D2 Overview – Part I

As part of TechSet 2012, I attended three days of D2 training.  I have been interested in D2 ever since I first heard rumblings about it last year.  Part of my interest stemed from just trying to stay ahead of my clients with Documentum knowledge, but I was also genuinely interested to see what Documentum had developed as their next generation web client.  In addition, information about and access to the actual client was a little hard to come by further shrouding the software in mystery.  Well, no longer.  In the next few posts I will provide an overview of what I learned in D2 training, along with some of my own thoughts and insights. 

What is D2? 

D2 is Documentum’s new web-based client developed by the newly acquired French company, C6.  D2 is based upon the concept of configuration, as opposed to coding, the UI.  EMC’s stated vision is to consolidate Documentum’s various clients onto two platforms:  D2 and xCP 2.0.

D2 is currently offered in two flavors:  Premium and PlusPack.  The differences between the flavors are explained here.

D2 consists of two web applications:  the D2-Client and, D2-Config.  These are installed as two separate WAR files on your application server.  It should be obvious that the D2-Config application is used to configure the D2-Client.  A repository can have only one D2 installation, unlike Webtop or custom WDK applications.  If multiple “applications” are to be developed for a single repository, all configurations are created and stored in the repository, and each “application” is defined in D2-Config and presented to users using the D2-Client based upon their roles and permissions in the repository.  This concept is somewhat akin to how TaskSpace works.  The thing to note is that the URL for the D2 -Client is always the same regardless of which “application” a user may be using.

In general, the D2-Client UI is not a huge departure from Webtop as far as look and feel (see below).  I found this to be a bit disappointing.  I was hoping that this client would be really cutting-edge and more Web 2.0-ish.  That being said, the UI does sport some nice new features like a great virtual document manager, and a details pane that can quickly display a document’s location, renditions, versions, relationships with other documents, audit trail entries, and other handy stuff.

The D2-Config application makes heavy use of configuration matrices (see below).  UI components are created  (configured) and appear as rows in the matrix.  Document Sets (i.e., “scopes”) are created and appear as columns.  Configurations are then assigned to Document Sets to create the D2-Client UI.

Documentum has positioned D2 as the prefered client for all content-centric ECM applications.  That being the case, D2 sports tons of features focused on content management that can easily be configured to meet most requirements.  For example:

  • Basic library services,
  • Virtual document management,
  • Repository navigation,
  • Annotations,
  • Renditions,
  • Releations,
  • Cut/Copy/Paste,
  • Searching,
  • Lifecycles,
  • Workflows, and
  • Administration.

I fear the rub will come the first time you need to implement a feature not currently supported by D2.  D2 does have a plugin architecture and supposedly an extensible pallet of screen controls and backing logic.  Unfortunately, the training did not cover those features and the documentation on the topic is TBD.

Next time I’ll give some insight about how D2 is put together and how installation/deployment works.

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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.

4 Responses to D2 Overview – Part I

  1. A great series of posts on D2 experiences. It is surprising that ‘web 2.0ish’ looks aren’t more of a priority for vendors, a happier, more beautiful UX can keep people happy, even with minor setbacks.

    Like

  2. at223 says:

    Hi Scott
    Thanks for providing this overview. Tell me, is D2 is equivalent Documentum V7.0?

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    • Scott says:

      No, D2 is a new client that EMC is positioning as the way forward for content-centric Documentum applications. It is currently available, and will be compatible with Documentum v7 when it is released.

      Like

  3. Ghady says:

    does anyone have any idea about the price of the platform ?

    Like

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