Document Management Vendor KnowledgeTree Embraces CMIS

CMIS, in its current state, seems to be best suited for document management scenarios. Hence, it was only a matter of time before a DMS vendor like KnowledgeTree (news, site) jumped on the CMIS bandwagon (joining the many Web and Enterprise CMS players) and released its own implementation of the draft Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS) specification.

Admittedly, quite a timely move, considering that the latest OASIS CMIS Technical Committee face-to-face meeting took place only two weeks ago, getting CMIS an inch closer to the actual standard level.

They Came Together for Interoperability

In the best spirit of interoperability, the CMIS implementation by open source document management systems (DMS) vendor KnowledgeTree is designed to follow the spec and allow ECM users to access enterprise document repositories that have a CMIS interface. The CMIS implementation for KnowledgeTree Community Edition Snapshot is available for download. The latest code can be found here.

KnowledgeTree is also releasing a proof-of-concept CMIS client module to the Drupal Web CMS. Using the POC, customers can access content in the KnowledgeTree DM repository from Drupal CMS. The KnowledgeTree CMIS module is AtomPub-based and is built on the core CMIS module, maintained by Optaros. CMIS clients, such as CMIS Spaces, will work with the KnowledgeTree CMIS interface, according to the vendor.

“KnowledgeTree is being proactive in adopting and integrating CMIS into our product suite,” said Philip Arkcoll, product manager, KnowledgeTree. “This will allow users of ECM products to extend their software investments by gaining visibility into all enterprise document repositories that have a CMIS interface as well as realize benefits such as reduced vendor lock-in, improved interoperability between content management systems and a richer content management ecosystem.”

Whether this is a too early investment into the open standard CMIS, the time will tell. It probably doesn’t make much sense to put too much effort into the ever-changing spec that is so much in an embryo state at the moment. But who can say “no” to a little bit of experimentation?

“Improved operability” is something we are all hoping for, but let’s not forget that, as it stands now, CMIS only covers mostly document management and not so much web content management scenarios.

The Latest on CMIS

As we recently told you, CMIS is already getting a lot of traction in the content management world, despite its draft status. Many vendors -- including Sense/Net, Day and Nuxeo spearheading Apache Chemistry, Alfresco, eZPublish, EMC Documentum and others -- started tackling CMIS with a hands-on approach. Some others expressed more of a philosophical and theoretical support of the spec.

The recent CMIS Plugfest, hosted by Day, also served as a good playground for the spec and, while not all the sandboxes and implementations are made public, it’s good to see vendors uniting on this interoperability front.

Let’s not forget the recent CMIS Face-to-Face Meeting that took place in Colorado in the first week of August. According to Nuxeo’s Florent Guillaume, “…everybody is pretty happy with the spec as it is, and we're nearly ready to start the OASIS review process that will first make it go through formal public review, and then open the OASIS vote for CMIS to become a standard.”

Guillaume hopes that CMIS “should be a 1.0 standard by the end of the year.” Read his Day 1 and Day 2 blogged observations.

At the meeting, the group went over the spec line by line and made a few changes. One of them, for example, was to exclude XML and XHTML property types. The HTML property type is still in though. The brand new addition to the spec is copy (createDocumentFromSource) methods, which work for documents but not folders. Check CMIS JIRA for the most recent changes to the spec.