Tuesday, 24 March 2009

What is ECM!!

This presentation is by AIIM which demonstrates what ECM is all about.

in slide 5, the presentation mentions that ECM is not necessarily a single system, but a set of systems that are integrated and working together, to give the complete ECM feeling!

And here is one of the biggest differentiators of Oracle's UCM products!

Oracle UCM provides the complete ECM stack of solutions, including Document Management (DM), Web Content Management (WCM), Digital Assets Management (DAM), Records Management (RM), and all other supporting services such as the Workflow and Business Processes and Content Collaboration.

Imagine the following with me:
we have a website, that consists of several pages, one of the pages has a nice logo in the upper left, and an image of the building on the side, with an article in the middle of the page...
if we dissect this page we will find that the page itself is a content that organizes how other contents appears on the browser using the WCM module, and the image of the building is actually a 10MP image that was inserted into the DAM module, and automatically was converted to a smaller web friendly size and format. While the article in the middle of the page is a word document that was created by the secretary on her desktop, and she dragged it and dropped it into a folder on her desktop using the DM module, which automatically converted it into html, and published it into the web page after the legal department approval!

So, as we see, all modules work perfectly together to provide a final consistent web page within the website, and each module contributes with its services to give the full ECM solution.

In this case, having a separate system for each module means each system will store its data, and it will be redundant across the other systems that use it. This also means that there should be some integration between those systems to finally provide the web page that we talked about.

For oracle, it is one system that manages everything! base content services are shared by all modules that are built on the same code base, means any module can use the services of the other modules natively, thus the process of creation and rendering the web page we mentioned is basically an interaction between the services of only one system, that provides all those services together.

users will have the same experience, since they are using one interface that has all those functionalities, and administrators has only one administrative view of all the ECM functionalities, even the upgrades of the entire ECM stack is basically rolling one patch that upgrades everything together!

I felt that very quickly when I installed the UCM system the first time, and I was really amazed how great were the guys who designed the UCM system to be such piece of art!.

Here is a whitepaper that will explain more why a unified approach is better for you!

Now I will leave you with AIIM's presentation.


  1. OK, so what the technical difference between ECM and advanced CMS with work flow, multi-level access, archiving system, etc?

    Googling the subject, I found this interesting article:

  2. Interesting article, I'll comment on it later in this comment..

    in general, what I see is that calling a product ECM/CMS depends on the vendor :)

    ECM as a concept that covers a broader area, including several vertical Content areas, (DM,WCM,RM,DAM...)

    While CMS revolves more around WCM as your link mentioned.

    Strangely, later in his article he claims that the customer prefers integrated approach to implement ECM, choosing each vertical alone..

    What I've seen in reality that many customers replaced their investment in that approach because of the huge amount of maintenance and support needed, as well as expertise and admins to keep those products running alone.. and further more keeping them integrated!

    on the other hand, most of the products in the market that claims to be a complete ECM system, has several products integrated together under the hood... which brings the same problem above, but with another risk, of having one of those products being very bad...

    for example, the major players in the ECM area have a very weak WCM module...

    CMS is more suitable for Web centric areas, for example your WorldPress blog, the only focus for them is to build quick web pages and blogs..

    ECM's WCM has the same functionality (maybe better) depending on the vendor and the technology. but in ECM it is "aware" of other modules, and interacts and works with them all.

    In Oracle's example, it is a complete SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) approach, where the entire ECM is one product, exposing all its services to all modules and components natively, having one repository, one DB, and one service!

    all in all, CMS "usually" targets SMBs, but for bigger enterprises they usually prefer an infrastructure vendor (a vendor who provides complete infrastructure, such as Storage, DB, Middleware, Service Management... etc)..

    ECM/CMS pure players are shrinking, and are being pushed to SMBs area...

    That's what the analysts says :)

    in the meanwhile, check Gartner's report on the ECM market and vendors here:


  3. about ECM and involved technologies in it and the dissuasion of the applicability of these technologies in Small and Medium Enterprises SMEs (Comprehensive & long and require analysis of each technology of(RM,KM,DM,WFM,…