Tidbits from Momentum DevCon 2013

I gathered a few tidbits at the first day of Momentum Devcon 2013 and thought I would share them:

  • Documentum Developer editions are returning (this after just bemoaning their demise).  Some time after the release of D7.1 (Q4 2013) the following developer editions will be available for download (roughly 8 GB VMware images):
    • D2 4.2 (D7.1/Linux/Postgres)
    • xCP 2.1 (D7.1/Linux/Postgres)
    • D7.1 mobile/REST (D7.1/Linux/Postgres)
    • Note the use of Postgres.  This is a new experiment for EMC.  If you like it, let them know.  This could be the first step in helping customers eliminate DB costs.
  • Captiva will be releasing a Mobile Toolkit to develop content capture applications for smartphones (Android and iOS)
  • EMC is building a world-wide Software as a Service (SaaS) infrastructure geared toward the public cloud and featuring xCP, xDB, Casandra, GreenPlum…
  • There are long-term plans to overlap some of the capabilities of D2 and xCP, further blurring the lines between them.  For example, xCP may get a configuration engine like D2, D2 may get a process engine like xCP.  There are no immediate plans to integrate the two platforms.  Cross-over features are being handled on a case-by-case basis.  If you have a case, make it to EMC.
  • xCP 2.1 will introduce a “type adoption” feature to allow xCP to reuse existing object types (et. al), to help reduce upgrade/migration pain
  • xCP 2.1 will expose Aspects (this is a much requested/needed feature that has been promised for a while)
  • Webtop will receive a 6.8 upgrade next year that will effectively extend its service life to 2020.  UPDATE:  more on Webtop 6.8

Later this week I will share the product road map.  As you might expect, D7.1 will be released soon (Q4 2013) with some nice new features.  I will recap the highlights as they unfold.

UPDATE:  Jeroen VanRotterdam’s blog recapping his keynote address.

xCP2.0 Tidbits from Momentum DevCon 2012

Here are some interesting tidbits I gleaned while working through the xCP2.0 hands-on sessions at Momentum DevCon.  My impression of xCP2.0 is very favorable.  The xCP Designer looks nice, functions well (though not always intuitively), and produces very good applications.  The goal — as it has been for some time — is “compose, don’t code” applications.  xCP2.0 goes a long way toward making that a reality for the masses, not just for simple applications.  We talked through what we thought were some corner cases during the sessions and in most cases, we determined what needed to be done could be accomplished with the tools in xCP and the xCP Designer without coding.  There were some exceptions, but not many.

Here are some important bullet points I recorded during the conference:

  • Because the source files are all just XML files, they can easily be controlled with a source code control system.
  • xCP Designer is a completely off-line modeler, meaning you don’t need to be connected to a repository to develop an application, and when you change or delete objects, you are only affecting your local hard drive.
  • There is absolutely no use of WDK in xCP2.0.  xCP applications use extJS, JavaScript, Java classes, REST web services, and HTML5.
  • xCP2.1 will include migration tools to help move xCP1.x applications into xCP2.x.  This does NOT include the UI, which will need to be recreated from scratch.  Ouch!  Note that in xCP2.0 you can’t import object models, workflows, anything, these will all need to be recreated until the migration tools are released in xCP2.1.
  • xCP2.0 has unified the expression language used everywhere in the environment.  Yea!
  • xMS is used for deployment of applications regardless of whether VMware is used or not.  xMS does a great job of deploying files to the application server that constitute the UI, and objects to the repository that constitute the DAR.  UI pages, actions, etc. are converted to RESTful web services, class files, and JSP and deployed as WAR files to the application server.  There is no more middle-layer framework like there was in TaskSpace for rendering the UI.
  • xCP2.0 produces applications that are very fast.  Some of this speed can be credited to general performance improvements in the D7 core platform.
  • Uninstalling an xCP2.x application is possible, and the procedure will be published as a white paper in Q1 2012.  Eventually a tool will be produced to uninstall xCP2.x applications.
  • Composer is still the tool of choice (the only choice?) for creating and installing BOF objects.
  • xCP2.0 does not handle virtual documents and there is no plan to ever support them.  Most virtual document structures can be modeled in xCP using relationships.
  • Per- and post-installation routines will be handled by the xCP2.1 installer (xMS).
  • Stateless processes called from the xCP2.0 UI run on the application server, not in the Process Engine on the Content Server.  Stateless processes called from a stateful process run on the JMS.
  • xCP2.0 does not use the UCF.  All content transfer is native HTML5 transport.  This means on checkin, you must specify the file to checkin, Documentum will no longer magically know where it resides.
  • No Single Sign On support in xCP2.0.
  • No hot key support in xCP2.0, which means it will not be 508 compliant.  It is planned for xCP2.1.
  • xCP2.0 has 6 well designed extension points which will likely allow you to do anything you can imagine inside the framework.   POJOs can be used in stateless processes (without including DFC interfaces), custom auto activities, custom functions and expressions, 3rd-party DB drivers, JavaScript custom widgets, and themes.
  • xCP2.0 is shipping without the Process Builder debugger.  Bummer! , that was an awesome and useful tool.  It should resurface in xCP2.1, and EMC is trying to develop an application-level debugger.  The new xCP Designer does have a Problems tab (like most IDEs) that can catch a lot of design-time errors.
  • xCP2.0 applications and DA cannot run in the same instance of the application server due to JAR conflicts.  BTW, Tomcat and TCServer (commercial Tomcat) are the only supported application servers for xCP2.0.

