owned by Autonomy) with FAST. 9 years later at EMC World 2010, Documentum is getting closer to releasing Documentum Search Services, which is essentially an integration between Lucene and xDB.
Ed Buche and Aamir Farooq both presented at EMC World, providing a good technical overview of DSS and lessons learned from how FAST currently interacts with the Content Server. I’ve always looked forward to Ed Buche’s presentations, and glad he has been very involved in the architecture of DSS. A couple of items to highlight:

Overview

Using an XML database like xDB in conjunction with Lucene makes a lot of sense in regards to performance and scalability. All metadata for content is being converted to an XML file and stored within xDB. This is very similar to how FAST ingests metadata today. However, with DSS, an XML representation of the ACL will also be created and stored in xDB, allowing security to be evaluated by the search engine, not at the Documentum level. Replication of ACLs from the Content Server to DSS will be asynchronous, not necessarily transaction based.

A new full text admin interface will also be available, providing much more detailed reports on indexing status, errors, graphs, etc.

Performance and Scalability

Queries that may have taken minutes in FAST, will take seconds in DSS. Documentum has taken a number of lessons learned from the FAST integration and has addressed a number of performance issues that have caused angst in the past. Querying inside folders with a large number of subfolders has been optimized. Additionally, underprivileged users belonging to a small subset of content but searching a wide range of content should see a significant increase in performance. This is a specific issue we’ve run into with our clients and looking forward to comparing the performance difference.

Facets

Facets provide the ability to display your search results and drill down further by a set of pre-defined categories. If you have a large results set, you can further drill down by date, format, etc. to refine your search. CenterStage will support this out of the box. I will be curious how or if this will be integrated into Webtop Search Results or how custom search applications will be able to make use of the capability.

Cost / Upgrading to DSS

DSS will remain part of the Content Server and will not be licensed separately.
Microsoft/FAST and Documentum have agreed on extended support for customers until the end of 2011. Therefore, customers making use of full text indexing must upgrade to at least 6.5 SP2 and migrate to DSS by then. DSS will become standard starting with the D6.7 Release. This may be a key driver for customers to start planning you upgrades based on the 2011 date.
Customers who are currently deployed on 6.5 SP2 or later will be able to upgrade to DSS. To evaluate and test DSS compared to FAST, a new docbase may be created using DSS. Both FAST and DSS can therefore be running at the same time and provide a seamless transition from one search platform to another.

Lucene Integration, OpenSearch Compliant & User Interface Enhancements – New HPI Functionality

In addition to the enhancements to HPI disscussed last week, we are also enhancing the search capability in HPI for a large Documentum pharmaceutical client. Features will include:

  • Lucene Integration: enhanced compatibility of HPI and Lucene through TSG’s OpenContent web services layer
  • Save Search: save, recall, run, delete and edit a saved search
  • OpenSearch Integration: execute a Lucene search (full text and metadata) and return it in an OpenSearch compliant RSS feed that includes a custom namespace to  allow for exporting custom metadata in XML format
  • Enhanced Search Controls: new multi-select control that includes a type-ahead feature
  • Direct Linking: enable direct linking to content via a URL
  • Doc Management: one-click links to view versions from the search results
  • Single Sign On: leverage Kerberos to perform automatic application authentication

Core components of these enhancements will be rolled into our HPI 1.4 feature set and will be available later in 2010. For more information and to download HPI or view recorded demos. Please visit http://www.tsgrp.com/ and our Learning Zone.

EMC Documentum Search Services (DSS) Beta Recap

Over the past few months, TSG has been able to sit in on the DSS Beta program as a read only participant.  The DSS beta completed last week, and it’s been valuable to hear how the beta has progressed.  From what we’ve heard, the DSS software was successful for the customers participating in the beta.  One item to note however, is that DSS will not be generally available in the June/July 2010 time frame as originally thought.  A targeted DSS Controlled Release planned for June through September 2010  will precede  the generally available release.  EMC will be selecting participants for the controlled released program starting this month.

DSS uses Apache Lucene as a full text search engine.  For Documentum customers that are looking to leverage Lucene for full text search now, see the following articles:

Documentum Search – Lucene, FAST, Verity, Google and upcoming DSS

Documentum Search – Lucene versus FAST

Documentum Full Text Search with Lucene – Honoring ACL Security