Tag Archives: EMC World

Building content-enabled applications

Both Pie and Marko have blogged about content-enabled applications, or what Gartner calls CEVAs (content-enabled vertical applications).

As it so happens, I’ll be presenting there will be a session on this subject next month at EMC World 2009.

Based on my research of what folks label a content-enabled application, two things rise to the top: process (surrounding content) and subject matter expertise (individual or group surrounding process), and context. OK, three things.

For example, Forrester defines content-centric applications as “solutions that put the business’ content to use, and add context along the way–to support line-of-business needs.” Example solutions include customer self-service, claims processing, proposal management, contract management, and case management.

Other CEVA vendors argue that content-enabled applications are process-oriented, not content-centric. I tend to prefer this viewpoint. A claim is valueless in itself. Only once is claim is processed is value realized, including taking a future liability off the books.

Content-enabled applications should facilitate the convergence of content, collaboration, interaction, and process.

Before you leverage your content in an application to generate value, ask yourself few questions:

  • Who uses the content? Why? How?
  • What processes does the content support?
  • If I’m not a subject matter expert for this type of content, who can I involve to design a better application experience?
  • What processes does it support?
  • What context is involved, either centrally or peripherally?

Start with something familiar to just about anyone these days: email (or IM, micro-blogging, etc.). Answer the questions. See how applications, for example, around email have evolved. Think about where current email applications may have untapped potential. Etc.

So, where have all the CEVAs gone (as Marko asks)?

  • I think that we in the content management business do ourselves a disservice by overly complicating concepts (e.g. behind TLAs or FLAs). Although fine as a conceptual catalyst, CEVA is self-defeating, IMHO, as a rallying label.
  • I agree that CMIS has great potential to increase the availability of content-enabled applications, if for no other reason, because application development that consumes the proposed standard should have a greater return on investment by being applicable to multiple content repositories. (ECM vendor partners are you listening?)
  • In the end, it’s the application, not the content or the process or the people. That is, if you’re just adding a document and perhaps a workflow to some code, you may have an app…but it won’t be used. Focus on user experience (i.e. the meaningful, intuitive presentation of content, context and process together).

Back to EMC World…          Orlando, FL - May17-21

I’ll miss interacting with ‘Zilla at the conference. It was at EMC World in 2007 (also held in Orlando, FL) that I first met Mark in person.

If you are able to make the conference and consider yourself to be a “2.0 type,” you may be interested in Len’s advert. Looks like there is even a LinkedIn event established for the conference.

I plan to tweet the conference and otherwise engage with the community. In the meantime, if you plan to attend my session (as presented by others), please feel free to comment (here or ECN) on your thoughts about content-enabled applications and what you’d like discussed or demoed. Thanks in advance.

Implementing DFS Search Services

During EMC World last week, my Grenoble colleague Pierre-Yves “Pitch” Chevalier presented this subject on behalf of Marc Brette, who couldn’t make the event this year but authored the presentation. Pie attended the session and blogged about it here. Having received the presentation from Pitch and Marc, you can download it here. Cheers… :-)

Hands-on DFS

DFS hands-on lab participants at EMC World 2008

Tom and I were able to present to another great set of attendees–lots of healthy curiosity and great questions. Now that the labs have been conducted, here are the presentation slides–version from today, which was slightly modified from Monday’s deck.

It’s been a great talking with a lot of folks about DFS and content management in general. Thanks to everyone who shared their current experience with DFS, their ideas and their issues. The product will be better because of you. Thanks! :-)

DFS best practices

This afternoon, colleagues Mike Mohen and Paul Kwitkin presented a well-attended session, “Documentum Foundation Services – Best Practices and Real World Examples.” It’s always a good thing to have someone else be able to tell folks how well your software performs under load and back it up with hard numbers and context. Usually this session takes about four hours to present in depth; so, Mike and Paul did a good job distilling the essence down to just an hour or so.

Mike and Paul work in CMA’s Professional Services organization, helping customers deploy enterprise solutions that typically involve out of the box services from DFS as well as custom service development and custom service consumer (solution) development. What we do in engineering it what Professional Services does in terms of building services and service consumers. It’s also the very same advice offered at today’s session, which will be repeated on Thursday. So, this material is not just about you, our audience, but it’s very much about EMC, too.

I’ve already asked Mike for his presentation, demos and source code; so, once I receive this content, I’ll make it available here.

Earlier today, I sat in on Victor Spivak’s “Documentum Architecture Deep Dive” session. (Pie blogged about this session in a fair bit of detail here and here.) As you might expect, DFS was a prominently discussed within the broader context of all Documentum architecture. (For those who don’t know, Victor is EMC Content Management and Archiving division’s Chief Architect. Victor is also an EMC Fellow and a really good guy.)

It’s really quite exciting to see such a consistently strong turn-out for the developer-oriented sessions at this year’s EMC World conference–much stronger than last year. It’s a privilege to have so many folks interested in what you’ve worked so hard with others to produce–both to tell you what works and what doesn’t.

Already this week I’ve received great feedback that will make DFS an even better product in future releases. Once my customer meetings this week subside a bit, I hope to share what I’ve learned with you here in more detail.

Update 5/21/2008: Here are the slides Mike and Paul presented. Looks like the real world examples will become available soon, too. Cheers.

Update 10/24/2008: You can access the recording of this session, now, here.

DFS in Vegas

The Goo Goo Dolls

EMC World is happening this week in Las Vegas. Last night the festivities were kicked off nicely by The Goo Goo Dolls. The concert sounded great, and the band seemed to be enjoying themselves–not to mention a majority of the some 9300 conference attendees. The result was substantially better then the forgettable act last year in Orlando.

This afternoon I’ll be presenting a two-hour, hands-on lab with my colleague Tom Heller. I’m looking forward to going beyond just introducing Documentum Foundation Services like last year to level-setting attendees in order to support them in quickly building their own service and consuming applications.

Once the lab today and again this Wednesday are completed, I will post my presentation here.

In the meantime, there are more folks blogging EMC World from a content management perspective than last year. EMC itself is also trying to be more open and online about its conference. Please check out the following content sources:

Stay tuned for more news from Las Vegas.