Tidbits from Momentum DevCon 2012

I attended the Momentum DevCon in Pleasanton this week.  I learned a lot about D2, xCP, and D7, which I will relay to you over the next few posts.  However, to begin with, I want to pass on some interesting tidbits and insights from the opening day’s Ask the Product Managers session.

  • There are no plans to upgrade Composer to a newer version of Eclipse.  The xCP Designer will become the development tool of choice moving forward.
  • If you have a solution working on Webtop, there is no rush to replace it with a D2 or xCP solution.  There are no plans to end-of-life Webtop, it will continue to be supported with updates and bug fixes.  There will not be any new innovation added to Webtop though, all innovation will be focused on D2 and xCP.
  • The long-term plan is that the D2 configuration layer will be extended to xCP and then MyDocumentum clients, uniting the client layer.
  • All service and server APIs are moving toward a RESTful implementation (D7.1), adding greater cross-platform support, scalability, etc..  DFC and DFS will continue to be supported, but no new innovations will be added to those code lines.  The only changes will be conversion to native 64-bit.
  • xMS (the xCelerated Management System), the new D7 deployment tool, will only work on VM environments employing vSphere, otherwise the install processes is same as it ever was.
  • EMC recommended using SDL Tridion to replace WebPublisher.
  • Neither xCP 2.0 or D2 v4.0 expose custom Aspects.  This was a surprise to most at the conference.  xCP is likely to add the functionality at a later date; D2 will not.  So, those of you using Aspect behavior or metadata will still be writing custom interfaces to expose them. I showed you how to do this in Webtop here.
  • xPlore still doesn’t support proximity searches and there are no plans to do so.  (Proximity searches let you search for words that are near each other, or in the same sentence, or paragraph.  Verity used to do this well.).  To be fair, the xPlore PM was not present.  The other PMs were not certain but didn’t recall that capability being on the road map.
  • The UCF is not going away, but its implementation is changing.  In D7, the UCF will leverage HTML 5 document transfer capabilities and not be implemented as the problematic applet it is today.
  • D2 does not provide a way to directly apply retention policies.  D2 can attach retention policies to content through a document life cycle (see comments for details).
  • D2 and xCP will move toward integration next year.  No one knows what this means, although it was previously stated that xCP controls would be able to run in D2.
  • D6.7 SP2 (due Q1 2013) clients will be pre-certified for D7, meaning they will run on Content Server 7.  This means you can upgrade your Content Server in advance of your UI stack (which always takes longer and is more complicated because of your customizations).
  • D7 is the largest single platform release in Documentum history, refreshing nearly every product associated with Documentum.
%d bloggers like this: