Will CMIS Strike?

The content management world got proposal for a new standard, CMIS, backed by the three giants in this domain. The introduction reminded me something of the Java world, that was supposed to take the content management world by storm. It has progressed to the next version, but it has not become exactly popular.

Coming back to CMIS, it will standardize communication with content repositories, giving you freedom to switch to a different content repository or use a third party application that uses it.

CMIS focuses on the basic content capabilities of an ECM system—the create, read, write, delete, and query functions. When deployed, CMIS ensures interoperability by defining how these core content management capabilities function in a uniform manner over a variety of ECM systems.

In reality, I wonder if the switch will be completely seamless. However, this proposal definitely tries to address the issue of locking into repositories. It might turn out to be beneficial if someone has a mixture of legacy repositories and expects a uniform interface to communicate with them.

It will be really interesting to see implementations on the Web. CMIS already boasts of offering both SOAP and REST compliant interfaces. However, Roy Fielding contests and tears apart the REST talk. I have always felt that any effort of building abstractions over HTTP makes it easy to lose the concept of resources and their identity, and REST compliance. This might turn out to be a key factor for acceptance of CMIS.

Though the CMS people are already talking about it, features included only for marketing talk will pull it down. If it strikes, it will change the way we deal with repositories big time.

Discussion [Participate or Link]

  1. Birotom said:

    As Kas Thomas asked, what are the chances that this becomes a standard, and what are the chances that most (or all) vendors will support it. As an ECMS vendor, my first question was this, too. And as a .NET based vendor, our second question was about compatibility and how JAVA related all this is. I think the support of Microsoft is quite important in adoption, because it makes it independant of both JAVA and .NET and any other. Inspired by the presence of Microsoft and a smaller vendor Alfresco, we put together a pilot with our software. So here is an open source .NET draft implementation of some basic CMIS functions with WCF.

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Abhijit Nadgouda
iface Consulting
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