Interesting things about ECM

2010/06/02

Improving usability with Oracle

Filed under: Oracle UCM, Stellent, Usability — Tags: , — Anthony Fast @ 10:17 am

Source: http://markmorrell.wordpress.com/2010/04/28/improving-usability-with-oracle/

Improving usability with Oracle

By markmorrell

Oracle is holding their first Usability Board Europe meeting on May 5th.  I’ve been to a previous Oracle meeting and am keen to improve the usability of all applications BT uses.

At this meeting Oracle and founding members will:

The usability issues I will be raising are:

  1. Out of the box usability must be high
  2. Better usability does not mean more features.  It means features must be more usable.
  3. Think of users when offering help.
  4. Don’t focus on making error messages better, aim to prevent users making errors.

I’m sharing some slides I plan to use at the meeting.  Anyone want to add anything?

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2010/05/27

Oracle UCM 10gR3 Premier Support Ends Dec 2012

Filed under: Oracle UCM, Stellent, WCM — Tags: , — Anthony Fast @ 1:37 pm

Oracle announced that the premier support for Oracle UCM 10gR3 ends dec 2012.

Release GA Date Premier
Support Ends
Extended
Support Ends
Sustaining
Support Ends
Oracle Universal Content Management 10gR3 May 2007 Dec 2012 Dec 2015 Indefinite
Oracle Universal Records Management 10gR3 May 2007 Dec 2012 Dec 2015 Indefinite

Source: http://www.oracle.com/us/support/library/lifetime-support-middleware-069163.pdf

Note that Oracle UCM 10gR3  is the current release!  (See http://www.oracle.com/technology/products/content-management/downloads.html)

Overview for all Oracle Enterprise Content Management Releases

Source: http://www.oracle.com/us/support/library/lifetime-support-middleware-069163.pdf

2010/05/20

Oracle UCM – Security model, ACLs and performance

Filed under: Oracle UCM, Security, Stellent — Tags: , , — Anthony Fast @ 6:26 am

Source: http://bexhuff.com/2009/09/the-deep-dark-secret-origin-of-oracle-ucms-security-model#comment-4629

Maybe somebody should revise the Oracle® Universal Content Management guide, “Managing Security and User Access,” where it says on page 7-4: “If you enable accounts and use them, you cannot disable them without losing data. DO NOT enable accounts unless you are certain that you want to use them.” Either the documentation is wrong, or you lose data. It says nothing about the “appearance” of having lost data.

Page 3-3 of the same piece of documentation says: “The number of security groups should be kept at a minimum to provide optimum search performance and user administration performance. If your security model requires more than 50 security classifications, you should enable accounts and use them to control user permissions.” I take this to mean that the performance degrades noticeably (or can degrade noticeably) after you scale beyond 50 security classifications. Later, the documentation cites an example where changing a single permission can take 10 seconds. Not to be a pain in the ass, Bex, but how does this support your statement “This model scales very well”?? (I take it back. I am being a pain in the ass.)

One last carp. You say that “ACLs are horribly slow and impossible to administer.” For this particular CMS application, that may be true, I don’t know. All I know is that ACLs are the de facto industry standard way of doing this sort of thing. When you choose Door No. 3 and invent a nonstandard approach to solving a problem for which the wheel has already been invented, you only end up needlessly confusing and scaring analysts — and making customers read documentation, something they hate doing.

At any rate, I did learn a lot from your excellent writeup. Thanks for doing it. I feel better now. 😉

Answer by bex: http://bexhuff.com/2009/09/the-deep-dark-secret-origin-of-oracle-ucms-security-model#comment-4630

Don’t know why that’s there… the content you checked in is still in the repository, and the metadata is still safe and sound in the database. Users will lose access to these documents, until you either update all your users, or update all of the values for “account” in the database to blank. You can do batch metadata changes with the Archiver tool… which should be done prior to turning off accounts anyway.

I take this to mean that the performance degrades noticeably (or can degrade noticeably) after you scale beyond 50 security classifications.

