Attended three good sessions this afternoon. First one was EMC Documentum Architecture Overview – Part 1 by Jeroen van Rotterdam, Second was Rick Devenuti Keynote – last presentation was John McCormick “What’s Next” Product Roadmap. This post will try to summarize the three presentations with some thoughts on the overall product direction.
Documentum Webtop Futures
You might be asking – “Webtop – I thought from last year that EMC wasn’t investing in it anymore”. Clients are concerned that they me be forced to move from Webtop to either xCP or Centerstage based on presentations at last year’s EMC World. John McCormick was pretty clear in his comment in our post as well as during the roadmap presentation. “Webtop will be around for quite some time”. Specifically:
– There will be a Webtop release as part of the D7 Platform
– Focus continues to be on quality, performance, security, reliability and exposing new platform capabilities
– New in 6.7 – WebSeal SSO, UCF.NET, Usage Tracking, Office 2010 Support for App Connectors
All current Webtop clients should not be concerned. As it ties to other items in the Roadmap, Webtop will be supported for quite some time.
Focus for Recent Releases
All presentations were consistent that the focus the following overall goals:
2010 – Quality
2011 – Performance/Simplicity
2012 – Public Cloud
Specifically, the recent 6.7 release being focused on performance and a “Quality Release” rather than introducing new interfaces will be welcome news for clients. As mentioned in the morning post, Web Services approach focused on REST API that will be built on DFC. CMIS also an option with DFS. Again, good news as some clients were concerned DFC would be replaced by DFS only. Big release will be xCP 2.0 targeted for 2nd half of 2012. Lots of work with the REST API before that happens.
Lots of discussions around the “new” developer and how the REST API will provide a better way for either xCP or custom applications to be developed quickly. One interesting tidbit heard during the architecture discussion was that “80% of Clients customize Webtop and Documentum should have an environment that allows/supports customization”. The new development environment, xCP 2.0 will be a major release. Components of new environment include:
- Services Model – both Platform REST as well as Application REST (xCP Build – Focused on Spring)
- UI Model – will have a “highly optimized custom UI for thoughts of apps and millions of users” while minimizing custom development, leveraging Webtop 2.0 technologies and providing for choice computing/mobile. (Does that seem like a stretch goal to anyone?)
- Built around Spring/ExtJS as the UI Framework – will run on REST Web Services with Runtime Framework, Component Library and Application Model.
TSG was lucky enough to start working with Documentum on Development environments back in 1999-2000 with the late (and great) Dave Ross. At the time, Dave was working defining the development environment for Documentum that eventually ended up being WDK. At the time, we (TSG) really pushed for more of an easy to use library approach were we could call Documentum from a variety of development environments.
Overall – Given announcements, DFS, CMIS, DFC and REST API would seem to be steps in providing a variety of development environments with access to Documentum, each having their pros and cons. Somewhat concerned in regards to the xCP 2.0 effort (specifically component library). Seems rather large and guiding vision including Case, Mobile, REST, Spring/ExtJS would be a complex challenge.
One interesting demonstration during Rick’s presentation was a new iPad application for looking at content in Documentum. Application had some interesting components – viewing videos as well as commenting and how those comments would be consistent with CenterStage. During John McCormick’s presentation, John was pushed for the name of that application. Given that John struggled, we would say that this application, like many of the announcements from IIG, are pretty new and we would expect marketing efforts, like naming, to happen as the product matures. Looking forward to more during Jeetu’s presentation on Tuesday.
Buzzwords and Futures
All presentations include dropping Buzzwords while talking futures. Rick’s presentation had lots of discussion around Choice Computing/Mobile, Social, Cloud, Hybrid Cloud and many others. On concern for existing customers would be how much of the futures, particularly Cloud product direction is being driven from EMC rather than from current Documentum customers.
Rick announced the Virtual Cube – VCUBE – Container protected by EMC’s firewall in the cloud. Multi-product, multi-service container – runs all the applications (not just one). Take a single tenant application – can run off-premise. Cloud based solutions managed on premise or off premise.
More on all of these as we go to additional presentations.
IIG announced partnerships with Cisco and Box (box.net). We are going to get more info in Jeetu’s keynote today on both alliances (Day 2). Cisco Quad if focused on Enterprise Social Collaboration Platform. xCP plays into the development environment that exposes this to the user. Does have some ties into GreenPlum (other EMC offering) – Jeetu showed a demo
In regards to Box – press release is here. http://venturebeat.com/2011/05/09/box-emc-cloud-deal/
From the release – “The company’s web application will basically serve as a front-end access point for the files stored on private servers with EMC’s Documentum software. That means that any changes made to the file on Box.net will automatically carry over to the file stored in Documentum, and vice versa. The idea is to ensure companies that use Documentum give their employees multiple ways to access files stored on in-house servers — such as through a BlackBerry or an iPad.”
While it is difficult for us to comment on the alliances (some might remember the “big” announcement with SAP last year that resulted in nothing), both present interesting solutions. We would think the Box .net would provide an interesting collaboration tool with content stored in Documentum. Social is something that is interesting but not sure it is what clients are requesting.
Trying to wrap up this post to make it down for Day 2 activities. Overall thoughts:
– Rick Devenuti is a positive influence to shake things up. He concluded his keynote with a focus on both partners and customers loyalty and satisfaction. Jeetu seems to be a positive influence as well (waiting on his keynote)
– IIG doing a better job listening to customers (Webtop to live another day – Performance/Quality releases).
– IIG very much pitching futures focused on REST API and upcoming applications/development environments.
– Alliances with Box.Net and Cisco announced – presents interesting solutions.
Overall, our thoughts are a “wait and see” – lots of things need to happen in the next 6 months based on announcements and product direction. As a veteran of previous Momentum’s, we have seen announcements (CenterStage 2008, SAP Alliance 2010) that did not materialize. Clients should get involved in early adopter programs to gauge if announcements are playing out.