Documentum is a well know enterprise class document and records management solution. It seems no matter where I go, clients have it, want it or want to get rid of it due to usability and cost complaints.

Most of my customers keep their enterprise class document and records management toolset and use SharePoint for a front end and work in progress. You might be saying ‘I thought SharePoint is enterprise class?’. There are several reasons why clients would keep their existing toolset but that is beyond the scope of this blog. So why Documentum? Here are a few points:

  • Leader in ECM space (Gartner)
  • Leader in compliance and regulatory platform
  • Unified global platform allowing federation
  • End to end content lifecycle management
  • Proven scalability
  • Robust security

For those wanting to keep their Documentum investment, Vorsite has developed an integration toolkit that consists of:

The Vorsite Toolkit for Documentum consists of:

Having worked with the Meridio integration for SharePoint I’ve learned that you must use caution when integrating third party document and records management solutions. Clients I’ve worked with hate (Usability and stability issues) the Documentum/SharePoint integration tools that exist today – namely Vorsite. The best integration I’ve seen is TRIM – functionality, adminitration and stability wise. An alternative to Vorsite might be ShareTop although I’ve not worked with it, it looks promising.

The following are areas I’m cautious of:

  • Office Integration – integration of third party document and records management solution FilePlan and functions. At its most simplest, a toolbar is added which allows Office users to open and save files to the third party document and records management solution. More advanced integration displays the FilePlan within Outlook – since most of us work from Outlook, it just makes sense to do this.
  • Search Integration – Connectors that enable SharePoint to index the third party document and records management solution. Sounds like a good idea? Not! Every execution of this functionality I’ve used has been dead slow! 100,000 items every 5 hours – this just wont scale! I prefer the ability to search the third party document and records management solution index directly.
  • Simple configuration and administration of webparts – Think site provisioning. If the webparts require a lot of configuration and administration then help desk calls and training will be more expensive. This is where Documentum and Vorsite fail miserably (I hear that Documentum has acknowledge this).
  • Support – Is there a number to call? Do they answer questions consistently? Do they point fingers at Microsoft when things get tough?

With any third party add-on, its important to have a lab setup for testing and a rigorous set of test scripts that test functionality (Does it work? Are their bugs?) and performance (File upload, download, Index speed etc…). It’s also important to have access to support and engineering in case problems arise.