Standards and ECM (cont’d)

Laurence oversimplifies and confuses matters where ECM standardization is concerned. However, it’s perfectly valid to leverage a blog as a learning medium and to “think out loud” therein. So, I’ll respond here both to clarify what EMC is doing in this space and perhaps to offer some guidance to those thinking about ECM standards.

Let’s proceed, point-by-point:

  • To repeat myself, customers (i.e. the end users, developer and administrators they represent) require standardization. They expect ECM leaders like EMC to support industry standard–drive them, too!
  • As an “ECM person” I can confidently say that the “ECM world” is definitely ready for standardization. (I don’t know who Laurence is otherwise referring to.)
  • I like to think about ECM standardization in light of ECM commoditization. Gartner coined the term “Basic Content Services” (BCS) to describe this reality–that actions like checkin, checkout, version, etc. are fundamental, not differentiating, operations. BCS simply confirms that LCD is a fact of life–something to embrace, not avoid.
  • Remember: there is “enterprise software,” and there is “software that runs the enterprise.” Software running a typical enterprise must interoperate. (It likely also differentiates itself well where feature/function, value, performance, scalability, adaptability, etc. are concerned.)
  • Read RESTful Web Services. Understand the true comparison between approaches lies between REST and RPC, not REST vs. SOAP. Also I don’t see this as a one-or-the-other decision–I’m not alone here, either. And, yes, this debate can become “religious” in nature.
  • I do, indeed, expect there to be an emphasis on SOA with the launch and release of EMC Documentum 6.0 (D6). I encourage you, whether you’re a developer, partner, customer project lead or CIO to kick the tires of this major platform release and put DFS through its paces. Ultimately the judgment on “truth versus fiction” where SOA enablement in D6 is concerned rests with you. That being said, DFS represents a substantial engineering investment–one that I’m proud to represent.

It’s great to see an increase in attention paid to standardization, service-orientation and resource-orientation in ECM. If you have feedback to offer, in terms of standard services/resources, operations/methods, use cases, etc. herein, I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment on my blog or post me an email. Cheers! :-)

Update 7/11/2007 (via DonR): The REST vs. WS-* war analogy deepens, thanks to Elliotte. WS-* is North Korea, and REST is South Korea.

Update 7/12/2007: Richard Monson-Haefel, glad to witness the trend now toward REST, says: WS* is intelligent. REST is wise.

Update 7/15/2007 (via my feed reader): Ted Neward chimes in on the Chappell…Elliotte… analogies thread.

Update 7/25/2007 (via my feed reader): David Chappell updates us with responses to his original remarks.