Monthly Archives: July 2006

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.

I’ve burned my feed

I’ve thought about leveraging FeedBurner for awhile now but have been too busy to research the fuller benefits of such usage as well any potential switching costs in order to make a decision…until now. Thankfully FeedBurner is both listed on the WordPress Codex (here) and supported by a useful plugin that makes the cost to switch (from WP to FB) trivial. (Thanks, Steve Smith.)

You should now be automatically redirected to http://feeds.feedburner.com/craigrandall when accessing http://craigrandall.net/feed/. Please also feel free to cut over directly to my FeedBurner-based feed if you wish: http://feeds.feedburner.com/craigrandall. Of course, if you encounter any issues from my move to FeedBurner, I’d be grateful if you would kindly take the time to let me know.

Cheers!

Getting setup to use the new Smart Client Software Factory

Over the weekend, I mentioned the release to MSDN of the new Smart Client Software Factory (SC-SF). It’s fairly easy to get setup; however, since I ran into a few minor snags, I thought I’d share what ultimately worked for me as follows:

  1. Install .NET 2.0 (e.g. via a Visual Studio 2005 installation or via Windows Update).
  2. Install the Composite UI Application Block (CAB C#, Dec-05). Since this was released last December, it’s been too long for me to remember if the installer asks if you want everything compiled. You need to compile everything in the CAB to fully enable your eventual SC-SF installation. (You may also want to install the hands-on labs (C#) for CAB, but these are completely optional where SC-SF is concerned.)
  3. Install Enterprise Library 2.0 (Jan-06) and choose to compile everything. (You may also want to install the hands-on labs for EntLib 2.0, but these are completely optional where SC-SF is concerned.)
  4. Install Guidance Automation Extensions (GAX, Jun-06 CTP). Before doing so, use the Task Manager to verify that no devenv.exe processes are running. If you’re running Visual Studio 2005, exit the IDE before installing GAX.
  5. Install Guidance Automation Toolkit (GAT, Jun-06 CTP). Before doing so, use the Task Manager to verify that no devenv.exe processes are running. If you’re running Visual Studio 2005, exit the IDE before installing GAT.
  6. Install Smart Client Software Factory (SC-SF, Jun-06). Unlike GAX and GAT, which installed via the command line (e.g. “msiexec /i GAT-Jun-06-CTP_SETUP.msi /quiet /lv c:\gat-install-msiexec-log.txt”) just fine, SC-SF is best installed by launching and visually interacting with the installer (i.e. “Smart Client Software Factory – June 2006.msi”). The SC-SF installer will ask you for your CAB and EntLib 2.0 binaries. I was able to accept the default locations provided by the installer–going to them is another way to confirm that you have compiled everything (or not).

Successfully completing the above process will result in the following new functionality exposed in Visual Studio 2005–a guidance package for the production of smart client applications:

New smart client guidance package in Visual Studio 2005

Good stuff! And while you’re at it, be sure to pick up the RTM of FxCop 1.35 for .NET 2.0 development, too.

Happy Fourth of July!

Update 7/11/2006: Although not a show-stopper to a successful SC-SF installation, I swapped the order of EntLib 2.0 and CAB installations above to match the SC-SF “Getting Started” installation order (i.e. CAB first then EntLib 2.0). Speaking of the SC-SF “Getting Started” document, it provides a useful visual as follows to demonstrate SC-SF’s expression of recommended practices:

Visual expression of SC-SF recommended practices

Smart Client Software Factory now on MSDN

Back in February of this year, I posted on the maturation of smart client development artifacts from Microsoft. What I called “SC-BAT” then is now the recently released Smart Client Software Factory on MSDN (i.e. SC-SF since 5/1 apparently). I look forward to upgrading my GAX and GAT to the Jun-06 CTP’s and upgrading to the new SC-SF, too–per getting started.

Aside: It’s interesting for me to observe the morphing of “Baseline Architecture Toolkit” into “Software Factory” given my time spent on Software Factories as a reviewer of the book by that name.

Update: I see that Sam Gentile thinks highly of the new release, too.