In general, performance degradation is due to the complexity of the security model, and not the number of groups or accounts. For example, if you have 100 classifications, but most users can only access one or two classifications, you won’t see many problems. The “security clause” I mentioned above would be pretty small… However, if every user gets access to 50 classifications in different ways, then you’re likely to see performance to degrade a bit because of the increased complexity of the SQL in the security clauses. This can be fixed with some database tuning, however. Some of the admin applets — like User Admin — load more slowly depending on the number of security groups, but that’s rarely a big deal.

All I know is that ACLs are the de facto industry standard way of doing this sort of thing.

Slow searches are also the de facto industry standard 😉

ACLs are easy, which is why everybody does it that way. We took a look at how everybody else did it, and knew that they were doing it in a way that would require a ton of hardware in order to function, a ton of maintenance, and a ton of risk. We didn’t want to go that route… and what we came up with was pretty close to how LDAP does things. Seems to me like a good gamble that paid off…

I cannot name names, but I encourage you to talk with enterprise architects in industries with serious security concerns — like financial and government — to ask them what they think of ACLs in general. As I said, you still can do ACLs with Oracle UCM, but you’ll need beefier hardware.

2010/03/05

Should Oracle be on your Web CMS shortlist?

Filed under: Oracle UCM, Performance, Security, Stellent, WCM — Tags: , — Anthony Fast @ 1:58 pm

Source: http://www.jboye.com/blogpost/should-oracle-be-on-your-web-cms-shortlist/
August 31st, 2009 by Janus Boye

Oracle is among the largest global enterprise software vendors and like IBM and Microsoft, Oracle entered the CMS marketplace via an acquisition (Stellent in 2007). Oracle Universal Content Management (UCM) is based on the original Stellent product now fully rebranded, much improved and leading the market according to IT analyst Gartner. Does this make Oracle an obvious and safe candidate on your Web CMS shortlist?

We find that Oracle UCM does not come up often in standalone Web CMS selections, which is why it did not appear on our 2009 CMS Shortlist. According to Oracle sales pitches, the product has experienced increased adoption in recent years. As the Oracle customer list is very long and Oracle is known for upselling to the install base and for including UCM in larger deals, this sounds plausible.

Depending on your specific requirements, there are several reasons which might make Oracle a meaningful inclusion on your shortlist.

  • Oracle has continued to invest engineering resources in the product and made several recent improvements to the WCM part of UCM including usability, personalisation and accessibility.
  • As a large software vendor, you may already have a strong existing relationship with Oracle. If this the case, your stakeholders will probably appreciate getting a proposal from Oracle.
  • If you have a strong requirement to manage non-web content, eg. documents, this will play well with the product’s strengths.

Before you go ahead and add Oracle UCM to the shortlist here’s a few bullets for your consideration:

  • License and implementation cost will require a serious budget. The starting price is either US $115k  per-CPU or $2,300 per system user. Moreover, Oracle implementation partners are not known for attractive hourly rates.
  • Usability might have been improved, but still existing customers on the newest version of the product are so frustrated with poor usability that they publish commentaries like Oracle, can you improve your poor usability please? by Mark Morrell at BT.
  • You will need to learn the proprietary “Idoc Script” language for Site Studio until 11g release comes out.
  • UCM is a complex product and will be overkill for many scenarios.

Oracle is planning to release the much-anticipated 11g version of Oracle UCM later this year, which we look forward to studying closer. In the mean time, consider talking to Oracle on getting more information about what’s coming.

Comment on this article by Kas Thomas August 31st, 2009 21:49, Source: http://www.jboye.com/blogpost/should-oracle-be-on-your-web-cms-shortlist/

I would add another precautionary bullet point, having to do with the rights model. Study the UCM roles and rights model carefully and compare it against your requirements; that’s my advice. Maybe @bex or someone with deep UCM experience can educate me here, but I find the UCM rights model a tad unconventional. It defines a security group as a collection of files (not users). It maps rights to roles, then users to roles. Each security group is accessible to appropriately privileged roles.

If you create more than 50 security groups, system performance (initially at the admin level, but eventually at the user level) begins to take a hit, at which point Oracle suggests you turn on a feature called Accounts, which is a more granular, hierarchical permissions model. But if you choose to enable “Accounts,” you can’t go back to a non-accounts-enabled model without losing data (according to Oracle’s own documentation).

The whole thing seems a bit scary to me, but maybe that’s because I don’t understand it, which is not infrequently the case with things that scare me.

