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Documentum: where do we go from here

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A history of Documentum from beginning to 2005.

A history of Documentum from beginning to 2005.

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  • 1. Documentum:Where Do We Go From Here?Frank Jacquette, Jacquette Consulting
  • 2. A Brief History of Documentum• Company founded in 1990 by ex-Ingres engineers• Funded by Xerox• First version of software shipped in 1993 – Documentum Server 1.0 – DocuWorks 1.0
  • 3. 1995• WorkSpace replaces the fairly useless DocuWorks – Server 2.0 – WorkSpace 2.0
  • 4. 1996• Accelera – first web product, read only• UnaLink – Lotus Notes interface• Server 3.0 – ACLs, other enhancements• WorkSpace 3.0 – GUI improvements
  • 5. 1997• Server renamed as “DocPage Server”• RightSite I (aka “the fiasco”) – ViewSpace (read-only web browsing) – SiteSpace (anonymous web browsing) – SmartSpace (read/write web client)• SmartSpace Client/Server (aka “WorkSpace Light)
  • 6. 1998• Server 3.2, renamed as “EDMS 98”• RightSite II – Complete rebuild, shares nothing but the name and parts of the WebQL engine with RightSite I• See ya later, Macintosh users
  • 7. 1999• Desktop Client – Windows only – Provides file explorer interface to Documentum – Breaks all previous WorkSpace customizations
  • 8. 2000• New name for version 4, Documentum 4i• Documentum Foundation Classes – Java wrappers around server APIs – Documentum pushes developers to use DFC rather than straight API calls
  • 9. 2001• Server 4.1 (still under the 4i name)• Web Development Kit (WDK) – Tools for building Java components on top of the DFC• Documentum quietly plans to kill WorkSpace and RightSite
  • 10. 2002• Documentum 5 scheduled for 3Q02• Includes WDK 5, DFC 5• New features focused on digital asset management, some usability enhancement• Pledging RightSite support…for now• No upgrade path from RightSite to WDK – start over!
  • 11. 2003• WDK 5.1, 5.2 announced, roadmap to WDK 6• Server 5.2.5 ships, Webtop becomes preferred client (built on WDK)• Products all get renamed (again)
  • 12. Today – What should we use?• Documentum says: use the WDK to build J2EE components (starting from Webtop)• Great idea, but… – Need a separate application server (WebLogic, WebSphere, etc.) to serve the J2EE components – All WorkSpace and RightSite customizations are lost – WDK, DFC, Desktop Client still being thrashed out – Performance and usability weaknesses
  • 13. Discussion• Talk about the problems/solutions you have or foresee
  • 14. Options• Keep older technologies• Port customizations to new clients• Build your own client application – Using the API – Using the DFC – Using the WDK
  • 15. API• Fastest option • Lowest level option• API is the most • Platform-dependent stable of all client implementation (but targets API calls are• Full access to all common across all server functions platforms)
  • 16. DFC• Platform • Slower than API calls independent • Long initialization of• Provides full access client side JVM required to API • Future of Java support• In theory, can on Windows is improve uncertain performance by • Just starting to virtue of abstraction stabilize/get useful
  • 17. WDK• Clearly Documentum’s • Performance: full round direction trip for almost all• All the benefits of Java component events and relevant standards • No migration path• Good • JVM compatibility business/presentation issues logic separation • WebTop has huge usability issues
  • 18. Recommendations(?)• Consider WebTop and WDK for new efforts where: – Performance is not key – Client platform is under tight control – Expected product life cycle is not very long – In-house Java expertise is solid• Similar considerations for DFC, but DFC may work better when you want no Java on the client side
  • 19. Recommendations(?)• Use C or Visual Basic against the API (or against a DFC-API wrapper) if the WDK conditions aren’t true• For older systems, keep them if they aren’t changing until Documentum forces an underlying server upgrade• For critical, still-evolving systems, start planning a migration to WDK, DFC, or API