D2 was a popular theme at EMC World this year. I attended the following 2 sessions on Wednesday, May 23rd. This post will discuss the sessions with our observations.
- Migrating Webtop applications to D2
- Working with Configurations – Take a Deep Dive with EMC Documentum D2
EMC is not suggesting that all Webtop applications move to D2. They suggest looking at factors such as number of customizations, if customizations are easy or hard to support and other factors to make your determination on if your application should :
- Stay in webtop
- Move to D2
- Move to xCP
If you do determine that your content should move, below are a few new items that I learned from Wednesday’s presentations.
Content needs to be Transformed – D2 has a more complicated object model than your standard Webtop application. This is necessary to support the additional configuration layer that D2 provides. Any object/document that is governed by D2 needs to be transformed to work properly in D2. The transformation does not involve migration, object conversion, extraction, or modifying the object id. Instead, it involves relating the existing object/document to the D2 template objects. EMC has developed a tool to transform the objects and create this relationship. This tool is currently called Project Monorail. An audience member expressed concern about performing this transformation on a docbase containing a few million records. The presenter said they are building the tool to handle large data sets. 20 million may require some planning, but a few million should not be an issue.
Requires more Server Resources – I didn’t catch exactly how much, but since the application uses a servlet architecture, server resources such as heap size and garbage collection settings will need to be increased. There is a sizing guide available to assist with this.
Not as Many Restarts – Because the architecture is servlet-based, changes to the D2 configuration can be deployed without requiring a restart. This is a subtle benefit, but very nice to not have to request downtime windows for minor configuration updates. However, you may need to watch what type of configuration update you are rolling out and what happens if it interrupts a transaction.
Moving Webtop Customizations
- TBO’s and SBO’s – According to the presenter functionality contained in TBO’s and SBO’s such as auto numbering, applying of lifecycles, security, etc. should easily map into D2. These would be implemented by inheriting configurations set for a document type. In future releases they are looking at allowing these items to be inherited/applied based on folder inheritance.
- Webtop UI Customizations – D2 does allow a custom menu action or a new button to be added, but outside of that, you cannot currently modify the D2 UI. It was stated that D2 is very restrictive on the UI changes, to make sure the upgrade path remains simple and clean. I originally thought that there would be no ability to modify anything in the UI – so the fact that these options are available, gave me some level of comfort.
- Webtop Customizations in Java Objects – These customizations cannot be flatly migrated to D2. However, they can be re-written and implemented leveraging the plug-in feature available in D2. They gave examples of how plugins could be called when an action is taken (i.e. button is clicked). They also can be called for pre or post processing on an event. Once again, this pleasantly surprised me and made me think that there were hooks available in D2 to get those simple Webtop customizations working in D2.
Move Partly to D2 – If you have two applications running against one docbase, you can take one application and place it in D2 and leave the other in Webtop. They do not recommend that you use two different interfaces (D2 and Webtop) to access the content unless one of the interfaces is read only. This makes perfect sense and it is also nice to know that you could move part of the content.
Specification/Config Document Generation – D2 contains the ability to generate a specifications document that documents the configuration settings. This is a nice feature that eliminates a tedious, error prone and manual task that developers typically detest!
Simplified Deployment – Once a configuration is complete, the configuration can be exported to a zip file to move the configuration into the different environments (QA, Test, Training, Production, etc.). This is much simpler than the effort that is currently required to deploy Webtop customizations and configurations and reduces the chance that something will be missed.
So all-in-all, some intriguing information about D2. I’m anxious to see if my clients with simple Webtop customizations can really fit into this D2 configuration model. I’m definitely waiting for D2 4.0 and the cross browser support and removal of admin requirements to install. But I’m anxious to see what can be done!
You can find our other posts on D2 by clicking here.