2010/02/04

Q&A discussion around SharePoint and Oracle UCM posted to the Nexus 2009 Group.

Filed under: Oracle UCM, Sharepoint — Tags: , , — Anthony Fast @ 10:15 pm

Source: http://www.sharepointgovernance.org/peers/PublishedPeerDocuments/SharePoint%20versus%20Oracle%20UCM%20LInkedIN%20Discussion%20Thread.docx

LinkedIN question dated May 12, 2009:

I would like your feedback ‘technically’ speaking on this question…

Should we migrate all Oracle UCM content to Microsoft SharePoint and why?

Email responses May 12 – July 14th, 2009:

Response

I think we should migration all UCM content to SharePoint.

From an end-user’s perspective:

1) Searching for content in UCM is painful. The indexing process is slow, and the search results are terrible.

2) The UI in UCM is dated, not very modular, configurable or extensible.

3) It is harder to expose content in UCM to other consumers.

From a Developers perspective:

1) SharePoint is built on top of Microsoft .NET.

2) SharePoint is integrated Microsoft Visual Studio, one of the best development tool in the industry.

3) Extensions on SharePoint can be written in any .NET languages.

4) SharePoint uses modern technologies/tools.

5) It is much easier to write and debug code in SharePoint.

That said, the learning curve is definitely much steeper in SharePoint since you would have to know the entire web related technologies including Windows Server, IIS, MS SQL, and .NET.

Response

I would suggest moving non-web content to SharePoint but only if we can use with the KnowledgeLake Imaging Server. The maturity of web content management features in UCM beat SharePoint. Having said that there are a host of reasons why SharePoint should be considered for library content services.

This would get all technical and non-technical staff more familiar with SharePoint.

We have already found benefits of locating multi-user spreadsheet access in SharePoint. We inevitably will find other organizations that may want help to migrate UCM to SharePoint. This would be good experience for our technical staff.

I still have difficulty locating information in UCM; however w/o KnowledgeLake search we would be in the same boat with SharePoint. Overall I find the SharePoint GUI to be far more intuitive and we would likely get better user adoption.

Response

SharePoint seems to be a good choice for document collaboration.

However, to answer the question in a larger context of where SharePoint might “fit” in our business and what our peers, customers and competitors are articulating in the marketplace is also a good question.

SharePoint shouldn’t be seen as a replacement for Oracle (or IBM, EMC). So far, here are the following reasons:

1.) Records management – although there is some records management capability in SharePoint, the feature set it a bit “underwhelming”.

2.) Workflow – Oracle has a superior workflow capability.

3.) Storage – there is no native support (in SharePoint) for comprehensive storage technologies (like WORM) or any other “write once read many” technologies. (and the marketplace seems a little wary about Microsoft controlling all aspects of their document lifecycle).

These three things basically relegate SharePoint to the “tip of the spear” as far as document management, business process and storage is concerned. Anyof these could change rapidly in the future, but it seems there is more integration development between SharePoint and Exchange and MS Office Suite than for an expanded feature set along these lines. If this is true, it will push SharePoint even closer to the document origination function, and away from a document storage function (ie… greater than 5 year retention and storage).

I think I finally understand that this is what people mean by collaboration.

It seems that asking a company to standardize on any one document management system is like expecting them to buy just one type of file cabinet, and then storing all documents in one single place. For large fortune 1000 companies this isn’t reality. For small companies, this may be just fine…SharePoint may be all they need (so I don’t see much of a future for products like DocuShare)

Maybe we should see the product suite as a document technology “stack” that begins with document origination in SharePoint and ends with Oracle.

Response

For many of our purposes, the shortcoming(s) of our existing UCM system focus on unsatisfactory search results. I assume this could be resolved if we were to rely on UCM for dynamic (changeable) content (and we should do this if we retain UCM). However, from a strictly content management standpoint, I see no dramatic difference between UCM and SharePoint’s potential using the current versions (MOSS 2007 & UCM 7.5.2) of both products. Anytime we rely only on text string queries, we are going to frequently get more in the result set than what is desired.

If we use SharePoint, we need to be able to use metadata in our queries and I understand that the current SharePoint is inadequate unless fortified by something like the KnowledgeLake enhancement for query.

