EMC, IBM and Microsoft Jointly Create First Web Services Interface Specification for Greater Interoperability of Enterprise Content Management Systems
Sept. 10, 2008
Trio joined by Alfresco, Open Text, Oracle and SAP in development of the Content Management Interoperability Services specification.

HOPKINTON, Mass., ARMONK, N.Y., and REDMOND, Wash. — Sept. 10, 2008 — EMC Corp., IBM Corp. and Microsoft Corp. today announced a jointly developed specification that uses Web Services and Web 2.0 interfaces to enable applications to interoperate with multiple Enterprise Content Management (ECM) repositories by different vendors. The companies intend to submit the Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS) specification to the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) for advancement through its rigorous standards development process.

The ultimate goal of CMIS is to dramatically reduce the IT burden around multivendor, multirepository content management environments. Currently, customers must spend valuable time and money 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 benefit independent software vendors (ISVs) by enabling them to 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 held to validate interoperability of the specification before submission to OASIS.

“Many companies today are struggling with how to unlock the full value of their data when they have multiple content management solutions dispersed throughout their organization. Currently, ‘marrying’ these into one integrated system — or migrating content between systems — costs the IT department a lot in time and money,” said Melissa Webster, program vice president, Content & Digital Media Technologies at IDC. “Given the need for a common standard that will enable customers to access disparate repositories, today’s announcement certainly seems like a very positive step in the right direction.”

“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 Razmik Abnous, vice president and chief technology officer, Content Management and Archiving Division at EMC. “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. Today’s agreement is a major step forward in achieving this goal.”

“By working together to define the CMIS standard, IBM, Microsoft and EMC are clearly putting the needs of all customers first in this important technology area. We have worked hard to develop a standard that continues IBM’s efforts to leverage the principles of SOA and Web 2.0 interfaces to benefit the industry as a whole,” said Ken Bisconti, vice president, products and strategy, IBM Enterprise Content Management.

“The real winner in today’s announcement is the customer,” said Jeff Teper, corporate vice president of the Office Business Platform, Office SharePoint Server Group at Microsoft. “Today’s businesses are driven by information. When companies operate in silos, with information scattered throughout the enterprise, it becomes extremely difficult for customers to realize its full value. By working together, we believe we can enable customers to maximize the use of critical business assets.”

Key to the new specification, EMC, IBM and Microsoft worked together to define an interface that does the following:

  • Is designed to work over existing repositories enabling customers to 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 dramatically simplify application development

  • Is development platform and language agnostic

  • Supports composite application development and mash-ups by the business or IT analyst

  • Grows the ISV and developer community

“We applaud EMC, IBM, and Microsoft for reaching this milestone and for choosing to take the next step and advance this important work through an open standards process,” said Laurent Liscia, executive director of OASIS. “We look forward to furthering the evolution of CMIS from specification to standard and to promoting the broadest possible industry adoption through education and implementation efforts.”

For more information, and to download a preview copy of the CMIS technical specification draft, please see the Web site of any of the contributing companies: EMC (http://www.emc.com/about/news/press/2008/091008-smr-content-management-interoperability-services.htm); IBM (http://www.ibm.com/software/data/content-management/cm-interoperablity-services.html); and Microsoft (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=127855). For information on participating in the CMIS standardization work at OASIS, contact member-services@oasis-open.org.

About EMC

EMC Corporation (NYSE: EMC) is the world’s leading developer and provider of information infrastructure technology and solutions that enable organizations of all sizes to transform the way they compete and create value from their information. Information about EMC’s products and services can be found at www.EMC.com.

About IBM

For more information on IBM’s (NYSE: IBM) Enterprise Content Management offerings, visit: http://www-306.ibm.com/software/ecm.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/contactpr.mspx.

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