Content management in a box

“Can I have two of those to go, please?”

A recent announcement from Oracle talks about an OLTP database machine. I’ll let you read the details and other comments in the official announcement and blogosphere.

When I received this pre-announcement over the weekend I appreciated the synergy between the two product lines: RDBMS and server. The RDBMS runs on a server.. why not make a specially tuned RDBMS to run on a specific hardware and also tune the hardware to generate a whooping performance for that specific software? While I’m not sure the new Oracle product does all this, I can imagine it.

Now, back to our nice little ECM world. CM software is captive to the RDBMS. Its performance depends on it. The licensing goes hand in hand… You rarely (if ever) can use a major ECM suite without a properly setup RDBMS. Why is that? Well, I can think of several reasons like ease of deployment, portability, reasonable performance, time-to-market… but the question still remains: “Why not have a CM server?” One box to deliver it all. A CM “appliance”. An “Apple CM”… all in one box, no replaceable battery.

As I know EMC products quite well, it’s obvious this would be a very nice use case for xDB. Let’s see if the R&D can pull it off – I would do it until end of 2010 if I was EMC and release it in 2011. I could really use a Documentum package which does not need a DB license/product and runs at least acceptable if not better.

Back to the “box” idea (I really like the Apple analogy) I’m not necessarily talking here about the “no database CMs” (like the list here). I’m talking about a full fledged, powerful and highly performance CM which is “in tune” with its medatata storage (based on a RDBMS or not….).

I’m pretty sure somebody already has this in their lab or even shop. I have a PhD thesis which is almost on this, and I’m probably not the most innovative guy in the world. I would love to learn about any such initiatives, but I’m too lazy today to search for it today… that’s another to do post-it.

It is being said that crisis times are the best drivers for innovation. Really?

My content management beginnings

On my usual blog surf I’ve come to a memory lane post from Pie talking on first CM apps.

I now realize I was doing CM stuff since about ’95. At that time I did not know what content management was (anyway, Wiki says “E”CM was coined in 2000).I was just building applications which managed semi-structured text documents, searched them in metadata and content, presented them to users in intranet and on the web… etc.

My first one was a legal documentation system which managed all the laws and some jurisprudence in my country. That summed up to about 100.000 documents which needed to be fulltext indexed, formatted in hypertext, presented, linked, updated daily… the works. We even won some awards on that

The first moment when I heard the term “Content Management” was when I worked for an European Union project to provide a distributed documentation system to a national network of citizen advice services. Then, a consultant from UK told me: “hey, you are building a content management system”. I nodded my head and carried on… had no idea what he actually meant. It was about ’99.. I think.

All went along until 2004 when I met head-on Alchemy, Captiva, Legato and Documentum (all pre-EMC). I still remember the feeling when i first opened a VM with Documentum on it and trying to find out what to click to get to the juice. And I was definitely hooked…

My first Documentum app was built with dmbasic and workflow. Pretty powerful solution, done without any training and which worked several years daily… oh… those were the days…