As important as content management is our need to have effective collaborative tools which are substantial even though incomplete in SharePoint (these can be augmented by products such as Oracle Autovue, WebEx, etc.). The development staff seems to prefer the SharePoint characteristics.

It is highly probable that long term product growth and enhancement will be more active in the SharePoint product line vs. Oracle UCM. Likely both products will advance in capabilities over time, but SharePoint seems to have the momentum. In addition, add on enhancement product selection looks to provide a wealth of focused vertical market solutions in the SharePoint environment. SharePoint looks to be more pervasive in the marketplace than Oracle UCM.

If we have the resources to do so, I suggest that our long term internal requirements and our product marketing/sales objectives would likely be more thoroughly served by a migration of the information in UCM to a well governed SharePoint system.

Response

We use SharePoint & UCM in IT help desk support for many of the reasons listed we have gravitated to SharePoint for our KB, Support Portal and Content Repository. Because it is very easy to post information in SharePoint our usefulness of UCM has been declining rapidly. I have not seen or researched 10gR3 UCM and it may be worth looking at before we pull the plug on UCM. As one of the others said the searching for records in UCM is very difficult but SharePoint brings you back a lot of information you don’t want or need.

Technically they do a lot of the same functions but I think that our teams and departments needs more collaboration based application software for staff working remotely more than we they need Information Lifecycle Management. I would like to see an examination of how we currently access content and what types of information we commonly use. This would help us to decide if we migrate to SharePoint or upgrade/repair UCM and/or use a product like the ILINX connector to SharePoint for a combination of the two.

Response

There are couple interesting links regarding the two:

http://www.cmswire.com/cms/enterprise-cms/does-oracle-ucm-standup-to-sharepoint-002989.php

This is the somewhat Oracle-centric article referenced in the above:

http://www.oracle.com/products/middleware/content-management/docs/gilbane-workplace.pdf

I personally would bet on SharePoint simply because I prefer, and am more experienced in c# and .net versus java, and also find Microsoft’s interfaces much cleaner and intuitive.

Response

I felt the following was an informative article on this subject (link to actual document follows at bottom)

Does Oracle UCM Standup to SharePoint?
By Barb Mosher | Aug 8. 2008

Gilbane recently produced a research paper entitled: Information Workplace Platforms: Oracle vs SharePoint which has some interesting findings on which of these two ECM platforms is the best choice for an organizations information lifecycle.

The report findings are based on research on a number of companies who reviewed both platforms for their Information Management needs and what their final decisions turned out to be.

The report, authored by Tony White, Lead Analyst, Web Content Management at the Gilbane Group isn’t a long read, but takes us into the world of information workplace platforms and the pain points they address.

Defining Information Workplaces

This paper is more about educating us on what Information Workplace Platforms are and why they are needed then about the actual technical solution that Oracle or SharePoint plays. Which is a little disappointing because the title would lead one to expect something totally different.

As for a definition then, the paper defines an Information Workplace Platform to include: federated search, portal, content management, records management, document management, rights management, retention management, imaging, Web 2.0, e-discovery, and workflow.

Choosing Between Oracle UCM and SharePoint The research covers three specific customer examples where both Oracle and SharePoint were considered as Information Workplace Solutions. In most cases, Oracle was selected as the solution of choice. Of course, that solution didn’t just include Oracle UCM — it also included the Oracle Fusion Middleware of which UCM is only a part. Does that make it a fair comparison to SharePoint? Not sure.

One point that was discussed was the lack of SharePoint federated search. This is something that has since been resolved with SharePoint. Microsoft also received their U.S. Department of Defense 5015.2 Certification in May of last year, so the report is a little out of date in some respects.

CMSWire asked Tony Byrne of CMS Watch what his take was on Oracle UCM vs SharePoint. “The contrast between the two is a bit more nuanced than departmental vs. enterprise and collaboration vs. ILM. Generally speaking, yes, SharePoint is better suited to the former and Oracle the latter, but the story gets murkier when you dig into the details of each product.”

And it’s the details that we lack in this report.

Alan Pelze-Sharpe of CMS Watch agrees saying, “the thing is to see UCM as part of the Fusion platform, in that context it is a true ECM linking into BPM and a whole array of web services (identity management etc) and importantly supports ILM thoroughly.”

