Friday, October 16, 2009

Composer and ACHells

Hosed by Composer again! This time trying to install Permission Set from Dev to Test Repositories:


  • Dev Repository name: LoserDev
  • Dev Repository Domain User: LoserDev
  • Test Repository name: LoserTest
  • Test Repository Domain User: LoserTest

  1. Created a Permission set in Dev, which set the ACL domain as LoserDev which corresponded to the LoserDev install parameter in Composer.
  2. Installed it into LoserDev and everything unit tested fine.
  3. Went to install the dar file to the LoserTest repository and got an error: “user LoserDev does not exist in Repository”.
  4. ** Don’t be tempted to create the user in the repository. This will allow the dar to install, but will really confuse the UI with ACLs that kind of work, but not really.
  5. Went back to the LoserDev Project and opened the LoserDev install parameter, typed in “dm_dbo” into the default value box, saved it, and created another dar.
  6. Went to install the dar file to LoserTest: same error. What the?
  7. Went back to LoserDev Composer project, check the LoserDev install parameter and the default value was blank. Hmmm.
  8. Type the default value into the user parameter value of dm_dbo again and hit the enter key. Ahha! Saved it, created the dar and the install to LoserTest worked.

Bottom line: In Composer make sure you have an asterix * in the tab, to guarantee that your work is getting saved to the underlying xml file which is used to create the dar file.

Documentum Composer Wrestles with Lifecycles

Hosed by Composer again! Whoever thought Composer was ready for primetime with Lifecycle management was really in the clouds. Here’s what happened:

  • I created a Composer Project (call it Poser) and a new lifecycle (let’s call it DOA) along with many other artifacts.
  • I installed the Poser.
  • DOA had issues with ACLs and was not working correctly
  • I thought it would be better to create a delta dar for modifying just DOA
  • I created Composer Project 2 (Hoser) and imported DOA from the repository
  • I fixed DOA and installed Hoser.
  • Now Webtop showed 2 DOA lifecycles.
  • Naturally I deny that anything wrong is happening and I choose the wrong DOA, try it and get frustrated.
  • I DQL, I look at ACLs, I search Powerlink, I download Doc App Builder 5.3sp65
  • So I go back to Hoser, import the original DOA and click the “uninstaller” checkbox to uninstall both DOAs.
  • I install the Hoser again.
  • Now Webtop showed the original DOA still installed…What the? What got uninstalled?
  • At this point I installed Documentum App Builder, created a docapp, imported the lifecycles and uninstalled them. I fixed the DOA and had no other issues. This is still the true work horse!

Bottom line: once you create a lifecycle and actions, stick with that project, don’t create new projects using the original artifacts.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Content Architecture using Memetics

Virus of the Mind: The New Science of the Meme by Richard Brodie, describes the foundation of memes as being distinctions, associations, and strategies. When applied to Enterprise Content Management there are some interesting comparisons. Advertisers know how to push our buttons to drive sales, just as content architectures know the best ways to describe and find content, or do they?


Example: It’s snowing, or our content is all on a share drive.

These are the ways to describe content that are particular to the business unit, the company, and the industry. This metadata is vital for survival of the content, in other words, can a User find it among thousands or millions of other pieces of content? What key information can be drawn out of the content file or its context to direct successful search result?


Example: Snow is dangerous when driving, or without metadata I get thousands of search results.

Relationships among content and its environment are key the understanding the thoughts (memes) behind the content. A taxonomy helps by categorizing a business unit’s way of thinking for its search or retention purposes. This taxonomy would have to fit into the enterprise as a whole. The issue here is to start at the level where the content is created and is useful to the local users, then expand the levels out in a way that doesn’t disturb the functional aspects of the original group. Too much of an imposition will get rejected or worse slowly ignored.

Rules and Regulations come in to play for controlling and focusing content for common delivery to people and interfaces outside of the company’s mindset.

Fuzzy vs. Absolute: Users want to be able to fill out metadata and find that exact content later. This means the content architecture has to balance the business unit’s requirements with the enterprise's.


Example: If I have an all wheel drive I’ll make it through the snow, or with a taxonomy I can make sense of complex organizations.

Repetition: this is used to drill home the importance of certain ways of thinking (memes). For example, a naming convention will reinforce ways of thinking about content and its context (association meme).

Cognitive Dissonance: this is used to reward a User for taking the time to fill out metadata correctly. For example, filling out metadata and associations is rewarded with less change management, less hassle in the future when ways of organizing content changes.

Content Silos

However you want to attack the issues of content silos, they will always exist. The strategy memes of the business unit will always differ in meaning and scope from the enterprise. I’ve come to the conclusion that the best way to make importing and/or changing content the easiest on the User is the hardest to figure out in terms of scale and performance on the system. This means that finding the right balance of splitting up the system’s resources for each business unit weighing the content demands, the ability to find content, the access control, and the application of the latest rules and regulations. This balance when seen visually will make sense, but the challenge is to get agreement from all the parties involved, the governance. This is where strategy memes make inroads: they help far removed executives understand the long term benefits when seen from the past, present and future.