Monthly Archives: March 2009

AIIM iECM demo of CMIS

Yesterday at the AIIM info360 conference in Philadelphia, the iECM committee announced its sponsored demonstration of CMIS. The AIIM press release has more details here.

Today that demo is live: If you’re at AIIM info360, please stop by the EMC booth (#825) for a personal tour of the demo application.

If you want to understand how the demo was made, I encourage you to read Pie’s account, especially since he was a central figure in producing the application above compliant repositories, including EMC.

Recovering well

Last month I revealed that I suffered a basketball injury (i.e. a high rupture of my right Achilles tendon, requiring surgical repair). Yesterday marked the six-week point since surgery. Today I completed my third week of physical therapy and being out of a cast and in a walking boot. This afternoon was my three-week follow-up with my surgeon.

Those professionally helping me in my recovery say that I’m making excellent progress. Given where I am calendar-wise since the injury, my range of motion is great and my strength is good, too. Perhaps next week, I’ll be able to spend time out of my walking boot in a regular shoe assisted by a crutch. This will allow me to work on re-establishing my normal gait.

Already this experience has been rich in life lessons for me:

  • When you listen to your care givers, good things can and do happen! (Wish I’d learned this in my twenties.)
  • I still have a ways to go until I’m a consistently patient person. (Sometimes, I’m not a patient patient!)
  • I value my independence, and I have a hard time asking for help.
  • Handicapping injuries offer a great opportunity to slow down and experience the subtler, finer points of life (e.g. wonderful family moments).
  • When operating on a single crutch, the crutch goes on the strong side, not alongside the injury. (My physical therapist had a good laugh–and said that it’s not uncommon to see patients operate incorrectly.)
  • I thrive on communication (e.g. interacting with colleagues at work). While I’m grateful to be able to work regularly from home–even more so since my injury–there is simply no substitute for face-to-face communication.
  • Be conservative in your recovery goals, allowing more opportunity to be pleasantly surprised. Don’t confuse this with owning your recovery, being confident and taking initiative.
  • The human walk is truly elegant. It seems so simple, but there’s a lot to it when you have to deconstruct and re-learn it. Coordination requires more effort and focus than strength requires.

You may have noticed that I’ve been light on blogging this month, after starting the year off at a better pace (for me, anyway). Needless to say, I’ve been focusing my spare (and non-spare) time on my recovery. Let’s see…post a blog…regain ability to walk…blog…walk…hmmm… :-)

Suffice it to say, for now, that plenty of good things are happening where my professional life is concerned, too (e.g. cool new software features and products forthcoming from EMC). More on that later.

In the meantime, thanks for all the well-wishes and support. Cheers…

CMIS Interoperability

CMS Wire recently picked up the development of CMIS Explorer by Shane Johnson (@shane_dev) at CityTech. CMIS Explorer (download) is a browser application written in Adobe AIR and Flex that uses the RESTful AtomPub binding of the proposed CMIS standard to interact with CMIS-compliant repositories.

Already early access support for CMIS is available from EMC, IBM and Alfresco. Such support makes it possible for applications like CMIS Explorer to be applied to a variety of content repositories in ways not possible before CMIS.

As fellow OASIS CMIS TC member Florent Guillaume from Nuxeo comments, though, CMIS is not yet a formal (fixed) standard. It is under development and somewhat fluid.

When a content repository vendor provides draft support, don’t assume that such support fully conforms to the current draft specification (e.g. v0.5). If you’re an application developer like Shane, you can know conformance exists by first building against what is specified on the OASIS site for CMIS and then pointing your application at desired content repository or repositories.

For example, you can point CMIS Explorer at a Documentum content repository via EMC CMIS support EA2 to search and to see types.

Searching a Docbase via CMIS Explorer

Reviewing Docbase types via CMIS Explorer

However, while basic interoperability seems OK, something prevents actual browsing functionality in CMIS Explorer from working with Documentum. In its com.citytechinc.cmis.Repository.setFolder() method, CMIS Explorer tries to get folder objects from root children via the following condition:'BaseType').value == "folder"
However, draft CMIS specification v0.5 does not define a BaseType property, not does the EMC CMIS support EA2 contain this property. As a result, CMIS Explorer cannot find any folder object in root children, which prevents it from being able to browse a Docbase.

To be fair, my colleague, Norrie Quinn, has already pointed out this matter on Shane’s post, and Shane has replied.

My focus here is simply as follows: It’s important for applications to leverage the currently proposed CMIS bindings from OASIS rather than a particular vendor’s implementation of these bindings in order to promote interoperability.

It will be good to see the emergence of CMIS-based applications that go beyond exploration, navigation and portal-style user experiences. Such applications will help to influence the CMIS roadmap beyond version 1.0.

In the meantime, it’s great to see open source efforts like CMIS Explorer take root today. Thanks, Shane.

P.S. It would be good to see a community form around CMIS-based application development (e.g. shine a light on individual efforts, potentially pool interest and resources, solicit ideas and challenges, etc.). If you’re interested in something like, please leave me a comment. In the meantime, I plan to promote community efforts here as best I can. Thanks.