DFC PIA, in turn, became the foundation for Documentum ADO.NET Services (DAS), which released with the EMC Documentum 5.3 platform.
DAS enables Documentum to be a first-class data source for the large number of freely available data-bound controls from Microsoft and even larger number of commercially available third party data-bound controls. If you knew how to bind a data source to a grid or list view control, then Documentum immediately became relevant to your solution building experience.
Prior to DAS, Documentum offered a set of special purpose widgets with its Developer Studio license. These ActiveX controls worked well in a classic VB context, where business users typically composed application presentation by choosing controls from a visual palette to create dialogs and composed application behavior by double-clicking through to event handling code (e.g. button click, dropdown select, etc.). For their effectiveness though, each control typically had its own API.
A developer’s time is a precious business resource; therefore, the more productive a developer can become the greater potential for business benefit. So, rather than expect Microsoft-oriented developers to learn Documentum control APIs, it made more sense to embrace ADO.NET and a fairly rich set of free and commercially available data bound controls.
That is, DAS was about changing the developer message to one of “your .NET expertise is applicable where content-centric application development with Documentum is concerned.” DAS was about making the Documentum platform more relevant to the .NET developer.
Since the transition from client-server (e.g. Desktop) to web-based (e.g. Webtop) applications (i.e. for awhile now), Documentum has recommended that DFC-based business logic belongs in the middle tier and not on the local (end user) machine. When DAS is used in an ASP.NET application, DFC PIA and therefore DFC are indeed running on the IIS server machine–competing GCs and all. However, when DAS is used in a Windows Forms application, DFC winds up on the end user machine, contradicting business logic topology recommendations.
Next: Web services…-Craig