If that is the case, then should we not also include BizTalk Server — Microsoft’s middleware solution — and other MS solutions in the context of a decision on which platform is the better choice.

Aside from that, Microsoft has acknowledged it needs to do some work with SharePoint and associated solutions to provide true ILM.

Final Thoughts

The report concludes with Gilbane’s own views on which platform is the better solution and it’s obvious they are very pro Oracle — both UCM and Fusion Middleware combined. They do acknowledge that both solutions have their strengths and weaknesses and that they have based their conclusions on the platforms value for ILM.

That being said, SharePoint should not be considered only a “point-solution” for collaboration and basic team workspaces based on this research alone. In the right context it can be the right solution for the right organization. It’s all in the requirements and a full review of the platform’s capabilities — maybe even — shock — piloting or prototyping.

THE ABOVE MENTIONED DOCUMENT CAN BE FOUND AT:

http://www.oracle.com/products/middleware/content-management/docs/gilbane-workplace.pdf

Response

Right now we are using UCM for two purposes, to store some of our active content and host our public facing websites.

I don’t have extensive experience with MOSS Content Management, but what I have seen is that it is in practice not much different from UCM. Technically I don’t see any glaring problems other than getting over the MOSS learning curve. Both technologies have the problem of needing a well defined metadata model to support searching of our content. The one UCM feature we might miss is the conversion of documents from Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc to PDF.

I have never seen MOSS do web content management, but I have read that the feature exists. We need to do more research into this feature to make sure it meets our requirements.

As a developer I would much rather develop in MOSS. If we are going to be doing more MOSS products and projects in the future, and then migrating our own systems to MOSS would provide us with much needed experience.

Response

It would depend on what our future considerations are for the use of the products.

If the intent is clearly just to be used for collaboration purposes then I think SharePoint is the better product. Why?

I have recently been using SharePoint for multi-user spreadsheet access and used it more extensively on a recent project because that is where they stored all the project information that we needed to access. I find the user interface in SharePoint to be much easier to use and more pleasurable to use. UCM is clunky and outdated. In SharePoint, searching for documents is easier, although the volume of documents was low in both my use cases. In UCM I can search using more of a “google” search for known items that exist in the system and still not get a hit back when I search for it. I have to sometimes use just capital letters, lower case for others, or combinations of both for others to get hits back. So, on paper it is supposed to have better search capabilities but they really stink. I find that I either get nothing back or too much back with UCM when I search.

If our plans are to grow the system and get into more sophisticated workflows, records management, etc. then we should either stay and “suffer” along with UCM (and its clunky UI) or look at using SharePoint with an ILINX connector that could promote the content from SharePoint into IPM, UCM or other document management systems for archiving, BPM/workflow, records management, etc. Use the power of the document management system we have to provide the true ECM capabilities but utilize the easier to use interface of the SharePoint product.

I don’t believe that Microsoft will ever get the product to be an enterprise level product. They have gotten it out there but I don’t think it will evolve into a true ECM product. It will remain a good department level collaboration tool but not go much beyond that. They seem to be able to get products out in high volume to the lower and mid level clients but never seem to really break into the larger higher end customers like an Oracle does. They have tried to do this in the database space and the ERP space but never seem to be able to overcome the hurdles to really get the largest of the customers. Except for those who hate Oracle!

In the case of the project I referenced earlier. Now that the project is over they should be moving the important project documentation to an archive. The project team has been disbanded but the information needs to be stored for long term and then records and retention managed yet easily retrievable. They need a document management system for that. Not SharePoint.

Response

There are many valid points that are raised in these responses. I think one important consideration for this dialogue is ‘context’. The individuals responding to this query all have unique perspectives that are largely shaped on their functional role in the company and their direct experience with clients. At times, we tend to look at things only through our own perspective and not in the broader context. Industry trends and technological limitations can’t be ignored, but again, let’s consider context.

