One of the most heavily attended sessions is always the roadmap presentations. It is a packed room (could have used a bigger room – probably 120 folks with 30 standing) right after lunch and before Rohit’s keynote. This post will present our quick review of the roadmap with some thoughts on how it compares to previous roadmap discussions.
Overall Thoughts on Roadmap Presentation
The last two years we were impressed with Aaron Aubrecht’s Roadmap presentations. As we mentioned last year, the amount of “futures” were more realistic and, when looking at 2013 to 2014 roadmaps, most of the commitments in 2013 had been accomplished in 2014.
The difficult part of this year’s presentation was that almost no future dates were thrown out. In talking with clients afterwards, we were all disappointed that the roadmap presentation was really just a mapping of where we are – not necessarily where Documentum is going in the future. Hints were dropped that Rohit’s keynote (the next presentation) would really talk about what is coming next.
What’s New in 7.2
Documentum 7.2 includes:
- Stronger Trust and Security Options
- New EMC Storage Certifications
- Expanded REST Services
- Optimized xPlore 1.5
- Content Transformation Services
- Facilitated Upgrade and Migration
The theme of 7.2 was continued integration into EMC products. Components included:
- EMC RSA Integration – D7.2 – Improving Security – AES-192 bit & AES-256 bit (optional). Includes RSA Lockbox – provides additional security gate to secure the top level AEL encryption keys from malicious, accidental Exposure, or system corruption. Optional includes SHA-2 SSL Certificates (patch from 7.1) along with Kerberos Constrained Delegation (KCD)
- EMC Storage – EMC ViPR Content Store (New and not on plan last year) – Storage management can be optimized and automated within the Sofrware Defined Data Center for faster solution roll-out and greater IT efficiency. EMC Isilon SmartLock, Data Domain Retention Lock – Certification of Retention Policy Services (RPS) against WORM-enabled Data Domain Retention Lock and Isilon SmartLock via NFS. EMC ViPR CAS – Vipr Retention Certification via ViPR CAS and the Centera Content Store.
Another area Patrick discussed was expansion of REST services. REST hasn’t quite caught up in regards to the full capabilities of the DFC API. Patrick presented:
- Improved Search Productivity – Includes Full-Text, XPath Search Filtering, Facet navigation, Thumbnails Embedded
- Safely Bundle Requests with Batch Transactions – Wrap Multiple Client Requests into One, Rollback Supported, Improve Performance, Reduce Network Traffic
- Expand through Extensibility – Add-on New Behavior for Better Solution Fit, Forwards Compatible Customizations – allows to extend for things not covered in REST that are available in other APIs.
Some slight concern here as solution teams are using to extend. As mentioned in our Prep post, understand which components are solutions versus products.
- Reduced TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) – Cross Repository Subscriptions, Backwards Compatibly to 6.7 SP2
- Test and Security – Privacy Options for Audit Records, Term splitting for German, Chinese and French
- Performance and Scalability – Parallel Summary Calculations, Improved Warm Up
- Manageability – Index-Query Throttling, Optimized Two-Stage Evaluative Merge Behavior
Optimized Transformation Services
Patrick stumbled slightly here. For folks not in the know, Documentum Transformation Services (DTS) switched away from Adlib (had been imbedded) for 7.1 and leveraged other tools (Microsoft Tools were mentioned). While this was an approach to reduce cost, Patrick admitted that it cost clients quality.
- Documents – As-Is Print to PDF with optional new MS Office 2013 Integration, for Preview, Archiving and Legal Discovery, PDF 1/a, MS Project. Using Microsoft Office but reports are that this was not successful. Announcing that teaming with Adlib again (and a session will be tomorrow) to focus on quality.
- Video – H.265, VP9, ATRAC3, True Audio.
Lots of time was spent talking about how to facilitate and upgrade & migration
- Cleaner Upgrade Practices with Less Restrictions
- Automated Encryption Upgrade Tools
- Certified Consolidation Practices
- More Documented Upgrade Scenarios
Push was to upgrade as the repository moved to more extended support.
Streamlined Upgrade Process
One of the more interesting discussions was around better support for different interfaces on versions of Documentum. Upgrading, specifically the full stack, has always been an issue with Documentum. Clients have struggled with wanting the new back-end (Documentum 7.2) but having to upgrade their front-end to take advantage of the backend. We talked about it before but have always recommended clients to consider upgrading the repository outside of the interface. Patrick presented how the following front-ends can all run on the 7.2 back-end:
- Webtop 6.8
- TaskSpace 6.7 SP2
- DAM 6.5 SP6
- D2 4.5
- xCP 2.2
Some scenarios where this makes sense include:
- Client on D6.x client and D6.7 Platform. 1) Could upgrade interface to D2 4.5 or Webtop 6.8 to run on durrent D6.7. 2) At a later point could upgrade repository to D7.2 (because D2 4.5 or Webtop 6.8 run on it). 3) Could add XCP 2.2 in a third step for new application (since that only works on 7.x)
- Client on xPlore 1.3 and D6.7. 1) Could upgrade xPlore to 1.5. 2) Could upgrade later to Documentum 7.2.
- Client on xPlore 1.3 and D6.7 1) Could upgrade Documentum 7.2 2) Could upgrade later to xPlore 1.5
This is a powerful push in that it gives clients the ability to move to the newer repositories or interfaces without having to upgrade the entire stack.
Future Investments for Documentum
- Reduced TCO – Open Source Certifications – Agile Expansion
- Trust and Security – Distributed Authentication, Federated Identiies, Dynamic Enrollment, Segregated Security Roles
- Performance and Scalability – Context Aware Applications, Global Content Access, High volume Ingest
- Manageability – Rolling Upgrades, Integrity across Distributed Data Centers, Remote monitoring and Administration
Rolling Upgrades and Mixed Mode Certifications – focused on reduced business downtime
- Dormant State – Read Only Mode – would rather see a Delta approach here.
- Decoupled Interop – Run in certified mixed mode environment
- Delayed Indexing
- Shared Acceptance
Context Awareness and Recommendation
- Beyond Fulltext beyond semantics
- Contextual Prediction
- Smarter Applications
- Knowledge Base and Subject Matter Expertise
This was a disappointing part of the presentation. Not sure what here is something that would get clients excited as this seems very evolutionary and didn’t address client’s concerns about existing repositories and interfaces.
We commented last year that the lack of a Documentum 8 on the Roadmap was a product of where ECD (IIG/Documentum) stands with Documentum. This year, the roadmap was very plain hinting to Rohit’s keynote where the “new and sexy” thing would be unveiled with still no mention of anything past Documentum 7.2.
Most of the new improvements to the existing repository either included additional support for EMC products (storage or security) or small evolutionary (not revolutionary) improvements to REST, xPlore and transformation services.
As presented earlier in the xCP Roadmap, one of Documentum’s strengths is their existing install base and existing clients. Documentum is addressing those clients and helping those clients to move to the new platforms by providing new small fixes and enhancements and flexibility in upgrading the product stack. Whether this is a focus on client satisfaction or keeping clients on Documentum is up to the reader to decide.
Let us know your thoughts below.