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Web Services Interface Spec Proposed, Goal is Interoperability

EMC, IBM, and Microsoft have jointly developed a specification which uses Web Services and Web 2.0 interfaces so that applications can interoperate with multiple Enterprise Content Management (ECM) repositorie by different vendors. The companies intend to submit the Content Management Interoperability Services specification to OASIS (Organization for the Advancementof Structured Information Standards) for advancement through its standards development process.

The ultimate goal of CMIS is to dramatically reduce the IT burden around multi-vendor, multi-repository content management environments. Currently, users spend resources to create and maintain custom integration code and one-off integrations to get different ECM systems within their organizations to "talk" to one another. The specification will also let ISVs create specialized applications that are capable of running over a variety of content management systems.

Working together since late 2006, the three companies were joined in the creation of the CMIS draft specification by other leading software providers including: Alfresco Software, Open Text, Oracle and SAP. A final gathering of all seven companies was recently heldto validate interoperability of the specification before submission to OASIS.

"For some time now the world of content management has been evolving from separate application platforms to an integral part of a company's information infrastructure," said EMC's Razmik Abnous. "As content management rapidly becomes a key piece of a company's business process, there's a heightened need for interoperability between the vast and diverse sources that manage this content. This agreement is a major step forward in achieving this goal."

The interface:

  • Is designed to work over existing repositories lets users build and leverage applications against multiple repositories, unlocking content they already have.
  • De-couples web services and content from the content management repository, enabling customers to manage content independently
  • Provides common web services and Web 2.0 interfaces to simplify application development
  • Is development platform and language agnostic
  • Supports composite application development and mash-ups by business or IT analysts

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