Monthly Archives: May 2008

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Star Trek – The Experience

Me on the bridge of USS Enterprise
I have always liked Science Fiction and as you might know got hooked on a few lately like Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, Eureka and a few others. However, a science fiction classic is Star Trek and I have watched quite a few even though I would not consider myself a real “Trekkie”. My favorite Star Trek show is Voyager with Captain Janeway as the commander (surprise…). Anyway when me and my colleague discovered that there was a big Star Trek attraction in Vegas we decided to try to squeeze it in. We did not have that high expectations but it turned out really good. It is located next to the Las Vegas Hilton hotel and it is actually a miniature theme-park in-door. The exhibitions are nicely done and the two attractions do really have the feel on Star Trek. I will always remember the feeling I had when we walked through a perfect replica of the sign-mark corridors of the Enterprise. It felt like being in the show actually – and the Borgs where actually a bit scary when you met them. We bought a big package and in that was included an option to have your picture taking while sitting in the chairs of the bridge and it was also a nice experience. The only stupid thing was that we noticed afterwards (!) that there were costumes for rent. So the hard conclusion is that if I ever get back to Vegas I need to do another photo where I can look as Janeway for real 🙂

Cirque Du Soleil at MGM Grand

Still feeliing rather sick today but managed to sleep rather well and rested in bed in my room at Luxor. Can be worse, after all. Watched C-span and the defense debates and it was rather interesting, especially the language they used. “The Gentlemen from Texas is recognized” was a phrase I heard a lot. Meant that the congressmen had been given the floor. It actually started raining as well – something I did not expect here in the middle of the desert.

Anyway, we had bought tickets to Cirque Du Soleil: Ka for this evening so I managed to fix my self up a bit and we started walking towards MGM Grand where it is being played. Before the show we went towards the Mexican restaurant called “Diego” and on our way we saw a small crowd and some stir among the people and flashes from cameras firing. I managed to see who generated all of this fuzz and in the middle was Robin Williams, probably on his way towards some activity before his Sunday performance at the MGM Grand.

After a nice mexican dinner in a really cool restaurant which mostly was in red we headed off to Cirque Du Soleil. The arena is huge and has a really cool design which makes you feel you have almost entered a different domain. The performance is a very well choreographed flow of both stylished and breathtaking acrobatics in all dimensions possible. The scene is a very impressive set of machinery which changes the whole scene in all possible ways. The theme is some mix of asian martial arts, mad max and some science fiction scenery. No one leaves there unmarvelled.

EMC World 2008 Reflections

This was a great conference I think which does not mean that things can’t be improved but let me come to that later on. I like the fact that the conference is very technical because it gives me a way to find out what can be done with this large toolbox that Documentum is. I found most more business-oriented presentations to superficial and the key point of all of them is usually reduced to: save money, do things faster, do things more efficiently and sell more stuff. All of which is pretty self-evident. I think it is great to have the ability to meet the product managers and ask those tricky questions that you have collected during the year. EMC also seem to be a fairly open company so roadmaps are frequently presented and discussion.

So how do I feel about Documentum now then. To sum it up: Finally, they understand the importance of sleek, nice and usable user interfaces. I have heard many saying that Documentum is a great platform but with rather crappy user interfaces. Now that is definately going away. It was so great to see the new Magellan interface which actually addresses many of the real capabilities that modern so called Knowledge Workers need. The MediaWorkSpace application which soon will have DAM capabilities is even cooler. A lot of the design is also inspired from a great company in Cupertino, California called Apple. MediaWorkSpace almost feel like a server-based version of iPhoto sometimes. Everything is getting service oriented which is just great for the integration efforts we all have. WebTop/DAM is also getting a visual overhaul which makes them on par with what you can see in Alfresco for instance. TaskSpace is getting even cooler in 6.5 and the configuration of the interface can almost be called easy now. So Documentum is definately looking better than ever now.

