Tag Archives: Documentum

Moving on

Tomorrow will be my last day with EMC after developing an 11-year career that began at Documentum.

I will always remember the Documentum of 1998. We were right in the middle of “Project Piper,” which released as Documentum 4i. My team was focused on delivering the first version of the Documentum Desktop (aka Desktop Client), the successor to Workspace. 4i saw the dawn of our commitment to Java in the middle tier, centered within the first version of DFC also released with 4i. Our first software acquisition (Relevance), also occurred around the same time. Some of my closest friends and colleagues since that time came from Relevance.

At roughly 650 employees when I joined back on 6/1/1998, Documentum had been public for awhile but hadn’t yet lost the startup ethos. It was the era of Jeff Miller at the helm. Perhaps our CEO’s most repeated statement was “we may not always be right, but at least we aren’t confused.” Jeff was a strong leader, who knew how to stay connected with employees and cared about people.

Every week featured the roach coach, which meant free breakfast, courtesy of Howard Shao. Eventually Howard became aware that certain engineers had decided to use the roach coach for their entire daily allowance of food; so, free breakfast became free espresso beverage and the need to rush to the food line to vy for that certain scone became moot.

There were food drives that literally involved flatbed trucks, palettes, and wiping out the local food stores of rices, flour, beans and other food stuffs that weighed a lot. You see, engineering was on a mission to keep Howard (one of our co-founders along with John Newton) at the top of the annual executive/department contests to provide the most food for area shelters. And trust me, we were all very motivated as some of the contests meant that those executives who didn’t “win” had to sing to everyone else at the Christmas party. You brought your significant other to these parties. You dressed up for these parties. You didn’t want Howard to sing at these parties. (Who let the dogs out?)

No long after 4i, it was clear that applications were moving to the web. Web Development Kit (WDK) was born to usher in the shift from client-server to web-based applications. Initially targeting application servers and browsers, WDK matured to become the basis for portal servers and integrations, as well as integrations into prevailing authoring environments. Application Connectors development during D5.x was all about changing the conversation with providers of content authoring environments.

Prior to D5.x, Documentum moved from its offices on Gibraltar into its current digs in Koll Center. While the new offices were much nicer, they never had the same feel as building 3. Never underestimate the value of good building layout, particularly how it can encourage or impact collaboration. There was an (unsuccessful) effort to erect a basketball court and/or a sand volleyball court. (We got a fountain and courtyard instead.)

Soon Documentum celebrated its 10th anniversary as a public company. Prior to that, Documentum stock saw a high (factoring in splits, etc.) of $120. I recall rebuking colleagues that sold at 40, 50 and 60. Clearly, they were the smart ones as the bubble burst and eventually the stock dipped below $12. However the company was growing both organically and by acquisition, and it largely led the charge to define and redefine what ECM meant. (Arguably there is still much activity and debate about how ECM should be defined to this day.)

It was the era of the rockstar. It was an era that I wish hadn’t occurred. Give me a rockstar company, not a company of rockstars, any day! (You can keep your Dirk de Wow campaign; thanks.)

Documentum had grown to 1150 employees and had grown accustomed to being the acquirer, most notably acquiring eRoom. Then EMC acquired Documentum.

Personally this meant working in violation to one of my career principles: always work at headquarters to have the best sense of business’s pulse and buzz.

However, I came to appreciate the broader EMC culture and its remarkable technology portfolio. Since Documentum’s acquisition, EMC has continued to develop a culture and a model of acquisition and integration that is the rightful envy of industry. Great people.

Perhaps the area most noticeable to me involves social media and collaboration both internal and external with the wider community. If it’s a secret how well EMC “gets” this stuff, it won’t be for much longer.

I had the benefit of a 5-year sabbatical from Documentum prior to EMC’s acquisition. During this great refreshment, I decided to delve into the emerging world of feeds, blogs, etc. Looking back on the beginning of this blog, I laugh aloud. I must have bored very few people. But I developed my voice and I began to migrate from tacit to tangible, establishing a concrete online reputation.