First, regarding the challenges that we face surrounding searching in UCM. We have to consider that the original metadata model that was developed for our Content Server was developed as a prototype when the platform was relatively new. It was then put into production and remained there. The metadata architecture model for Content Server is fundamentally different than the IPM platform which is where our core competency and extensive experience base was rooted. At this point in time, we have a much more mature understanding of the differences in those metadata models, why they matter and how that would play into a design and implementation. It is likely that if we were implementing that whole solution today, the metadata model might look very different, which in turn could significantly impact the quality of the user experience. Secondly, some of the metadata (e.g. author) was complicated because of the content review process that was put in place. If we tried to search for content based on who we naturally thought the author would be (i.e. a Program Manager for project management, etc…), we couldn’t necessarily do that because someone else (admin staff) ultimately would up being the ‘author of record’ because they approved and did the final checkin. Again, all of these things impact the ability to search, and the end users are unaware of the details, only that they are having a hard time finding their content. The question this poses is this; “Is that a function of the system, or a metadata model and review process that could have been refined to make for more effective search capability?”

Second, the ways that we use Content Server (and all of its associated modules) is extremely limited. We’re only using basic document storage and WCM functionality for our websites. There are myriad components used by other customers (i.e. Collaboration Management, Digital Asset Management, Records Management, customized applications) that significantly enhance the value of the platform to any given organization relative to their needs. We’re only going just below the surface. When you combine the ability to customize the interface, leverage the content repository, and include additional database support, and creative design, some very valuable and meaningful applications can be produced that add significant value to a business. The training application that we developed for medical sector client in 2007 is a perfect example of that.

Third, from a WCM perspective, as mentioned above, there is no contest that Content Server is still more mature than SharePoint.

Fourth, all of the comments above about the flexibility and ease of development (for skilled developers) in the SharePoint environment is true.

In Summary, SharePoint will likely go the way that Windows did back in the late 80’s and early 90’s. It won’t be able to be ignored forever. When Windows first came out, it was going head to head with IBM’s OS/2 operating system, a clearly technically superior product. Through some very brilliant marketing strategies, the Windows OS started showing up on the “new computers” (IBM clones). People started using the clones because of the lower cost and Windows came with it. Subsequently, applications started being developed for it, and over time, it became a defacto standard. Over the years, it matured and eventually became a stable, meaningful and valuable player in the market place and technical space. That was then, this is now and Microsoft is now the largest software company in the world with vast resources for development. SharePoint is not going away. It will grow, mature and a large application base will be developed for it. We have embraced it, learned it, and are developing in the environment to push the envelope for it the same way we do for other platforms to fully realize the possibilities. That being said, it should be considered in the broader context of content management, all content management. It is a tool that is part of a larger tool bag. Our model and methodology has always been to use the ‘best of breed’ for any given situation or solution. I don’t think this discussion is any different. We should leverage the right tools for the right job(s). We’re starting to do that as our knowledge and skills with SharePoint evolve, I think we just need to be thoughtful when approaching decisions to eliminate entire platforms and ensure that the decisions we are making are informed decisions and that we are considering things in the broader context.

Disclaimer

The information contained in this document does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the company. Individual names have been removed. The intent is to share the thought process that may be going on in many organizations that are grappling with the same decision being discussed in this document.

2010/01/14

Mark Morrells Oracle UCM improvement wish list

Filed under: General, Oracle UCM, Usability, WCM — Tags: , , — Anthony Fast @ 4:18 pm

Source: http://markmorrell.wordpress.com/2009/09/14/my-oracle-ucm-improvement-wish-list/

My Oracle UCM improvement wish list

By markmorrell

Oracle is aware of Janus Boye and my blog posts and tweets on Twitter about Oracle usability issues.  Oracle want to help resolve these.  I’m starting with Oracle UCM.

Am I missing any of your issues?

1. Publisher control

Oracle UCM has poor ‘granularity’ of permissions and no obvious back end to see who has access.

The permissions only allow two (publisher) levels, a limited ‘only edit what’s already there’ and a far too powerful ‘does lots of complicated stuff with a very complex interface’. This suits organisations with a few powerful people in a central group, but not BT’s intranet governance model which has decentralised publishers.

A hard coded menu item called ’switch region context’ has no place on an interface I expect a large number of users to use, and that’s only one part of a convoluted process to add a new page.

The user ids do not integrate with other user ID systems and it is difficult to integrate this with other processes (e.g. make sure that only people who have done training have access).

2. Quality of web pages

Oracle UCM should never be able to generate invalid code.

