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The latest joint offering between OpenText (news, site) and Microsoft SharePoint 2010 goes a long way to straightening some of the wrinkles in the SharePoint canvas that have been niggling users since its launch last year, not least of which is SharePoint site and document management across the enterprise.

While OpenText, through its ECM Suite 2010, has done a lot of information management work in respect of SharePoint including the recent DoD 5015.02 certification for their joint records management solution, the new Application Governance & Archiving software provides end-to–end management of document and site-based content across enterprises.

Application Governance & Archiving

With it, enterprises will be able to apply enterprise-wide compliance policies to content located in SharePoint, while at the same time allowing users access to that content secure in the knowledge that information has been archived safely no matter what happens to the content while it is being used.

In effect, it straddles the very fine line between allowing users access to content they need to pursue their business goals, while at the same time ensuring whatever content needs to be archived, is archived in such a way as to also make it usable in compliance or e-Discovery requests.

Considering the amount of content that is now being stored and used in SharePoint, this is no mean feat. By some estimates, SharePoint deployments have grown 40% year on year with nearly 70% of large enterprises deploying it in some shape or form, including the different collaboration tools that in themselves can pose content management nightmares.

ECM-driven Compliance

Combined, enterprises will be able to develop ECM-driven compliance frameworks across the entire enterprise and build SharePoint-based applications with compliance components already present.

With our Application Governance & Archiving solution, we're making it much easier for customers to determine the ideal SharePoint user experience while keeping the peace of mind that comes from knowing they have a central retention and records management, and long-term archival system in place,” said Brian Donaldson, VP at Microsoft Solutions and Ecosystem, OpenText.

They will also, OpenText says, be able to reduce the size of content repositories and even take out some silos as content is identified as useful or not-useful, which should offer the added benefit of keeping deployments agile and responsive to rapidly changing business environments.

OpenText and SharePoint

Application Governance & Archiving takes two existing OpenText products -- OpenText Content Lifecycle Management Services, and OpenText Case Management Framework for Microsoft SharePoint -- and has added and upgraded site management abilities specifically for SharePoint.

From a single console, users can monitor and administer SharePoint performance through sets of metrics, take metadata from sites, control approval processes and administer the deployment of new SharePoint sites through simple scripts.

However, there are many other capabilities that deal with other issues that have also been nagging users since last May. These include:

  • Rule based archiving: Completely automated, it requires no user interaction to archive content, but also enables users access to that content. SharePoint sites can also be archived and stored at will.
  • Certified Records Management: From the recent DoD 5015.02 certification, users will also be able to build business applications and add that certified infrastructure from the ground up.
  • Storage: Reduced storage by reducing the size of SharePoint databases.
  • Physical Records: The new solution offers support for managing physical records, one of the real issues for those looking at SharePoint for robust records management.
  • Integration: Access to SAP Business Objects through with OpenText Extended ECM for SAP.

Better Together!

However, these are only some of the capabilities with this new package, with many more also possible. In fact, the combination of the two rises so many different issues that a special dedicated website has been built to answer any queries.

Called Better-Together-Central.com, it offers information on a substantial number of issues around the integration, not least of which is a ROI calculator for enterprises considering it as an option.

There is also a SharePoint enterprise ‘readiness’ test, as well as information about tailored SharePoint applications, discussions about framework compliance and issues around aggregating business content.