The vast majority of my experience online has been incredibly positive. Being able to interact with you my reader, to more personally support my partners and customers, to stay connected with colleagues, etc. has benefited me every bit it may have benefited you. I’m a far richer person for engaging.

Community is the thing I most cherish about how Documentum Foundation Services (DFS), Documentum RESTful Services, and Documentum Interoperability Services (aka platform CMIS support) have taken shape. Integration and composition have never been more relevant to today’s software solutions, and these technologies are well-positioned to deliver significant business value. You’ve partnered with the team through early access programs, and the software is better for it. Service-oriented development and support is in good hands as I depart, and I’m very optimistic about the team and these offerings.

So, why then am I leaving EMC?

Simply put, I’m due for a change. I never thought I’d be at one company for as long as I’ve been with EMC. EMC is, indeed, a good company with great people. However, a unique opportunity has found me, and I’m compelled to pursue it.

This post will probably be “it” for awhile from me, as I’ll be heads down, ramping up on my role and responsibilities. Once I’m settled in my new gig, though, you’ll know.

Thanks again for engaging with me, sharing your ideas, asking questions, providing constructive criticism, etc.

Until next time…
-Craig
 

EMC Documentum Developer Edition

Today we launched a new EMC Documentum developer-oriented community within the EMC Community Network. Front and center is the new developer edition of the EMC Documentum ECM Platform.

So, what does this developer edition include? We believe it includes a lot of goodness for the development of content-enabled applications.

  • First of all, free software for developers
  • A new one-click installation process for the core of the EMC Documentum ECM Platform
  • xDB and new XML components – please visit the just-launched XML Technology Developer Community for more details about our native XML database and other technologies
  • Integration between the resulting development environment and online community resources and support mechanisms – think of this as a starting point and means to the ends you want to pursue, not an end in itself

Essentially, we’re trying to provide a low-touch, DIY experience. That being said, by integrating your local installation to an online community, the developer edition enables you to reach out to fellow developers and EMC employees as your pursuit your content management development interests grows. For example, you’ll find a range of white papers, documents and videos, as well as sample code in, for example, Java and C# (.NET). Topical tutorials available online are drawn from our Education Services library.

So, what is the process to obtain the free developer edition? We hope that it’s straightforward.

  1. Browse here and login into ECN/EDN
  2. Navigate here and complete a short (less than 30 seconds) registration form. Click the “Continue” button to proceed to the download site. (You may need to add ecn_communications@emc.com to your email safe senders list so as not to miss messages from that address (i.e. have them interpreted by Outlook as junk).)
  3. Navigate the EMC SubscribeNet links to arrive at the FTP download (or HTTPS-based download, if you prefer). Note that the download is a bit more than 1.73 GB and represents a Zip archive, which means that you should ensure adequate disk space to extract, deploy, etc.
  4. Commence your download.

In a follow-up post, I’ll walk you through the installation experience and how to leverage the version of DFS that comes with the developer edition. BTW, if you’re too anxious to dive in and can’t wait for my post, go for it! There is an online getting started guide as well as an online tutorial for building your first application.

Cheers! :-)

Update 5/20/2009: Well, I’m about to take a much needed vacation, and I have yet to follow-up with a walk-thru post. So, I wanted to at least provide some details here as to what this software requires system-wise. System requirements are as follows (and are displayed in the initial installer screen):

  • No Microsoft SQL Server or SQL Server Express installed [1]
  • No other Documentum software installed [2]
  • Microsoft .NET 2.0 or higher [3]
  • Browser with Sun JRE 5.0 update 16 or higher [4]
  • Minimum of 3 GB RAM (4 GB RAM is recommended)
  • 5 GB of free disk space [5]
  • Intel x86 CPU
  • Operating system–again 32-bit only for this release–is one of the following: Windows XP SP3, Windows Server 2003 SP2 or Windows Server 2003 R2 SP2
  • You must be logged in as a member of the Windows Administrators group, but not necessarily as Administrator