The conversion from MS Word is very poor ‘out of the box’, producing inaccessible and invalid code. With a lot of work – BT was able to improve this but never approached an acceptable level. Oracle UCM needs only to allow ‘well written’ MS Word documents (i.e. only accept well formed documents) and to reject (with explanations) documents it cannot convert to valid, accessible pages.

The site studio interface is poor and difficult to apply standards to. The browser version support is difficult and you have to rely on using admin permissions to install a clunky java applet. I don’t know if the applet is usable to people with disabilities. If it must use ‘rich’ interface elements then accessibility must be considered.

The pages themselves seem to insert a pile of javascript (is this out of the box?) and it’s difficult to enforce things like good metadata.

3. Template creation and management

There seem to be few well written components to use in the templates. Additional features (e.g. embedded video, RSS) need to be custom written and template specific. That’s a maintenance headache waiting to happen.

Management of templates appears to be awful. This encourages poor re-use of template development resource. It’s hard to quantify the effort required creating a template, but it seems to be excessive compared to other competitors. BT’s aim is to reduce, not increase, costs.

Please help me to help you with Oracle applications’ usability by commenting.

2009/10/22

Google Search Volume index for Oracle UCM and Microsoft Sharepoint

Filed under: Oracle UCM, Sharepoint — Tags: , — Anthony Fast @ 10:21 pm

Regions: ALL

Period: Last 12 months

oracle ucm
1.00
microsoft sharepoint
22.4

Microsoft SharePoint Integration for GroupWise Unveiled at GWAVACon Las Vegas
The Open Press (press release) – Jan 14 2009
SharePoint Solutions Creates Software to Integrate Microsoft SharePoint With salesforce.com
PR Newswire (press release) – May 27 2009
Extend the Power of Microsoft SharePoint with New Edition of Quest Web Parts for SharePoint
Trading Markets (press release) – Jun 23 2009
Metalogix Software Showcases Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft Exchange Migration and Archiving Products at Microsoft WPC09
Trading Markets (press release) – Jul 13 2009
OfficeRecovery.com Data Recovery Software Contributes to Microsoft Sharepoint…
Legal Tech Base (press release) – Sep 10 2009
Concept Searching Announces conceptClassifier for SharePoint for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010
PRLog.Org (press release) – Oct 19 2009
Regions
1. India
2. Australia
3. Netherlands
4. United Kingdom
5. Spain
6. Canada
7. United States
8. Japan
9. Brazil
10. France
Cities
1. Bangalore, India
2. Chennai, India
3. Mumbai, India
4. Delhi, India
5. Sydney, Australia
6. London, United Kingdom
7. Toronto, Canada
8. Madrid, Spain
Languages
1. English
2. Dutch
3. Japanese
4. Spanish
5. Portuguese
6. French
7. German
8. Chinese

Source: http://www.google.com/trends?q=oracle+ucm,+microsoft+sharepoint&ctab=0&geo=all&date=ytd&sort=0

2009/10/15

Looking beyond the magic quadrant to find the nitty-gritty

Filed under: CMS Watch, Gartner, Oracle UCM — Tags: , — Anthony Fast @ 11:37 pm

Source: http://www.cmswatch.com/Trends/1660-Assessing-WCM-vendors

At first I was hesitant to write a critique of the latest Gartner Magic Quadrant for WCM. They’re a worthy competitor, we could learn from them about the value of high-level summaries, and the MQ makes an easy target (Alan has already dissected the phenomenon). But when you look beyond the famous quadrant and review the actual rationales, some important issues emerge for enterprises evaluating vendors and technology.

One tendency is revealing. Many of Gartner’s “strengths” and “cautions” have to do with a vendor’s “marketing effectiveness,” “messaging,” and “awareness.” Things that matter to investors and other vendors, but not so much to buyers. We are about to publish a short statement on sixteen principles behind CMS Watch’s methodology. Principles ten through twelve seem relevant here:

10. We do not rate vendors’ “market leadership,” which is vague and typically not germane
11. We do not evaluate vendors’ sales and marketing acumen, except inasmuch as different sales tactics may be meaningful for buyers to understand
12. A vendor’s “story” doesn’t matter; what they actually do matters

Let’s contrast what Gartner says with a sampling of what our research says about Web CMS vendor CoreMedia.

