First Impression: EMC Documentum xCP 2.1
- Published: January 21, 2014
- Written by Nathaniel Palmer
EMC Documentum xCP 2.1 is a next generation solution development platform designed for quickly building and deploying smart apps to support information-intensive processes and decision-making.
Notable key features of Documentum xCP 2.1 include:
- Support for Big Data – leveraging Pivotal Greenplum Database for actionable analytics and real-time visibility across processes and Big Data sets.
- Content Intelligence – out-of-the-box capabilities for analyzing unstructured content and automated metadata extraction.
- Cloud-ready Architecture and Supporting Services – ready-to-go support for deploying to the EMC OnDemand cloud environment.
- Mobile Development Platform – rich library of language and device independent RESTful services.
- Business Alert – monitoring and reporting on all business event data and historic user queries.
- Unified Process Development Environment – enhanced BPM development environment and design-time capabilities specifically tuned to delivering an optimized User Experience.
Documentum (as an independent company, prior to the acquisition by EMC) arguably invented the ECM (Enterprise Content Management) market space. Regardless of who preceded them (and there were several, many of whom are still on the market today) Documentum became the one to beat (or to buy, as many did). Documentum put the "Enterprise" in ECM.
In the earlier days of ECM, the focus was on the repository. Interaction and workflows largely centered on how to get information into the repository (read "information capture") and how to manage it once it's there (read "information governance"). Viewed through that lens, it is easy to see why the genesis of Case Management is so closely tied to ECM. Case Management is about the case – the growing of information around a specific customer or event.
How that information is captured, maintained, and secured, as well as the related chain of custody which proves whether established policy and procedure is followed, is critical to the performance of Case Management. This is where Documentum has traditionally excelled, and why so many existing Case Management applications were built on that platform, and remain so still to this day.
Beyond ECM: Managing Information-Intensive Processes
This orientation also quickly separates "traditional" BPM from what is needed for Case Management and managing information-intensive processes. Any BPM process can launch the capture of a document, manage the steps of applying attributes or capturing metadata, then pushing captured details into a repository.
Yet in the scenario above, the process itself is otherwise essentially unaware of the content of the document. The state of the process, whether it's complete or deemed successful, is determined by a series of predetermined activities (e.g., the workflow or process model) and whether or not all have been completed. Whether or not the circumstances change as a result of the information captured, from a technical perspective the content (and it's impact or meaning to the work being performed) is inconsequential to the process state and which steps are performed.
This is the opposite of Case Management, where the focus is on the content and data involved, requiring the ability to link a document to a business process, based on content and context (i.e., metadata) from the moment of capture. Rather than launching a process and in the course of that process capturing content, it is the content and surrounding context that drives the process.
Why Successful Case Management Requires Content Intelligence
The differences between a process which launches content capture vs captured content driving the process may appear subtle or little consequence. Yet they present a critical difference in enabling a balance flexibility and control of information-intensive processes – providing the latitude to enable knowledge workers to make smart decisions by applying judgment and know-how, while ensuring compliance with established rules and policy.
One example is applying security and metadata at the moment of capture, or more specifically through the capture process itself, rather than through the "processing" of a particular document or set of content at a later stage. This addresses vulnerabilities that would otherwise be present, such as exposing content that a given user should have not have access to, or control of the document being deferred to external systems.
Another example is the ability to automatically fill some attributes based on the content and context of a document when it is added to a repository. With Documentum xCP this is called Discovered Metadata, where data attributes and other descriptive values can be automatically captured and populated into an existing data model (e.g., details about a customer associated with a particular document) or maintained as extended attributes or as "facets" for faceted navigation.
Yet this can be taken further to the specific identification words or content fragments within a document, Web page, or other set of content, that has explicit meaning or value – such as a Social Security Number, customer name, or a propriety meaning such as a product identifier or case number. The ability to recognize these and map what is otherwise unstructured information to structured data values, where metadata or attributes can be extracted at the moment of capture, provides information intelligence that can be leveraged before risk management (governance and information assurance) as well as to aid knowledge workers with better informed decisions.
Documentum xCP 2.1 provides Documentum Content Intelligence Services (CIS) as an out-of-the-box component. CIS allows analyzing unstructured content with capabilities such as taxonomy-based categorization, Natural Language Processing based entity extraction and rules-based metadata extraction.
A Platform Designed for Agility and Adaptability
As the rate of change accelerates, the one constant is the range of opportunities for engaging customers and empowering knowledge workers through the exploitation of the emerging trends such as mobile, cloud and Big Data that are in the process of redefining the IT landscape. Yet, surprisingly few enterprise systems in place today are positioned to support this, despite the persistent need for adapting specific elements such as business processes, user experience, and integration points.