What can be improved then (and here I agree with Word of Pie a lot):
– Strengthen the Documentum (CMA) community by having all of us wear the yellow tag so we know who we can talk to about these things because the 6000 storage nerds does not seem to be interested at all in software.
– Move all the sessions into one area with a soft hang-out area in between.
– Previous year they apparently had something called “Meet the speakers” and that seem like a great event.
– I would like to have more focus in the sessions on particular products so you can plan for getting updates on all the ones you are using. I would for instance have liked a designated one about the DAM client. Combined them if necessary but state explicitly which products that are covered.
– More plugs for my laptop powercord. After all this is an IT-conference I really like to take notes on my computer. Even with double batteries for my PowerBook it is hard to last from 8.30 am to 6.15 pm.
– Bigger screens. Some rooms are huge and it is real hard to read the presentations from the back.
– Why not record at least the CMA sessions on video. After all EMC is all about digital content and it could be a nice show case of the rich media capabilities.
– Case studies are better than overview sessions. Always to hear more concrete experiences from customers.

Next year it is in Orlando. Maybe I am giving a speech then 🙂

Other EMC World 2008 references

I love air conditioning systems but they once again seem to have given me cold so I am sneezing and coughing all the time and use aspirin (Alvedon in Swedish) to get along. It is a bit sad since I just love being here at the conference.

Another reflection is that conferences like this involves a lot of walking. These three days I have been walking around 5 km a day at least. Actually more than I walk a normal work day 🙂

Met Laurence from Word of Pie the other day and he has been writing excellent notes from other sessions that I recommend reading:

EMC World 2008: ECM Shared Services in the real world
Random thoughs and Keynote
EMC World 2008: Documentum Performance, Scalability, and Sizing – Part 2
EMC World 2008: Introduction to EMC’s Next-Generation Knowledge Worker Client
EMC World 2008: Web 2.0 and Interactive Content Management
EMC World 2008: Documentum Foundation Services (DFS) – Best Practices and Real World Examples
EMC World 2008: Social Computing Meets R&D
Thoughts on EMC World 2008 and the ECM Professional
EMC World 2008: Best Practices for Designing and Deploying an Enterprise Document Capture Solution
EMC World 2008: Documentum Architecture Deep Dive

EMC World 2008: What is new with content transformations

Presented by Tim Shaw at EMC World 2008 in Las Vegas

Document Transformation Services (DTS) can transform
– MS Word, Excel, PPT, Project, VIsio to PDF and HTML
– PostScript (PS) to PDF
– WordPerfect to PDF and HTML

Advanced Document Transformation Services (ADTS)
– Additional formats, CAD, MSG EMC Mail, PDF/A, PDF/X output
– Merge, split, watermarks, overlays, bookmarks, hyperlinks, thumbnailing and storyboarding

Media Transformation Services (MTS)
– Transforming and analyzing graphics/illustrations, animations,
– Storyboarding of PDF and PPT
– Integration with streaming sevr
– Intelligenct presenation support
– XMP metadata round-tripping
– Today moves metadata between files in the transformation process

Audio/video Transformation Services (AVTS)
– Thumbnail
– Storyboad
– Transformation of all common video and audion
– Support for very lagre file architecture through Avalon

XML Transformation Services
– Transform XML to PDF, HTML, Compile HTML
– Support for DITA, DITAMAP, DocBook
– Provide PDF and HTML outputs for those
– Automatic pick of correct rendition for each channel

Note that renditions are below the object in the model….ACLs are on the object level but you can create new objects for each rendition and link them to the original.

Fully extensible through SDK and Java API
Admin features for CTS is available in DA

Transformations occur automatically on:
– Content import
-.Content versioning
– Life cycle state changes
– Workflow activities

It can also be triggered on demand through a transformation wizard

Automating Transformation
Invoked automatically based on format and documentum type
TIFF -> EPS
FAX -> PDF

Transformation parameters
You can hide certain paramenters
Convert to PDF
– Create to three different profiles with different selections available
Examples of settings:
– Read-only
– Allow printing
– Allow cut&paste in pdf
– Optimize for web
– Downsample

Chaining transformations so you can have parallell transformation running or having serial transformations in several steps.

Deployment Options – Architecture
One-to-many: One CTS working on several repositiories
Many-to-one: Multipole CTS working one repository
Many-to-one Tuned: Decide which components run on which server

New in 6.0
– Improved transformation UI
– Queue management
– Usage diagnostics, reporting and usage tracking (set of data we put in a table that can be pulled to a diagnostics tool – could be used in Reporting Services but nothing done so far) Choose whether or not to archive or purge the information in that table.

