As many Documentum customers know, the end of 2012 saw the initial official release of Documentum D7, something that was announced back at EMC World in May. We have recently been evaluating the release to determine what’s new, what’s changed, and what the potential impacts could be for our clients as they plan for the future. We will be posting to the blog over the next weeks as we proceed through our evaluations and test upgrade paths so be sure to stay tuned, but we wanted to share some initial thoughts as well.
What’s In The D7 Release
Perhaps the most important thing for existing customers to realize now is this initial D7 release is primarily focused on the back-end technologies in the Documentum platform as opposed to the client facing products.
The following components of the Documentum platform were included in the initial D7 Release:
- Branch Office Caching Services
- Content Intelligence Services
- Content Management Interoperability Services
- Content Server
- Content Transformation Services
- Documentum Administrator
- Documentum Foundation Classes
- Documentum Foundation Services
- High Volume Server
- Thumbnail Server
- XML Store
The first thing we noticed is the only client included in this initial release was Documentum Administrator. There are no Webtop, DAMTop, DCM, or other client releases. From what we are able to gather, the only other Documentum clients certified right now against D7 would be those built with the recently released Documentum xCP 2.0 platform.
Documentum has plans to support the legacy clients, and of course we would expect D2 to be certified against D7 as well. According to information on the EMC Community site, certification for Webtop-based clients would come through a 6.7 Service Pack release sometime in Q1 or Q2.
The other interesting take-away for us was the inclusion of Documentum Foundation Classes (DFC) and Documentum Foundation Services (DFS) in this release. This means our solutions such as HPI, ActiveWizard, and OpenMigrate which were built upon these technologies will likely be able to upgrade to D7 right away. We would expect customers with custom applications built directly upon the DFC or DFS would be able to move immediately as well.
What Is In The D7 Release?
So far we have looked primarily at the Content Server release as it is the key component in the platform for most customers. The primary changes we think most clients will be interested in for D7 include:
- Intelligent Session Management (ISM) – D7 improves the way sessions are managed by allowing for multiplexed sessions which allow several users to share the same connections at the same time. This promises to reduce the number of active sessions and therefore the resources required at any one time. Hopefully this will show in performance improvements at the application level – we will report as we continue our evaluation.
- Enhanced Type Caching – The method in which sessions cache type information has been updated in D7 for those utilizing the Windows platform. This promises to reduce memory and resource usage while improving overall performance.
- Virtual Deployment Enhancements – For clients utilizing virtualized environments for Documentum, D7 provides the ability to more completely integrate into the management infrastructure for the virtual environment. Functionality such as graceful shutdowns and startups of all Documentum components, failover, and monitoring abilities.
We will be evaluating and posting on the other components in the stack, but at a glance it looks like the major additions for Content Server are focused on performance as well as providing more robust support for virtual environments.
As opposed to providing a lot of new functionality and features beyond performance and system management for legacy customers, it seems like the initial D7 release is primarily intended to provide the foundation for the next generation clients from EMC (xCP 2.0, future D2 releases). Since there do not appear to be major core changes, we would not have a lot of hesitation in moving to D7 as we might with other major “.0” releases.
Clients should be aware that the official release of the 7.0 release does put them on the clock in regards to support of previous releases. Current support schedules include:
- 6.5 Platform – Support for the majority of the 6.5 products expired on 08/31/2012
- 6.6 Platform – Support will expire for the majority of the 6.6 products on 06/30/2014
- 6.7 Platfrom – Support will expire for the majority of the 6.7 products on 04/29/2015
We will be looking to certify our products against D7 soon, and customers with custom clients will likely be able to do the same. But obviously for many customers this kind of move will have to wait until the release of certified versions of the Webtop-based products.
Continue to watch the blog for additional info as we dive more deeply into D7 and report on the experience. Has your organization started to look at D7? We would love to hear your comments or thoughts.