Notes:
[1] Be aware that if you already have Visual Studio (e.g. 2005 or 2008) installed on your target machine, you may need to first uninstall the version of SQL Server that may have been installed with the IDE. If you are running Windows SharePoint Services or UDDI on your target (Windows Server 2003) machine, you may also need to see what embedded database is supporting these services before proceeding with this developer edition installation.
[2] Be sure to understand where you may still have Documentum-related configuration files on disk (e.g. dfc.properties, C:\Documentum, etc.).
[3] Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 is required for WCF-based consumption of DFS endpoints; so, I recommend .NET 3.0, which includes (requires as its foundation) .NET 2.0. .NET 3.5 is also supported by DFS, if you prefer to leverage WCF “v2.”
[4] This is supported by Webtop and DA.
[5] Keep in mind that, as I noted above, the Zip archive download is a bit more than 1.73 GB. The total size of its extracted contents is not that much larger, but you’re also starting to approach 4 GB; so, I recommend that you have 10 GB free disk space in order to complete the installation with room to spare before cleaning up the extracted bits and the original archive to reclaim that 4 GB.

…and, welcome, CMS Watch readers! :-)

Update 7/16/2009: Be sure to run Windows Update after installing DevEd. Typically, you’ll need to apply SQL Server 2005 SP3. Note that if you upgrade a DevEd environment from 6.5 SP1 to 6.5 SP2 (via uninstall-reboot-install) that you should still run Windows Update after your upgrade, and you may need to re-apply SQL Server 2005 SP3.

When upgrading a DevEd environment from 6.5 SP1 to 6.5 SP2, I also recommend that following the uninstall and reboot, that you confirm C:\Documentum and C:\Program Files\Documentum are empty before you proceed to install the newer DevEd.

Finally, if you’re reading this blog but not the installation guide, please note that you should uninstall DevEd via Start | Programs | Documentum | Uninstall, not via Add/Remove Programs under Control Panel.

First 100K concurrent user ECM benchmark

Earlier today, EMC formally announced the results of its significant Enterprise Content Management benchmark with Microsoft and HP.

The newly released study is one of the largest-ever benchmarks in the ECM industry, demonstrating 100,000 [concurrent] users of Documentum 6.5 [SP1] engaging in a variety of content management-related transactions and sustaining that workload over the course of a 12-hour workday. Transactions included the most common content management activities.

Here’s a picture of the EMC-HP-Microsoft team:

EMC-HP-MSFT benchmark team

From left to right:

  • Surdeep Sharma – Microsoft SQL Server Premier Field Engineer
  • Pat Kirby – EMC Documentum Performance Engineer
  • Vishnu Badikol – EMC Documentum Performance Engineer
  • Joseph Isenhour – Microsoft Enterprise Engineering Center Program Manager
  • Gordon Newman – EMC Documentum Sr. Manager Performance Engineering
  • Gunter Zink (photographer hence not pictured) – HP Integrity Superdome Engineering Group Manager

Here’s another picture that I copied from Gordon showing Pat and Vishnu working with a type of “geek heaven” (i.e. a view of PerfMon on a 64-core machine :-) ):

What a 64-core PerfMon UI looks like

I encourage you to listen to my colleagues Gordon, Pat and Vishnu talk about their experiences configuring and running this benchmark via this video. While you’re watching the video, download the attached joint whitepaper, summary and detailed results, too.

Of course, EMC isn’t resting on its laurels here. In fact, we’re already working to address lessons learned from this benchmark, which will result in even greater scalability. Kudos to my Performance Engineering colleagues!

Update 5/27/2009: The benchmark FAQ is now available here.

Hello donr7n

My colleague, Don Robertson, has finally succumbed to my constant encouragement (er, barrage) to blog publicly. Even better, Don’s put several of his previously behind-a-firewall posts into the public domain. If you want to know about business objects, aspects, smart containers, etc. in the EMC Documentum ECM platform, you’ll definitely want to subscribe to Don. I have. :-)