– Profile Editior (which creates XML-docs that can be moved between systems)

CTS Activities for BPM
– Automatic transformations from CTS

XML transformation services
– Support for any XML Transform Scenario
– DITA and DocBook support

NEW IN 6.5

Enhanced Architecture
– Real time no content sevrer queue
To provide real-time response to a transformation request
All TS available with realtime requests
Contentent may or may not be in a repository
Results can be returned to the client or place in repository
Request status available for feedback to client apps
Admin can configure when to override real-time requests with asynchronous mode
A new DFS Appserver with round-robin load-balancer, decide which nodes will support real-time
Ambition to make the load balancing algorithms pluggable.

– WS Accessibility (transform requests, profile management)
– More format support (EMCmail format, Flash video support)

– Distributed Environment Support
Content in a BOCS environment is handled. Can have CTS in branch office and then move renditions back to the central repository

– Intelligent handling of requests with content on BOC
– XML Transformations (support for export of different graphics resolution based on output channell, additional output formats in DITA Q

CTS 7

In-place transformations – large video
Flex-based UI
Link Resolution Management (OLE-support)
More format support
– Speech-to-text
– Creative Suite III, IV
– Improved CAD, including better 3D support
More Web Services
– Reporting and Admin capabilities
– Monitoring of requests
– Tape Ingest ingegration

Moving to support Photoshop and Illustrator support primarliy, possibly also InDesign-formats through Indesign Server. However, the previously open Indesign format has now gone proprietary. Working with Adobe and others to replace Adobe Graphics Server which apparently is going away.

EMC World 2008: D6 Webtop – Focus on Knowledge Workers

Presented by Peggy Ringhausen Principal Product Manager during EMC World 2008

Different areas:
– Simple to use (Any content type
– Searchable (Flexible, federatedm consolidated results)
– Collaborative (Team-oriented, extended enterprise, secure)
– Agile (available anywhere, contextual, integrated)

Presets in D6 – configuration – even more in D7
Better preferences
Saved searched improved and search templates
WebTop 6.5 in late July

She talked about features already available.
Subscribe other people to content
Preferences is persistant – no longer any cookies on the client.

Presets allows you to pick a target and set rules.
A Select a folder. Set it up to only allow certain object.-types to be created in that folder.
Only allow certain actions om certain folder.

Extended search is an optional add-on to WebTop – creates clusters.
Clusters can be created based on certain attributes.
Search templates also part of extended search – allows to make some of the values optional and some fixed.

Collaboration Environment (DCE) is now bundled with WebTop. License key still required though.
Data Tables is also available through Collaboration and 6.5 also allow attachments to data tables
Events in the calendar object can be imported through iCal exports.

D6 SP1 – OLE Link support is optionable.
That feature checks if there are linked objects and imports these documents to and create a virtual documents out of all these items. The same thing during exports.
A checkbox on the import screen to also act on linked documents.

WebTop D6.5

Email conversion to EMF-format. Converting everything to the same parent object
Conversion tools to convert all emails to subtype dm_message_archive, lightweight html-format called EMC Email Format. Email viewing tool based on HTML for viewing email and attachment without having to export.

Page Refresh Reduction – reduced as many as possible. A really good thing I think.

Modal Dialogs can be turned off. Brings up small new browser windows to see the context. Properties with its own window. Instead of the usual Documentum-screens that fills the browser window.

Multi-select Drag and Drop is supported.

HTTP or UCF Choice enhancement.

Deep Export. This is great and I can’t really understand why it took them so long.

Content Transfer Improvement (multithreaded streaming)
New import screen. Small window with green bar. No longer a white screen which is a great user interface improvement. That screen had a tendency to scare people a little bit

Security Testing has been extended. Promised no level 1 or 2:s…

Take the WDK components and pull them into a new container and give users a new UI.
The new UI of the WebTop is optional.
Looks a little like Outlook. Collapsable parts (bars) on the left.No huge tree structure any more.
The tabs I saw were:
– Search center
– Subscriptions
– Home Cabinet

User configurable home page. New column to the right for properties, versions, comments. A great improvement since it almost provides a portal page within WebTop.

