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Anytime a software company announces a complete revision of its flagship product, its a momentous occasion for existing customers. When that company is EMC and the product in question is Documentum, then the entire industry stands up to take notice. Before everyone gets swept up in the pomp and circumstance, however, let's keep a few things in mind. First of all, EMC Documentum Version 6 (D6) will not be available in wide-release until the end of August. And considering many large organizations have yet to upgrade to version 5.3, or only recently completed the upgrade, any production deployments of D6 will probably not happen until 2008 at the earliest. There are a plethora of advantages that come with using the accolade-reaping EMC Documentum. But the complexity of upgrading, and the content migration needs of an existing customer base, make introducing a new version more than a weekend project. Despite that, there is much to look forward to in the upcoming release: Documentum Enterprise Content Services EMC Documentum jumps on the service-oriented architecture bandwagon in a big way by introducing a new web services based API to enable easy integration into an existing SOA. The new API signifies a shift away from EMC Documentum-specific terminology and methods that will be replaced by a vendor-neutral framework. The goal of this shift is to shorten the ramp-up time required for developers to become productive by helping them better leverage their CMS experience. Documentum Composer A new, standardized development environment is available, along with configuration tools that hopefully reduce the amount of custom code required for operations. A parallel aim of this unique development environment is to make content creation faster and content maintenance easier. It remains to be seen if the limitations of the existing XML templating system and built-in XML editor have been addressed by Documentum Composer. One can only hope they have been enhanced such that EMC Documentum can finally become a viable platform for the creation and management of web content. Documentum Branch Office Caching Perhaps the most intriguing feature of the new release is the ability for remote locations to run local versions of EMC Documentum and periodically "sync up" with the home office. Considering most organizations that can afford to deploy EMC Documentum across their infrastructures are so large that they have multiple locations, the opportunity to better utilize the investment in an enterprise content management system might shorten the upgrade schedule. Along with the promised features, EMC Documentum hopes to generate interest from the software development community by sponsoring a developer contest. EMC is looking for the best and brightest ECM applications built on top of the new version of EMC Documentum. The submissions will be reviewed by an internal committee of experts -- and the first prize is US$ 50,000. (Nothing like cash to light a fire under a group of ECM developers.) Do you want to learn more about the new version of EMC Documentum? If so, it might behoove you to tune in to the live webcast on August 15th entitled, "What's new in D6." If you absolutely cannot wait until then, head to the website and read to your heart's content. Is your organization currently using Documentum? Are you excited or nervous about D6? When do you see your organization making the upgrade? We'd love to hear your answers to these questions. Jump down to the comments section and tell us what you think.