ECM shopping spree

2008, Jan: Microsoft buys FAST, Oracle buys BEA, Oracle buys Captovation. And January still has some days left.. who’s next?

2007 marked a long list of consolidations in the ECM market (and connex areas) , seems like 2008 is no different

As a digression from ECM… today I entered the Oracle page for products and services. Funny thing: before listing their products they provide an almost bigger list of “Aquired products”. Lol.

I cannot help but noticing the fact that Oracle wants to move aggressively in the ECM space. Buying Stellent last year, now acquiring a tightly integrated document capture software. In combination with the database technology and application server / portal which they own… this comes toghether as a powerful combination. Not to mention killing BEA (yes, for me it seems in this way).

Who’s next? Will SAP buy OpenText (they already resell it since 2007)? Will HP buy it? 😉

What is performance for content management

In my PhD thesis i follow the theme of designing a high-performance Content Management system.

Obviously, in this process i try to write down which are the metrics by which one can decide that a CM system is performant or not (or more is more performant than another).

Some work has been done for the RDBMS world on this, but i found none for Content Manegement. This may be because the majority of (E)CM products out there always use a RDBMS to store the data. Therefore the performance of the RDBMS drives the performance of the CM itself.

I really think this is not the best approach and that there is a need to design a content management system which truly addresses the specific requirements and does not try to bend other systems to fit the purpose.

That being said i should write down the 4 topics i think should be used to measure a content management system performance:

  1. It should natively implement all basic content management functions. Including here:CRUD operations, security, version control, concurrency control, format variants control, streaming support, search, observation. Maybe transactions.
  2. Its implementation must not be tied to one technology (eg. specific OS, programming language etc.). CM systems need to be universal since they tend to store content for a long time and cannot afford to suffer from changes in IT strategies.
  3. Must find content. This is the primary thing ed users look for. no matter how complex is the underlying architecture, no matter how many data elements it handles, search must be accurate, fast and adequate.
  4. It should be able to use various storage environments. This must not be understood as needing to work low level with disks/tape libraries but being able to store and manage content on all types of storage without needing to limit functionality and while keeping the full transparency to the user. For example, if a document is stored on a tape (slow access, readonly medium) the user should only find out that the item is readonly and takes some while to access.

Any thoughs? Should anything else be considered as amajor  performance indicator of a CM system?