EMC Documentum and CMIS
Are you tired of hearing of this draft CMIS thing yet? Content management software companies aren't. No rest until everyone comes up with something CMIS-compliant. Most recently, EMC released an updated CMIS-compliant version of its Documentum ECM platform. CMIS is still in the draft, pre-born stage, but everyone wants a piece of it. Reminds us of the SharePoint saga, only MOSS is already bearing lotsa $$$ behind it. In CMIS case, it's all about interoperability and inter-CMS-ial, inter-repositorial camaraderie. Kind of like an Enterprise CMS socialism.

Already Supporting the Draft CMIS Spec

The CMIS standard, which EMC developed in partnership with competitors Microsoft and IBM with input from Alfresco, Open Text, Oracle and SAP, was announced several months ago. The ultimate goal of CMIS is to reduce the IT burden in managing multi-vendor and multi-repository environments. To date, CMIS has been much hyped (and de-hyped) about in the media and in Content Management circles. In the meantime, Open Text pledged its support for the new Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS) standard. Day Software offered its initial take on the spec and plans to contribute more. Alfresco went ahead and released the first implementation of CMIS in Alfresco Labs 3. As a quick reminder, CMIS is only about Enterprise CMS functions. It doesn’t cover Digital Asset Management, Web Content Management or records management.

EMC|Documentum’s Input

EMC has released an early access version of its Documentum platform that complies with Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS) spec. Customers can try it out by downloading the Documentum interface software supporting CMIS for use in their multi-vendor environments by visiting the EMC Community Network. "The [new Documentum] interfaces will address the problems of incompatible repositories," said Whitney Tidmarsh, EMC world marketing vice president. "This should reduce the cost of ownership when customers have multiple systems, as well as allowing developers to focus more on value than writing customer code." Razmik Abnous, chief technology officer of EMC's content management and archiving division, said that CMIS, which was developed in a series of workshops in August, defines "a common object model" and "a series of bindings." "All the vendors did not try and agree on all enterprise content management (ECM) functionality," he explained, adding that CMIS set specifications for capabilities including search, discovery, library services, content management and Web 2.0 collaboration, but not for functionalities such as transformational services. These will be followed up in the next version of CMIS,” Abnous added. Abnous compared CMIS to the SQL standard for database management. "Content management is big, but without a common interface the industry is not going to grow," he said. "Just like SQL went through many generations, so will CMIS. This is just CMIS 1.0." The Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) has appointed a technical committee to develop the CMIS standard. The schedule of current and future activities can be found here. Skepticism related to new standards aside, let’s just wait and see what comes out of this CMIS story. Chuck Hollis of EMC insists that CMIS is not JAS (Just Another Standard). No BS.