Oracle (newssite) has just announced the release of its Enterprise Content Management Suite 11g, which tightly integrates its content management platform into the Fusion Middleware architecture and is built on a unified content repository.

Speaking to CMSWire before the release, Andy MacMillan, vice-president of product management at Oracle, said that UCM, Oracle’s imaging and process management product and the Universal Records Management product can now run in the WebLogic server layer.

This will enable the products to take advantage of application grid computing and its associated technologies as well as enable tighter integration with the identity management system and user management system.

In what Oracle is describing as a “strategic release”, the company says that the thinking behind it is ‘taking content management' where you work’.

Nice sound-bite that may be, but the practical face is a system that integrates both user features and infrastructure features into the applications and programs that people use in the workplace.

The result is new Office integration, and richer integration into Windows Explorer that enables user customization, as well as a set of components for integration into their own enterprise applications.

There are four areas that MacMillan sees Enterprise Content Management Suite 11g pushing Oracle ahead of the competition.

1. Site Studio For External Applications

High on the list of newbies that Oracle is pushing is Site Studio For External Applications (SSEA). This is “one click” web content management that allows developers add web content management to any web-based application.

Traditionally with WCM if a user is going to move from one WCM product to another, it would have required the ‘replatforming’ of pages or navigation.

With SSEA, for business users who use multiple web applications, siloed content can be shared to different sites regardless of the technologies or products that IT departments use to deliver those websites.

In this respect, enterprises might have sites that are based on Java, sites on .NET, one site might be a portal. However, regardless of what the site was built with, MacMillan says one click will apply the content to where ever it is needed.

2. Oracle’s Unified Repository

Flagged some months ago, Oracle has created a unified repository that can support high-volume content ingestion applications, such as invoice processing, and high-volume content delivery applications, such as e-commerce sites.

The creation of such a repository was always desirable, if problematic, and stems from the acquisition of Stellent by Oracle. At the time Oracle had a repository called Content Database and Stellent had two repositories: UCM and Optica (the imaging product).

In this release, Oracle has brought the Content Database into UCM and moved the Imaging product into Fusion Middleware so that it runs on top of UCM.

The result is a “strategic” single content repository across all of Oracles products that provides a repository for all its applications, and middleware products.

While the process of tying all three together was very complicated, MacMillan says that they had to do it for their customers.

The complexity of moving a document around different applications outweighed the challenge of developing a single repository . . . then trying to wire those things together themselves, he said.

3. Ugraded Records Management

However, this does not preclude the unified repository from working in other environments. This is particularly important for its new Universal Records Management 11g.

The unified repository can be used where an enterprise might have other repositories, either small or large, and where a records policy needs to be applied across not only UCM but also across the other repositories.

Universal Records Management 11g runs on top of UCM and is a DoD 5015.2 v3 certified electronic and physical records management system. New enhancements include:

  • Improved discovery: Instant access to content across the enterprise, systems and applications with instant holds, dispositions and discovery.
  • Usability: An improved physical management interface, records management dashboard along with complete reporting.
  • Discovery and archiving: Out-of-the-box real-time discovery capabilities and support for third-party archiving and information management vendors.

4. Extreme Scaling

The fourth area that Oracle has focused on is what MacMillan calls extreme performance of scale. While Oracle has always been able to scale its content management platform to very large volumes, it has typically required a lot of knowledge around configuration, managing throughput and managing infrastructure around the application.

With this release, Oracle has greatly simplified the ability to do content management at very large scales. So it can, for example, connect one or two nodes of the UCM or the IPM product to the fusion middleware architecture, or the database machine and then scale that to extremely high volumes.

The kinds of volumes in question are in the region of 150 million documents ingested a day without complicated infrastructure support.

Until now, he says, users wishing to do high volumes had to bring in architecture teams from storage management vendors, database vendors, ECM vendors and even search vendors. With the 11g Suite this process has been dramatically simplified while at the same time ingesting the content at several multiples faster than anyone else.

This a major -- and comprehensive -- release for Oracle that aims to bring their content management platform into Fusion Middleware and from a user’s point of view into their business processes. Time will tell if it has done that to the satisfaction of existing and future clients.