EMC|Documentum's long awaited "D6" was officially announced last week -- though of course it has actually been announced by the firm many times this year at different conferences. Although this official release fills in some of the blanks, there are few surprises. That's not to say this is not a significant event for the sometime market leader - it's a very big event for them - only in the past what Documentum did was a signal for all to follow. The tide has turned somewhat, and Documentum under the ownership of EMC finds itself as much a follower as a leader these days.
What is significant in D6 ? Well first and foremost this new platform release is far more developer-friendly than ever before. We now have a new Web services focused API that may appeal to those large deployments that are SOA-oriented. In addition the Documentum Composer module can be used to build web services, and has been built out from the Eclipse open source framework. These two elements alone represent a seismic shift for Documentum, moving from what was one of the most proprietary platforms on the market, to a much more realistic structure for developers to work with.
D6 will be generally available towards the end of August, but upgrading to this version will be no lightweight task. Just like IBM/FileNet's P8 before them, it will take years, not month,s before the impact of this is fully felt. At the end of the day though this is a good move for EMC|Documentum. We will look at D6 in much more detail over the coming months to see if it really does live up to expectations . To be sure D6 when taken in its entirety (from the earlier release of much improved BPM functionality through to the continued opening up of the platform to developers) is not insignificant. It certainly represents good news for dedicated Documentum buyers, a good number of whom have been playing recently with more developer-friendly options from Oracle, IBM/FileNet and Alfresco.