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IBM's Cinnamon Sweetens Content Management

IBM said it is using XML to make Web and digital content easier to find in repositories.

To do this, engineers in the systems vendor's Silicon Valley Labs said this week they are sprinkling its content management software with Project Cinnamon, a homegrown technology that simplifies the management of XML content by automating the modeling of data and document reception.

According to a company statement, IBM will add Cinnamon to the next version of DB2 Content Manager, which is currently in beta and will be rolled out before year's end to give business users a more synchronized view of business data.

Cinnamon features a new XML Schema mapping tool for the administration level that allows DB2 to export items from one content management system to another. Unveiled as a research project last June, Cinnamon is an extension of earlier work, code-named Clio, to support XML in DB2.

IBM's advancement in the multibillion dollar space for shepherding content is another indication that software makers are finding ways to make their products valuable commodities in an industry beset by complex record-keeping regulations.

The prospect of being able to call up files no matter what repository they sit in has information managers -- and the vendors who cater to them -- buzzing.

Using this fact and its increased XML support to its advantage, IBM is making it easier for distributed applications to be exchanged with enterprise content management systems. Specifically, IBM is using Web services to make it easier for developers to program and integrate applications in DB2 Content Manager.

This could be an important move in a sea of maneuvers from competitors EMC, its Documentum division and other market leaders, such as Interwoven and FileNet. FileNet recently unveiled its XML Web Services product to provide rich content and business process management functionality for ECM applications.

The software publishes WSDL descriptions and support for Web services operations from a variety of clients, including J2EE and Microsoft .NET.

In the meantime, IBM products, such as WebSphere Process Choreographer and WebSphere/Rational graphical application development tools, offer content management and collaboration services as key components of IBM's information management stack.

In addition to new XML capabilities, IBM is also looking to develop a content access interface and Java-based content repository based on JSR170 standards. The company will use the Java Content Repository API to provide standard access to content repositories.