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EMC, Adobe to Align Content Management

EMC isn't the first company that comes to mind when the topic of enterprise content management (ECM) pops up, not in a world peppered by independent ECM players like Interwoven and FileNet .

But perhaps it should be.

EMC, which entered the ECM market when it acquired Documentum almost two years ago, has just inked an agreement with document software maker Adobe Systems to develop a content management infrastructure based on standards.

The Hopkinton, Mass., information systems vendor said the new infrastructure will combine EMC's Documentum platform and Adobe's open Extensible Metadata Platform (XMP) technology to improve the way computer users share and manage information.

How the ECM platform works with Adobe XMP is a bit more complicated.

First, XMP is a labeling technology that can embed data about a content file, or metadata, into the file itself, enabling better processing of jobs, workflow automation and rights management.

With XMP, metadata can be assigned to content earlier in the information lifecycle and prior to it being stored in the EMC Documentum repository, enabling users to automate the tagging and validation of content more effectively.

Together, EMC's Documentum platform and XMP facilitate information sharing and management across different repositories.

Enterprise content management standards are important for accommodating the growing glut of structured Data like XML, or unstructured data, such as e-mail and X-ray files.

While the state of computing is evolving to the point where innovative products can't fly off the shelves, vendors have put out too many proprietary products over the last few years.

The innovation is great. But the problem is that most hardware or software won't work with similar products from vendors who seek to best each other for a bigger chunk of the market.

In ECM specifically, content created and shelved in one repository generally can't be exchanged with content from another vendor's repository. This becomes a major headache for business customers that want to be able to integrate content into business processes.

That's why the collaborative effort between EMC and Adobe will also support the Interoperable Enterprise Content Management (iECM) standard being developed by the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM).

The iECM framework will address the need for a common integration layer between different enterprise content management systems and multiple business applications. The framework will include a suite of Web services that provide a common set of operations through which ECM solutions and enterprise applications can interoperate and manage content.

On that note, iECM will also support key standards such as SOAP , WSDL and BPEL , among others.