We expect the CMIS OASIS Technical Committee is feeling pretty good right now. Yesterday they voted CMIS specification draft 0.70b to be the official Committee Draft and approved it for submission to the OASIS public review process.

Now the fun part really begins.

CMIS in Review

On September 10th of last year, this entire process officially kicked off with the joint announcement from Microsoft, EMC and IBM that a new content management specification was being proposed.

The real work actually began as early as 2006 when the three enterprise cms vendors began a joint plan to propose the first Web Services standards for exchanging content with and between Enterprise CMS systems (To understand more about CMIS, read our article De-Hyping CMIS).

Since it's announcement as a proposed OASIS standard, we have brought news of vendors across the content management space adopting it and starting to implementing draft versions into their solutions.

And according to a poll of 768 AIIM members CMIS has already gained traction in 15% of these organizations. Something, CMSWatch analyst Alan Pelz-Sharpe says is a "remarkably high figure", considering it's not official.

The TC Vote

This week, the CMIS technical committee took the next step in the certification process, they voted on an official draft to take to public review.

Yesterday, that ballot closed. According to the ballet results listed on the OASIS CMIS website:

  • 20 of 30 Technical committee members voted to approve v0.70b as a Committee Draft
  • 19 of 30 Technical committee members voted to approve submission of v0.70b for Public Review

As a note, there were no "no" votes.

And so it's official. We are ready to move on to the next step: a Public Review process.

According to the OASIS process, the Technical Committee must recommend a list of external stakeholders who should be notified of the review and the CMIS draft officially becomes the Public Review Draft.

At this point, we haven't seen an official announcement from the TC Administrator, but we would expect to see that sometime today.

The CMIS Public Review Process

The public review process can take up to six months. The first phase of the review must last for 60 days and no changes can be made during a review period. At that point, the TC can take all comments, pull the draft from review and revise it. This cycle can repeat as necessary, but all other review periods only have to be for 15 days.

Read the official process description for more details (pdf).

A Spec Built From Example

John Newton, talks about the CMIS process on his blog today. As part of the technical committee on behalf of Alfresco, he's seen a lot of strong support throughout the entire process (and even before). Newton talks about how real life implementations were being built all along the way, helping demonstrate clearly how this specification will work and identifying areas for work.

He also speaks about "some great collaboration in a very competitive industry". Collaboration not just from the large enterprise vendors like Microsoft, EMC and IBM, but with open source vendors like Nuxeo and Alfresco. This process really has brought together many different groups for one common goal.

Newton says "Without vendor lock-in, it will now be possible to build content-rich applications that can run against many different systems. Customers will be able to move content from repository to another. It will be much easier to find stuff in random repositories without having to build multiple connectors."

Getting Up to Spec

We chatted briefly with the Alfresco CEO the day before the final ballet was completed and he seemed very satisfied. He told us that the Alfresco ECM includes almost all of the CMIS specification. New things that were added in the 0.70 version such as security and change logs will be added soon.

This is probably the case for most of the vendors involved with the technical committee, as they have been building prototypes throughout the entire process.

Is Your Organization Getting Ready for CMIS?

As we wait for official word on the Public Review, we wonder how you are feeling about this process so far and if you plan on actively participating.