Documentum builds on content management roots

Adopts key Legato platform

By Heidi Biggar

At the AIIM exposition and conference next week, Documentum, a provider of content management software, will make several product announcements intended to make it easier for companies to manage--and store--growing reservoirs of unstructured data.

This series of announcements is the first product news to come out of Documentum since the company was acquired by EMC in December. EMC is running Documentum as a separate division based in Pleasanton, CA (see EMC, Veritas continue acquisition spree).

"Content management is all about managing 'unstructured' data--that is, any data type that doesn't fit neatly into databases," says John Magee, vice president of marketing at Documentum. Unstructured data is generally differentiated from "structured" data by its random and unpredictable flow. It is estimated that about 80% of all data is unstructured.

While e-mail and various types of Web content are prevalent forms of unstructured data, other examples abound in a variety of industries. "The life sciences, manufacturing, and aerospace industries, for example, all have requirements to carefully manage content," says Magee.

On tap from Documentum are three new products: Documentum Compliance Manager, which is built on the Documentum ECM platform and is designed to help users establish better content workflows for compliance purposes; Documentum Web Compliance Solution, which is designed to facilitate the management of Web content in various regulated industries (e.g., financial, pharmaceutical); and Documentum AX5 Channel Edition (formerly Legato ApplicationXtender), which provides content management capabilities to Windows users.

Explains Magee: "By bringing ApplicationXtender 5.0 [under the new AX5 name] into the Documentum family, we're able to reach a piece of the market we couldn't previously hit. We're now able to serve the high-end, mid-tier, and low-end through the channel."

Documentum also announced a new scalability benchmark and methodology for open systems, which it claims will help smooth the migration process from mainframes to open-systems hardware running Documentum software. "The idea is to provide mainframe levels of service at open-system prices," says Magee.

Except for the AX5 software, which Documentum inherited from EMC (via EMC's acquisition of Legato last summer), none of the products are the result of joint development between the two companies. "The tie-in with EMC," says Magee, "is [our ability to now] deliver a complete solution for managing content along with storage."

While the Documentum software integrates with EMC hardware--specifically, Centera--Magee says it continues to maintain its vendor-neutral status by integrating with third-party software and back-end hardware from a variety of vendors.

The new Documentum products will be available next week.

This article was originally published on March 03, 2004