TechSet 2012 Wrap Up (part 1)

This past week I had the pleasure of attending the 2012 TechSet conference in Washington, D.C.  It was a one day affair, not at all like the week-long 4i TechSet back in 1999 that was more like a mini-Momentum.  Anyway, the conference was good and I am glad that EMC is starting to host them again.  So, what was the point of TechSet 2012?  Well, it was about releases, roadmaps, and revelations, or so Jeroen van Rotterdam told us.  It also had a good dose of integration best practices, a deep dive on D2 and xCP 2.0, a good general panel discussion on everything Documentum, and a look at how EMC perceives and implements pervasive information governance.  I will summarize the high points from each of these areas.

Releases, Roadmaps, and Revelations (Jeroen van Rotterdam)

  • IIG is focusing on four themes this year:
    • new users – new business users and new developers.  New UIs and clients (D2 and mobile);
    • business transformation – transforming the way business is accomplished with new core platforms that perform and scale (xCP 2, D7, Captiva);
    • journey to the cloud – the ubiquitous node to the parent company (OnDemand);
    • pervasive governance – the ultimate control of information inside and outside of an organization (Kazeon, IRM, RM).
  • Jeroen presented a roadmap of products that did not differ from the one I posted here.
  • Jeroen expects that in the future, the mobile client for Documentum will be where new features and capabilities will be introduced first, with the other clients following.
  • D2 is the next generation of Documentum clients, and promises better separation of logic and technology.  The goal is to start collapsing the broad pallet of Documentum clients into one platform.  There are three classes of UI creation:  configure, compose, code.  Documentum is investing heavily in the first two but has not abandoned the third.
  • There is no silver bullet approach to migrating Webtop-based UIs and components to D2.  We’ve seen this every time Documentum has changed UI paradigms (Workspace -> DTC, RightSite -> Webtop).  It shouldn’t be a surprise when you think about it.  Webtop has been around for 10 years, think of how technology and UI design have changed in that amount of time.
  • The next release of Captiva (of which I saw a short demo during on one of the breaks) will have completely web-based scanning clients.  No more ActiveX desktop deployments.  Captiva achieved this by bundling a web server in the ISIS/TWAIN scanner drivers.  This way, each driver is its own web server and can access desktop resources (i.e., the scanner) while communicating with your browser and the Captiva server.  Captiva 7 will also sport a new, and much-needed (IMHO see here) integrated development and administration tool (yea!).
  • xCP 2.0 has completely unified developement tool, and it isn’t Composer.  It will include:
    • information models,
    • processes,
    • integration with external systems,
    • search,
    • data visualization and aggregation, and
    • UI.
  • A long-term vision for the next generation information server (Content Server of the future) might include:
    • multi-tenant, public and private cloud architecture;
    • RESTful web services using JSON (note:  DFS is not going away, nor is the DFC for that matter) ;
    • xDB database.
  • D7 Content Server will support virtual deployments to VMware infrastructures as I previously reported, as well as the “do-it-yourself” installations that we all know and love.  More on D7 VMware deployments can be found here.

Developer Conference and Boot Camp (Mike Mohen)

  • Mike reported some interesting statistics:
    •  50% of the solutions he sees in the field use .Net.  This surprises me given Documentum’s spotty support of .Net and the fact that the .Net version of the UCF wasn’t released until D6.7.
    • WSDL web services are in decline while RESTful web services are increasing.
    • CMIS is active and in the field, but not as pervasive as one would hope.
  • Mike’s advice for training and technology emphasis to ramp up for D7:
    • Spring,
    • vFabric,
    • GemFire,
    • REST.
  • Three utilities/sample projects that may be of use to DFS developers are:
    • DFS Tester – good for troubleshooting DFS web services and a good C# sample project for beginners.
    • DFS JMeter – a good testing harness for DFS web service based solutions.  Analogous to WebRunner.
    • DFSX – DFS extensions and utility classes.  DFSX is an open source project.

D2 Demo (Austin Spread)

I will comment more in the coming weeks regarding the D2 training I attended as part of TechSet.

  • The D2 client consists of two web applications:  D2-Client and D2-Config.  D2-Config is used to set up, configure and administer applications that are accessed via the D2-Client web app.
  • The D2 UI paradigm is very much Webtop/Desktop Client.  I found this to be a little disappointing.  I was hoping for something a little fresher, modern, more Web2.0-ish.  Don’t get me wrong, it looks modern and clean, but the basic approach to accessing and managing content hasn’t changed.
  • Out of the box, D2 supplies 16 configurable components that can be customized to meet most ECM needs.  There will be a capability to add custom components using a D2 plugin API and ExtJS, but it is not available right now (D2 4.0 later this year?).
  • D2 configuration is predicated on developing rules that are fed to a rules engine.  These rules are developed using configuration options and matrices exposed through the D2-Config application.
  • Application configurations are stored in the Docbase, can be versioned, and can be imported/exported to other environments.
  • Some concerns and issued raised during the discussion about D2’s implementation:
    • D2’s interaction with the Docbase is different from Webtop’s.  This may cause BOF modules not to function as expected or at least as the currently do.  The reason seems to be with the timing and frequency with which D2 talks to the Docbase during object manipulation.
    • D2 has its own lifecycles (i.e., not built on dm_policy objects).  That’s great for D2 (it includes a nice lifecycle editor) but bad for anything outside of D2.
    • D2 only works with Workflow Manager workflows (not Process Builder).  This will change with D2 4.0.  Workflows are able to implement D2 lifecycle promotions/demotions using D2 workflow methods.
    • It was repeated frequently that EMC\Documentum is only a few weeks into the acquisition of C6 (the French company that developed D2) and there are still a lot of unknowns both technologically and strategically.

In my next post I will summarize the highlights from the xCP 2.0 and Pervasive Governance presentations given at TechSet 2012.


About Scott
I have been implementing Documentum solutions since 1997. In 2005, I published a book about developing Documentum solutions for the Documentum Desktop Client (ISBN 0595339689). In 2010, I began this blog as a record of interesting and (hopefully) helpful bits of information related to Documentum, and as a creative outlet.

One Response to TechSet 2012 Wrap Up (part 1)

  1. Nice summary. Wish you had made it to the reception.



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