Documentum Email Integration – A Simple Approach

We have posted recently about a variety of email solutions including leveraging IMAP as well as issues with drag and drop functionality leveraging MyDocumentum for Outlook or Webtop.  This post will review the use of the “forward” button to provide an email client neutral approach for ingesting emails into Documentum.
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Documentum, Mobile and IMAP – A standard and open source approach for email archiving and mobile access

TSG has started initial research and development on an alternative approach for email archiving and mobile access with Documentum, based on a client project that utilized Alfresco IMAP.  In prepping for our client briefing next week, we thought we would share our initial thoughts on an IMAP and Documentum approach. Continue reading

Documentum Client for Outlook (DCO) – A cautionary tale in regards to message formats and object types – comment if you have experience to share.

We have two clients that are struggling with the combination of email formatting as well as the Documentum Client for Outlook (DCO) regarding format and different releases.  TSG doesn’t see a ton of DCO or email implementations so we thought we would share our client’s experiences here.  Please comment if you have any DCO experience to share.

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Third Annual TSG Client Briefing – June 3rd – 2010

TSG will be holding our third annual client briefing on June 3, at the University of Chicago Gleacher Center from 9 to 4:30.  The briefing focuses on TSG facilitation of specific ECM topics with a focus on interaction between clients for experience, lessons learned and best practices.  Last year’s briefing included:

  • Introductions – sharing “What I would like to learn today”
  • EMC World 2009 Recap
  • Upgrading to Documentum 6
  • ECM Interface Design
  • Lunch (Wolfgang Puck Catered) and networking
  • Sharepoint and ECM
  • Form and Workflow Best Practices
  • Web Content Management

Overall, many Documentum clients who skipped EMC World in 2009 thought the briefing and user interaction gave them very valuable information and benchmarking regarding their ECM implementation. 

This year’s attendees will be polled in May to determine specific topics to finalize this year’s agenda.  Based on initial client feedback, topics could include:

  • Scanning and Imaging
  • EMC World 2010 Recap
  • Real-world ECM Cloud experience
  • Transaction Processing Approaches
  • Lucene and Full-Text Approaches
  • Sharepoint for Document Control Applications
  • Migration from Documentum to Alfresco or Sharepoint

After the briefing, some of the attendees will be participating in a charity tasting event that benefits United Cerebral Palsy  of Chicago

While the briefing is mostly limited to TSG clients, we do invite additional non-clients that we feel can add to the discussion.  If you are interested in attending the briefing, please contact us.

Documentum, Alfresco and Email Integration for ECM

Two current clients are adding significant inbound and outbound email capabilities for their Document Management systems.  To start with, this is not an email archiving solution where they want to capture all emails for later retrieval.  One, a Documentum insurance customer, is looking to add the ability when looking at a document to easily email the document out of the system, and capture the email and audit trail activity in the related claims or policy folder.  The other customer, an Alfreso manufacturing customer, is looking for similar functionality associated with project folders.  For this post, we will share some of the details as well as preview functionality in the upcoming release of HPI and OpenInterchange.

Email and Intelligent Folder Processing

One common characteristic of both clients is the desire to work “at the folder level”.  For most Documentum Webtop customers, this is difficult as users can create ad-hoc folders and customizing Webtop to add intelligence to certain folders can be complex.  HPI, originally built for an insurance client, was designed with folder processing in mind.  For example, when a user is viewing a document and selects “email document”, the application will:

  • Append specific attributes to the Subject or Body of the email (ex: Policy, Claim, Project #)
  • Store the email in the folder along with a link to the document
  • Store an Audit Trial entry in the folder audit trail that an email was sent

The application also allows for an email to be sent without any document attachments from the folder with the same email storage and audit trail entry.

Why not just use Outlook?

Both clients spent some time considering through the option of “just using Outlook”.  A couple of common issues with Outlook included:

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Documentum Client for Outlook, Notes Connector, iPhone and other thoughts on Content Management and Email

One of TSG’s manufacturing clients is currently evaluating Alfresco for control and management of project related documentation.  (Proposals, CAD, Specs….).    In working with the client on proof of concept efforts this week, we came across a typical requirement for storing email and attachments easily within Alfresco.  In the Documentum world, many of our clients typically choose the Documentum Client for Outlook, Notes or some other 3rd party product that integrate within the email client.  For the manufacturing client, the requirements and approach was slightly different.

What about my iPhone?

Blackberry, Palm, Web-based Email, Gmail and iPhone, along with all kinds of other connectivity offerings for this global company, are all part of the equation.  It wasn’t really an option to pick one email client and offer integration from only that platform.  Also, from an IT perspective, integration into a desktop application like the Documentum Client for Outlook requires additional desktop support (not a positive).

‘Email Mode’ versus ‘Index Mode’

Another point consistent with the different email platforms was that a person in “email mode” was just looking to work through all their emails (first thing in the morning or after lunch) and didn’t really want to stop and index items into Documentum or Alfresco.  Notes and Outlook connectors, even with swanky drag and drop, can still require specific attributes (Client) and detail about files (what is that attachment?).

Consistent Indexing

One last point is in regards to the logic/screens behind indexing.  Does it make sense to have one indexing applications for emails, another for regular documents and perhaps a third for fax or scanning?  This is particularly true when custom lookups (client, job number) might require logic to look up and insure indexing is correct.

Easy Solution – How about the Forward button?

An elegant solution for the client was to leverage the Forward button from whatever email tool (iPhone…) to forward on the email to alfresco@client.com.  This way, we could technically say that email integration was available from any email device and kept the user in “Email Mode” rather than jumping into index screens.  A back-end process would monitor the email box and, based on the user id, place it in his (or another  group/individual) workflow inbox for later indexing.    The client also liked the idea of blind copying (BCC) the alfresco@client.com to save content and email threads going out as well. 

OpenInterchange  was built as an open source tool email tool for Documentum with this approach in mind.  By leveraging HPI for consistent indexing and some slight tweaks for Alfresco, the client was able to:

  1. extend email ingestion to a any email device or platform
  2. stay in “Email Mode”  and save indexing for later
  3. Avoid desktop integration
  4. Have one index application
  5. Save $$$ by leveraging Open Source

If you have any questions – please contact us a http://www.tsgrp.com/forms/contact-us.jsp