Contextual right click menus.

Offline client – My Documentum Offline (OEM product) Available end of July and beginning of August.
D6 SP1 release. Free of charge for any user using WebTop.
– The My Documentum Folder (provides access to the latest versions of documents when not connected)
– Synchronize (Choose specific documents, folders, and subscriptions)
– Personalize (Tailor to suit individual needs)
– Resolve issues (Mechanism to resolve conflicts that arise during synchronization)
Offline client has a small Jet-DB on the client to hold the metadata.

Still a bit of an overlap between File Sharing Services (FSS) and Offline client though. Will most likely be merged in someway in a D7 timeframe.

Learned later on that all these new feature will be available in DAM 6.5 as well since DAM is just an extension of WebTop.

The vision for the Modern Knowledge Worker

Presented during EMC World 2008 by: John McCormick, GM Knowledge Worker Business Unit

Today’s Problem: An information Explosion
The nature of content management has changed, IM, email, videos etc
Spend so much time finding things…

Who is the Knowledge Worker?
– Work in different or remote locations
– Create and work with a variety of different content
– Engage in dynamic work processes that change frequently
– Work in teams to get their job done
– Need access to managed content in their everyday application

A wide variety of interface for people to work from, spaces, wikis, powerpoint, outlook etc

KW Challenges
– Proliferation of information silos
– Work in many dispersed teams
– Finding the right information
– Seeing the relationships between types of information
– Organizing and sharing information
– Ensuring information is always accurate
– Adhering to IT-requirements for compliance and governance

IT Challenges
– Volume both in volume but also types of information
– Users are always connected – how to you do maintenance and upgrades
– Enpowerment – expect on-the-fly customization capabilities
– Control – Corporate regulatory concerns

Traditional KW Solutions
– Create silos of information
– Same info stored in multiple places
– Multiple search engines & queries
– Users re-invent wheel out of frustration
– Create solutions
– Complex interfaces are more than what users require
– No immediate access from remote locations
– Rely on yesterday’s technology (email, shared drives)

Four pillars of KW
– The Platform for Web 2.0
– Web 2.0 client
– Intelligence from information
– Access anywhere

The Platform for Web 2.0

Wikis, blogs, RSS managed as objects
Everything exposed as web services
Can be leveraged in any UI (purpose-built, partner, portal etc.)

Enterprise Scale
Built on a repository that can scale to billions
Wide array of platform services
Can interoperate with other CMA soltions like TCM
Any object can be retained, made a record, archived, published

Services-enables
Available to .Net and open environment
From a very chatty API to a less chatt SOA-based interface
Support a wide array of dispersed networks through BOCS
Extensible services for added functionality

Vision for Enterprise CM with Web 2.0
– Author & Publish (Blogger, Youtube, Wikipedia, Flickr) – Ratings on Content, IRM Security. Team Wikis, Collaboration
– Organize & Manage (Digg, del.icio.us) – Guided navigation, Tagging of items, Classification, Personalized Views
– Network & Access (LinkedIn, Facebook, Myspace, iPhones) – Enterprise Ready, Secured off-network, Mobile access, scalable infrastructure, Retention & governance

Pre-configured:
– Object models
– Taxonomies
– Business Processes
— User Experiences
– Retention Policies

BOCS Make sense for the KW Platform – ease the user experiences
BPM
Retention Policy Services
De-duplication
Archive

Web 2.0 Client

Personalized
– Simple to configure
– Include information to you
– Easy to use interface

Team thru Enterprise (Scale)
– Customizable team workspaces and templates improve efficiency
– User Management of Communities
– Ability to locate experts within an organization

Extendable
– Ability to mashup external information sources
– Components can be extended & created by partners and customers

Magellan Essentials
– No cost client
– Team workspaces
– Access control
– Library Services
– Guided navigation
– Content Templates
– Lifecycles

Full client
– Low cost client
– Wikis, Blogs & RSS
– Extranet Support
– Personal Spaces (Team Members)
– Tagging (Tag clouds)
– Federated Search
– Visualization
– Workflow

Multiple Patterns of Collaboration Supported

– Org/LOB/Deparmental
– Team & Project Oriented
– Individual (Ideation)

