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2009.12.31

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do acquiesce with much of your comments around the term ECM. I've never in truth liked the write up ECM and feel that AIIM has trustworthy to jam too many technologies under that one umbrella. I too would be grateful a different term.

Prediction #6 ends a bit abruptly: "This can't be good for"

Why limit yourself? 1000 is 8 in binary.

Good article John. And congratulations on your position on the AIIM board.

I think the work that Alfresco is doing around CMIS is great.

I do agree with much of your comments around the term ECM. I've never really liked the term ECM and feel that AIIM has tried to jam too many technologies under that one umbrella. I too would welcome a different term.

But I don't think that Enterprise software itself will be going away anytime soon. You are totally right that Enterprise software has the reputation for being huge, costly, and often out of control. And web-based iteratively-created projects have consistently been cheaper to build, highly scalable, and often more on target in meeting user needs than traditional 'monolithic' software. But I don't think that it necessarily follows that software that serves the Enterprise is no longer important. Products that can scale to the enterprise deserve the label of 'Enterprise Software' -- and some web-based products qualify.

I may be wrong, but I think your observation is more that software development methodology has evolved to be more agile and lightweight -- and Alfresco provides a great example of next-generation software that leapfrogs the older technologies of the Documentums and FileNets.

9. Still nobody will care about ECM. (Except Me)

Great stuff, John but I didn't see anything (maybe I missed it) about the convergence of data and content. Having worked with SharePoint (or I should say 'around': I'm not very technical) one major weakness I see is SP's inability to work with data, with the possible exception of the Business Data Catalogue - but again, that means hooking it into the API.

I predict that a real SP breaker will be the successful intergration (and not through metadata either) of business data and content.

Great artical John, I'm glad to see your comments at the end about Social Software Vs. ECM, its exactly how we feel which is why we're building our web2.0 software SambaJAM on top of Alfresco.

CMIS is also another thing we heavily agree with and glad that Alfresco has taken the lead in this standard because it opens up the playing field for companies like ours - we can integrate our content with other people's portals and make it easier for other people to build solutions on top of SambaJAM.

And finally - SharePoint - I spent 2 years delivering SharePoint back in Accenture, and I know all its weaknesses inside out. Apart from the scalability problems, another massive advantage I've seen developing on Alfresco, is the API. SharePoints closed source API pretty much meens you're stuck with what they give you. We tried 3 times to implement a "simple" document rating widget for their Document Library (just put some voting stars in a column) and it was a nightmare because of their API. Unlike Alfresco, I could never browse their source code to see how the internals works - and because they don't have a Spring-style architecture, I had no way of unplugging and plugging in new classes to fix the issues we had to do this properly! On top of that, a lot of end users are very dissapointed that SharePoint is not "web2.0" enough when they finally use it, and from what I've seen in SharePoint 2010 there isn't a lot of change there, still a couple of years behind whats already available on the web! Like you said - if you can't compete with SharePoint, you deserve to lose!

Wish you all the best for 2010 and hope to see you at a future event this year!

you make an interesting point about "ECM in the developing world"... no doubt orgs will need to rethink their strategy from the ground up... like with FOSS where people predicted there was no money (we all know there is... its in the writing books and training, not in the selling of the software itself)... perhaps software as a whole needs to take this approach... help other succeed first, and give them support do to so... and trust in the universal energy that says you will grow the market and become the incumbent leader! no doubt that will lead to much financial gain, however, surprisingly, if that is the motive, i doubt it will ever happen!

OK, that certainly makes sense for large blobs - thanks John.

I'd make the point that for WCM content storing an average ~30Kb of html content per "page" in database isn't likely to cause performance problems.

A bit disappointing (and surprising) that databases aren't able to more intelligently manage their caching to avoid blobs flushing more expensive data out of memory :(

When you put content into a blob, the database ends up caching the content as it would any other data. This can seriously mess up your database performance. In addition, file systems seem to be more efficient at both storing and streaming in and out compared to blobs. The restrictions are evident in the restrictions of only 10 million-ish number of documents and the limit on the content size.

The proof point are also the banks that are using file system storage instead of blob storage in SharePoint. This despite the fact that you lose functionality in SharePoint when you store content in a file system.

Great article but I'm curious why you think that storing content in a database is inherently a "fundamental architectural flaw" ?

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