EMC Documentum Embraces SOA, Eclipse

The information systems provider augments its enterprise content management with Web services and the Eclipse IDE.

EMC (Quote) brushed the dust off its Documentum software, issuing the company's first major upgrade of the enterprise content management (ECM) platform in more than two years.

EMC Documentum 6 has been crafted to better handle Web services, whereas the March 2005 release of Documentum 5.3 was rewritten significantly to share the same code base, security model, repository, object model and programming interfaces.

Karin Ondricek, who works in Documentum platform marketing for EMC's content management and archiving unit, said the main thrust of Documentum 6 is on building, configuring and deploying applications for service-oriented architecture (SOA) systems.

"We're seeing a lot of customers look around their IT environments and see that they have systems from three, four or five different vendors," Ondricek said. "That's incredibly expensive from a maintenance perspective, so they're starting to move toward a standardization model, which means using fewer vendors to deploy more applications on a common back-end."

To address the challenges associated with disparate platforms, Documentum 6 includes a Web services-based API (define) that helps enterprise content services work with other business applications within a SOA.

This API is a departure from the proprietary Documentum API, because it offers a vendor-neutral framework for developers working with content-management tools.

In essence, services built with the API were designed to allow developers with no Documentum experience to build ECM applications quickly and easily.

EMC hasn't stopped there with regard to standardization; its Documentum Composer is now based on the Eclipse integrated development environment (IDE), which reduces the need for manual coding and reuses assets in classic SOA fashion.

Like the new content services API, Composer is an alternative to proprietary tools that existed independently and served specific functions.

Finally, Documentum 6 features branch office caching to help local business users view, create, edit and search content from the platform at a high level of performance, regardless of where they are.

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