Information Intelligence

-Expansive Search
Both through EMC or own UI for ECIS
– Analyze & Classify (spot key concepts, detect relationships accross information assets
-Visualize (timeframe etc)

Smart Searching
– Indexing (real-time search results)
– Security (even for outside sources)
– Scalability

Tagging
– User created
– Folksonomies
– Change over time
Rule.based classification
– Metadata qualifiers
– Confidence weights
Semantics.-based classification
– Better linguistics support
– Derives the “gist” of the document
– Monitors designated information sources and provides updates
– Extracts key insights from text based on linguistics and indexing technologies

Visualization (Recommended, Indexed, Personalized, Aggregated, Guided)
– Expertise Location
– Mash-ups (google maps)
– Personalized Navigations
– Tag clouds

Work Wherever
– Offline support (synched to My Documents folder)
Use familiar tools
– MS Office, Adobe Creative Suite and beyond

Bring ECM to the desktop
– get control of email and files on the desktop
– Enforce corporate policies

Used iPod-iTunes metaphors for how the mobile client worked 🙂

EMC Documentum Dynamic Delivery Service (DDS)

Presented at EMC World 2008 by:
Jeroen van Rotterdam, former CEO of X-hive, General Manager for XML Solutions
Michiel Veen, heading the engineering of XML Solutions

A new product – platform or framework for dynamic content delivery.

The Repository consists of these components:

  • Content Files
  • Attribute Tables in RDBMS
  • XML Store, pure native XML DB
  • Full-text indices
  • What about Personalized content delivery?

    Three levels:

  • Static Delivery – XML – Transform using XTS
  • xPression: Static Personalized Delivery (based on Document Sciences)
  • DDS: Dynamic Personlized Deliver (Documentum DDS)
  • The DDS is using Site Caching Services to push content into a second XML Store and that creates a second stack (parallell to Documentum Content Server) on top of that to build highly interactive applications.

    Easy to build, integrate and use. For instance interactive search forms and flexible queries

    Application
    – Travel Guides Destination, Interests, Price Range
    – Car Owners Manual Market, Model, Extras
    – Corporate Policies Geolocation, Department, Role
    – Technical Pubs Market., Equipment Type, Model Number, Task

    There is something called the Logic Engiine to generate guided content navigation or collection of data using dialogs to initate the next step in navigation.

    The Stack in DDS:

    Google Web Toolkit Client API, Web Client, Admin Web Gui, End User GUI

    Web Server
    – SCS Target
    – GWT Server (Google Web Toolkit – mycket bättre än DOJO-apps)
    – JSP Tag Library (lite enklare interface än GWT för att tex stoppa en Xquery i en java-app)

    Delivery Platform Services

    Delivery Platform API

    “Apps”
    – App config (generate XForms without any coding)
    – XProc Engine (finally getting standardized, has an XML Schema)
    – XForms (new XForms engine which executes in the client, pure Javascript component to render the forms)
    – Importer (any CMS or any source, can push data to the DDS core without any programmeing through the new Site Caching Services Target)
    – Logic Engine (tool that can consume a single XML-document to generate a guided UI)

    Persitancy Layer:
    – XML Apps
    – Stored XQueries
    – XForms Instances
    – XProc instances

    XML Store in the bottom:
    – XQuery Engine
    – XSL-T/XSL-FO
    – Indexes
    – Content

    What they are trying to do is a horisontal stack which is scalable with multiple application servers.
    The content in DDS is considered to be released or published content from the Documentum repository.

    Want to build this using XML standards.

    GUI
    – XForms
    – GWT
    – Logic Engine (wizard interfaces)

    Processing
    – DOM
    – XProc
    – Logic Engine
    – Xquery (first company with a full XQuery implementation)
    – XSLT
    – XSL-FO

    Processing flow:
    XForms Instance
    Layout.xml
    Properties

    For instance extract proprerty-file based localization of display names of attributes. The XForms object references a label which is then found in a simple text file which holds the actual label. Multiple files like this can be created for each language.

    With GWT a XQuery can be connected that drives a tree structure (as in Windows Explorer) as a web page widget. Pretty cool.

    Content Server and DDS are separate installations and allows having DDS connected to a 5.3 repository.