Gartner

Strengths
  • CoreMedia has a solid reputation and proven ability to execute in its traditional “sweet spot” in the media and entertainment sectors.
  • Its regional presence is strong. Even in broader Western European markets, CoreMedia has a presence and a reputation for good engineering.
Cautions
  • CoreMedia has customers in different regions, but needs to develop its organization in North America more strongly and aggressively.
  • As with many engineering-focused developers, its marketing and promotion currently lag behind its technical proficiency. But recent changes in management appear to signal an intent to focus more on marketing and global expansion.

CMS Watch

Strengths
(partial list)
  • Flexible, open Java architecture
  • Portal-friendly (integrates with many popular portal products)
  • Streamlined in-context editing user interface could appeal to casual authors as well as marketing experts
  • Strong globalization features
  • FAST InStream search engine included in base package
Weaknesses
(partial list)
  • Combination of CPU- and seat-based licensing makes the product comparatively more expensive on larger implementations
  • Internal communication relies on dated CORBA infrastructure
  • Some important integrations (e.g., MS Office, Lotus Notes) have not been productized and remain third-party customizations
  • Power user interface is a thick Java client; some non-traditional UI metaphors
  • Product not well suited for intranet scenarios
  • Comparatively light footprint outside of Germany

There is one other difference. Our research costs money, and this MQ is free.  Or rather, it’s been pre-paid for you by Oracle. (Note the URL: mediaproducts.gartner.com/reprints/oracle/…) This tweet from an an Oracle employee — “Oracle WIN!” — suggests how useful the MQ is for them.

So, vendors can win (and lose) at this game. But what about you the customer? Before you start researching which tool to adopt, first figure out your requirements, starting with what sorts of website(s) you publishOracle might suit your Intranet, but perhaps not your public sites.

Gartner’s observations are arguably more strategic. CMS Watch was founded on the notion that in vendor selection, the nitty-gritty matters. A lot. You see, whatever tool you ultimately select will bring tangible strengths and weaknesses — probably more of both than you ever imagined– that will impact your business. Software developers make trade-offs all the time. Which ones do you want to make?

2009/10/14

ECM, CMS and WCM Job Market in Bay Area California USA

Filed under: Alfresco, Oracle UCM, Sharepoint, WCM — Tags: , , , , — Anthony Fast @ 8:44 pm

Source: http://simplyecm.com/2009/06/06/ecm-cms-and-wcm-job-market-in-bay-area-california-usa/

job_market_ecm_cms_wcm_dm
There are couple of my friends getting laid off from their company, who are working in the Enterprise Content Management, Content Management System and Web Content Management market in Bay Area, CA and in India. Is the job market not good? Is there any implementation going on in companies for ECM? Atleast for WCM and document management and/or collaboration implementation projects are going on in various companies.

I went ahead and did some research on this. I chose three Job search engines – juju.com, simplyhired.com and indeed.com. I chose an area – Santa Clara, CA 95050 and searched jobs for every ECM technology product for 100 miles around.

Technologies I chose were Alfresco, Sharepoint, Documentum, Oracle Stellent and IBM FileNet. The jobs could varu from implementation consultant, developer, project management, business analyst etc., You know what? The interesting find is – There are n number of Sharepoint implementations going on. Sharepoint is very very popular. Documentum is next, but not that high compared to Sharepoint. All others are just hanging in there.

Market is definitely bad and that kind of says – the situation of Job Market for ECM, CMS and WCM related work/projects. By the way – if you are an ECM company and if you want to definitely get job – learn Microsoft SHAREPOINT for now. You will definitely get job in this market too!!

2009/10/13

Price lists and functions comparison for Oracle’s ECM products

Filed under: Oracle UCM, WCM — Anthony Fast @ 8:21 pm

Source: http://content.fm/en/2009/07/price-lists-and-functions-comparison-for-oracles-ecm-products/

Sometimes I’m being asked about what features and components are included in Oracle UCM or Oracle ECM Suite, what is the difference between UCM and UCM Standard Edition, what are the actual license costs.

So, hope these links would help solving the mess:

Global Technology Price list: Oracle Technology Global Price List

Oracle ECM Features and Products: Oracle ECM Licensing Information

PS. And of course, on Oracle UCM Downloads page there’s a table showing what products possess what exact features.

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