Documentum xCP is designed to facilitate rapid change to any aspect of a deployed solution, while adding the benefit of governance to ensure that all changes are versioned, as well as allowing a staged rollout (such as for functional and user acceptance testing) or to rollback changes that otherwise shouldn't go live.
Another design-time aspect of Documentum xCP is the emphasis on composition over code, leveraging drag-and-drop GUI-based design as well as point-and-click integration using prebuilt data services for connecting Documentum to other backend systems, external databases, CRM or ERP systems, – anything with a web services interface.
Unified Process Development Environment
Documentum xCP 2.1 delivers several enhancements to the process development environment, including Process versioning for design-time and run-time versions of the process mode, and design-time process model debugging. These enhancements reflect EMC's commitment to an optimal user experience in both the design-time setting as well as the deployed application.
Other key enhancements include those designed specifically to facilitate optimal user experience, including a robust business alerts capability which leverages historical user queries, as well as dynamic UI creation through action flows and page fragments to compose parts of a page and optimize the for reuse.
The new business alerts capability provides an alert engine which monitors historical query data across any/all business events, allowing xCP to automatically start processes to inform users or to take some corrective actions.
This is an extension of the larger set of capabilities for optimizing the User Experience, facilitating the design of applications where user interaction is driven by context and event-driven content, thereby streaming pageflows and navigation. A related capability is Page Fragments, a container of widgets and data services instances, that are used to compose parts of a page, and then be dynamically displayed based on a specific condition (triggered by content, user interaction, or another business event). The Page Fragments are reusable components that can be used across multiple pages within an application.
Documentum xCP Designer provides a Unified Process Development Environment
Making Big Data Actionable and Accessible
EMC was an early innovator in the Big Data arena, and acquired Greenplum (one of the leading Big Data analytics platforms) in 2010. Now part of the Pivotal business, Pivotal Greenplum Database can provide these real-time analytics capabilities as an integral component of Documentum xCP, delivering improved visibility and insight by allowing Big Data to be used in context, as a part of all decision-making and information-intensive processes.
For example, within the context of an underwriting or mortgage origination process, Big Data can be used to provide a more complete picture of risk, identify potential fraud, or initiate auto-escalation of a particular work item. Insight extracted from Big Data and analytics can automatically trigger workflows and business processes within applications, as well as to enable optimization of customer-centric processes, such as facilitating cross-sell offers or identifying "bundling" opportunities.
The leverage of Big Data also serves as an extension of the Content Intelligence Services described before, enabling content analytics using prebuilt taxonomies, Natural Language Processing (NLP), and sentiment analysis, as well as delivering process analytics for real-time visibility and aggregation of process activities.
Documentum xCP Analytics Dashboard
Knowledge Work Anywhere, Any Device
The information-intensive processes surrounding Case Management often take place in the field, and inevitably involves some aspect of mobility. Thus support for mobile users is now a critical and necessary requirement (no longer a differentiating benefit but today merely table stakes) for any platform supporting Case Management.
This allows native access on iOS, Android and other device types, and does not impose whether this work is virtual or physical but pulls all the end points, information, environments and provides that long-term record of how work is done, as well as the guidance, rules, visibility and input that allow knowledge workers to be productive.
EMC OnDemand and the xCelerated Management System (xMS)
EMC OnDemand offers a fully managed, secure, private cloud environment supported 24/7 by EMC. This hosted, managed service model provides faster, cheaper, easier deployment of xCP-built applications. Alternatively, the new xCelerated Management System (xMS) capability allows for optimized deployment into a VMware–based private cloud environment. This resource (xMS) leverages configurable blueprints for fast, repeatable deployment of paching of xCP applications, as well, as integrated system monitoring for increased manageability and operational efficiency.
90 EMC Certified Partner Solutions
A final aspect of the Documentum xCP offering is the number of information-intensive solutions already built on the platform. These include EMC Certified Solutions for Correspondence Management, Case-as-a-Service, New Account Opening,Investor Services and several more. By leveraging the xCP 2.1 platform, these solutions are also optimized to run with both the EMC OnDemand cloud environment as well as be deployed on premise.
Documentum xCP provides a compelling opportunity for making mobile and cloud work for you today and future-proofing your IT investments for tomorrow by providing a single, integrated design environment for new applications, where both business analysts and IT developers can construct an information model to store collected data from the solution including relating business objects together for more complex behaviors.
For more information about EMC Documentum xCP 2.1 visit
Documentum xCP Community Network
EMC Certified Solution Catalog
Announcing EMC Documentum xCP 2.0