Interoperable Enterprise Content Management

Given the fact that I spend a majority of my time in the pursuit of business value where ECM and SOA are concerned, the standards activity within AIIM concerning Interoperable Enterprise Content Management (or simply iECM) is highly relevant (ref. overall charter approved 1-Mar-06). From this introduction to iECM, work is underway to provide the following toward interoperable ECM systems via a SOA approach: a reference model that defines the language of interoperability (i.e. the services that an ECM system needs to provide, a common set of metadata descriptions so that everyone is using the same language, and a set of components that make up an interoperable ECM environment), a set of best practices that help organizations to use the reference model, and a series of proof of concept instantiations that show organizations how the reference model can be implemented.

iECM logo

iECM is also supported by a wiki and a blog (feed).

My EMC colleague Cornelia Davis is the Acting Technical Committee Chair. (You can download the v1.0 TC charter here.) Recently Cornelia posted to the iECM blog about two important topics: the iECM Reference Model and the differences between iECM and JCR. She along with Eric Stevens of Hummingbird also published an article on iECM in AIIM’s E-DOC Magazine.

Its ability to answer “yeah, it works with all of that” when understanding a CIO’s current IT investments, has been one of Documentum’s important strengths (i.e. interoperability). Fortunately, interoperability is also the concern and commitment of the iECM Consortium, which includes over 50 companies and government agencies. Vendors like IBM and Microsoft are also showing interest in this effort, and, to be clear, membership is a combination of vendors, integrators and customers.

Every business I know of any size produces and consumes content, data and information. At the end of the day, these businesses all demand choice based on a variety of factors–choice of operating system, application platform, database management systems and content management systems. Efforts such as iECM help progress the goal of ensuring content flow across all repositories in the enterprise, enabling “think globally, act locally” behaviors (e.g. among different lines of business, circles of trust, supply chains, etc.).

As iECM progresses toward its stated goals, I intend to provide updates herein.