Every once in a while I see a new post / comment / topic /spam around how great would be to have SharePoint as a UI or for collaborative content and to use Documentum “in the back end” as the repository of choice for compliance, bpm, records or whatever other “complex ECM” thingie. I don’t list the last 10 seen this year already in order not to offend their authors.
We’re talking about this for many years already. More than 3, I think. Do you see it happening? Not. Otherwise the discussion would not be “how great would it be” instead of “look how great it is”.
Will it happen? Probably not, and this is my take on “why”.
I’m talking about the “true” integration, in which the content lives and can be manipulated in both systems. In a business scenario, not just in OOTB “platform” features.
Think “security” for a moment. This is one major pain the integration must solve. Synchronizing the both worlds would be an awful task.
Think business rules (pervasively to be applied in both systems). Yes, there are BRMS products out there, but the large majority of ECM customes don’t have any such thing.
Think associated information bypassing the boundaries of the system (eg. annotations made in one platform to be available on the other).
Who needs to solve this problem? The f.cking solution provider. ECM is not installing itself (contrary to some belief, especially in the ShP world).
What’s the incentive to the solution provider to make an integration so complex and using two very different kind of technical resources? Nada, usually. The provider will focus to deliver a solution with a minimal pool of resources and with the less possible risk factor. Microsoft + EMC in the same boat, with no or very little experience/knowledge on how this goes in reality? This generates risk+++
What’s the incentive to the business owner to ask for this? Only to justify the purchase from both license goliaths. There is hardly a true business case around it. What can be done in ShP can also be done in Dctm and vice-versa with mostly the same cost. It’s a “political decision” where to do it, actually. Or a decision simply taken by someone in the team and swallowed by the rest.
So, while the community (mainly the technical area, let’s face it) dreams about pink elephants, the business oriented SI/… selects one platform and implements the solution on it. If forced, it can move content around from Dctm to SharePoint and back… but that’s not integration… is it?
Sure, it’s nice and handy to have an RBS connector for Documentum. Or to have some webparts exposing various Documentum features. But this is all we can get and apart for some simple use-cases, they’re… oh well… simplistic.