    It is deployed with WAR-files – Using a standard Application Server Container

    They showed a rather cool example of a Web GUI with a couple of GWT-widgets that created a interface that using drag and drop could take different XML-chunks to create a new custom document which was instantly rendered to PDF using a template. Resulted in a nicely looking PDF (and HTML) with EMC layout while the chunks was just handled as text with headlines.

    In summary a really cool way of creating personalized interactive applications. However, it isn’t always easy to make up your mind how a specific kind of content is presented and provided to the users in the best way possible. There are many interesting options to choose from using the Documentum platform and I have not been able to make up my mind on this yet.

    EMC World 2008 Day 1 Part One

    The conference has started and I was up early to go to the first seminar which was called Effective Classification – From data to information but it was mainly focused around EMCs storage products and low level classification and metadata management. More or less nothing about Documentum during the first 20 minutes so I got bored and went over to Introduction to Transactional Content Management instead. That was much better and was an overview of EMCs offerings around BPM and content management. Of course focused around the traditional examples like claims management and with integration with document capture products like Captive. However, I am very much interested in TaskSpace which provides a good streamlined interface for workflows but with inline preview of associated objects. I also had no idea that there was a solution for direct-attached scanners using a web client.

    After that I had a meeting with David LeStrat and Gideon Ansell. David is PM for the new Magellan client and Gideon works with usability issues in the Documentum product line. We met last year where we provided some info around our network visualization technologies. We presented our project and what we trying to achieve and talked about how influences from the Web 2.0 movement could be used in the Documentum platform. Personalization is important just as the personal page is to actually make the user a node in the system. The current WebTop/DAM clients offers an good interface to interact with content object but still mainly around a folder structure idea. However, there is no place to enter my personal details and my skills. Magellan will offer that and in a sense provide the first step towards a community idea. I also mentioned the need to integrate Magellan with an Instant Messaging Solution. Finally we talked a little about our aspiration to provide a GIS-oriented interface to consume objects with geocoordinates. Currently this is just a mashup based on Google Maps but we of course need a solution that works without internet access. See upcoming posts for more information about Magellan and the other new interfaces.

    At the Strip in Las Vegas

    Yesterday we landed in Las Vegas, Nevada and was met by a really hot climate and lots of lights in this crazy town. Just seeing the skyline from the airport is really interesting. Just a long row of hotels and casinos with different themes. We are staying at the Luxor – a 120 meter high pyramide made of glass. Since I am a huge fan of Stargate SG-1 it felt kind of cool to enter this place almost with a feel of Goauld influence. Even though it is a historic theme the hollow inside of the pyramide where the walkways to the rooms are feels rather futuristic, maybe enhanced by the sound of information call-outs with a slight echo in the pyramide.

    Today we took a walk along The Strip in the blazing heat – around 35-40 degrees at least. Fortunately there are lots of indoor air conditioned connections between all the casinos. I must say that Vegas is a bit different than I imagined. It actually seem more fun that I expected. Sure there are absolutely endless rows of slot machines and gambling tables but there is also a equally large amount of themed shopping malls, attractions and shows. It is almost like a theme park for grown-ups. I look forward to do some shopping since the dollar rate makes everything rather cheap. Almost half the price on Mac make-up that I love for instance. I will see if I can go see Cher at the Ceasar’s Palace and I will most definately go see the water fountains at the Bellagio. I am not much of a gamer but I guess I at least have to try it, I think it will be roulette. And yes…I have to mention the Champagne breakfast at the Luxor…simply crazy…even worse that the huge one I have had at Gaylord Palms in Orlando. This was way bigger and I am still not hungry 🙂

    When we returned in the afternoon we went along to what we are really here for. To attend the big EMC World 2008 conference. The registration went nice and we were welcomed to the Summit Leader’s Club since we took part in the conference last year in Orlando. We also got community tags for the Momentum/Content Management & Archiving community. Now I know that I will keep my eyes open for other’s wearing the yellow tag which means that we are both Documentum customers. Tomorrow the conference starts and I look forward to a meeting with David LeStrat, who is the Product Manager for the Knowledge Worker solution. I look forward to learn more about their thinking around the Magellan interface and will most likely offer an opinion or two 🙂