Enterprise content management
Web Design & Development Guide
Enterprise content management
Enterprise Content Management (ECM) is any of the
strategies and technologies employed in the
information technology industry for managing the capture, storage,
revision control, retrieval, distribution, preservation and
destruction of documents and content.
ECM especially concerns content imported into or generated from within an
organization in the course of its operation, and includes the control of access
to this content from outside of the organization's processes.
ECM systems are designed to manage both structured and unstructured content,
so that an organization, such as a business or governmental agency, can more
effectively meet business goals (increase profit or improve the efficient use of
budgets), serve its customers (as a competitive advantage, or to improve
responsiveness), and protect itself (against non-compliance, law-suits,
uncoordinated departments or turnover within the organization). In a large
enterprise, ECM is not regarded as an optional expense, where it is essential to
content preservation and re-usability, and to the control of access to content -
whereas, very small organizations may find their needs temporarily met by
carefully managed shared folders and a
wiki, for example.
Recent trends in business and government indicate that ECM is becoming a core
investment for organizations of all sizes, more immediately tied to
organizational goals than in the past: increasingly more central to what an
enterprise does, and how it accomplishes its mission
The "official" definition of enterprise content management was created by
the worldwide association for enterprise content management in the year 2000.
The abbreviation ECM has been reinterpreted and redefined many times during the
past years, replacing words like "create" or "customize" that were originally
part of it.
In autumn 2005 AIIM defined ECM as follows:
- Enterprise Content Management is the technologies used to Capture,
Manage, Store, Preserve, and Deliver content and documents related to
In winter 2006 AIIM added the following paragraph to the definition:
- ECM tools and strategies allow the management of an organization's
unstructured information, wherever that information exists.
This new term is intended to completely encompass the legacy problem domains
that have traditionally been addressed by records management and document
management. It also includes all of the additional problems involved in
converting to and from digital content, to and from the traditional media of
those problem domains (such as physical and computerized filing and retrieval
systems, often involving paper and microforms). Finally ECM is a new problem
domain in its own right, as it has employed the technologies and strategies of
(digital) content management to address business process issues, such as records and
auditing, knowledge sharing, personalization and standardization of content, and
New product suites have arisen from the combination of capture, search and
networking capabilities with technologies of the content management field, which
have traditionally addressed digital archiving, document management and
workflow. Generally speaking, this is when content management becomes enterprise
content management. The different nomenclature is intended to encompass all of
the problem areas related to the use and preservation of information within an
organization, in all of its forms - not just its web-oriented face to the
outside world. Therefore, most solutions focus on "business to employee" (B2E)
systems. However, as the solutions have evolved, new components to content
management have arisen. For example, as unstructured content is checked in and
out of an ECM system, each use can potentially enrich the content's profile, to
some extent automatically, so that the system might gradually acquire or "learn"
new filtering, routing and search pathways, corporate taxonomies and semantic
networks, which in turn assist in making better retention-rule decisions,
determining which records or documents to keep, and which to discard, and when.
Such issues become all the more important, as email and
instant messaging are increasingly employed in the decision-making processes
in an organization.
Thus, the term enterprise content management refers to solutions that
concentrate on providing in-house information, usually using internet
technologies. The solutions tend to provide
intranet services to employees (B2E), but also include enterprise portals for
"business to business" (B2B), "business to government" (B2G), or "government to
business" (G2B), etc. This category includes most of the former document
management groupware and workflow solutions that have not yet fully converted
their architecture, but provide a web interface to their applications. Digital
Asset Management (DAM) is as well a form of ECM that is concerned
with content stored using digital electronic technology.
The technology components that comprise ECM today are the descendants of the
electronic document management systems (EDMS) software products that were first
released in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The original EDMS products were
developed as stand-alone technologies, and these products provided functionality
in one of four areas: imaging, workflow, document management, or COLD/ERM (see "Components of an enterprise content management system," below).
For the software companies, it made sense to develop different products for
each of these distinct EDMS functions. At that time, most organizations that
were candidates for EDMS generally wanted a solution to address just one
overriding business need or application. They were looking for stand-alone
solutions to address narrow application needs, many of them at the departmental
level – such as imaging for forms processing, workflow for insurance claims
processing, document management for engineering documentation, or COLD/ERM for distributing and archiving monthly financial reports.
The typical "early adopter" of these new technologies was an organization
that deployed a small-scale imaging and workflow system, possibly to just a
single department, in order to improve the efficiency of a repetitive,
paper-intensive business process and migrate towards the Paperless office. Even
in these early years, when the market for these software products was still
relatively immature, it was clear that each of the major technologies within
EDMS offered tremendous value to specific organizational processes or
applications, at a time when business processes were overwhelmingly paper-based.
The primary benefits that the first stand-alone EDMS technologies
brought to organizations revolved around saving time or improving accessibility
to information. Among the specific benefits were the following:
- Reduction of paper handling and error-prone manual processes
- Reduction of paper storage
- Reduction of lost documents
- Faster access to information
- Online access to information that was formerly available only on paper,
microfilm, or microfiche
- Improved control over documents and document-oriented processes
- Streamlining of time-consuming business processes
- Security over document access and modification
- Provide reliable and accurate audit trail
- Improved tracking and monitoring, with the ability to identify
bottlenecks and modify the system to improve efficiency
Through the late 1990s, the various segments of the
continued to grow steadily, if not spectacularly. The technologies appealed to
organizations with clear problems, and which needed targeted, tactical solutions
to address those problems.
As time passed, and more organizations had achieved "pockets" of productivity
with the use of these technologies, it became clear that the various EDMS
product categories were in fact complementary for many businesses. Organizations
increasingly wanted to be able to leverage the capabilities of multiple EDMS
products. Consider, for example, the needs of a customer service department,
where imaging, document management, and workflow functionality could be brought
together to allow agents to access any information needed to resolve a customer
inquiry. Likewise, an accounting department could access supplier invoices from
a COLD/ERM system, purchase orders from an imaging system, and contracts from a
document management system as part of an approval workflow. And as more and more
organizations established an Internet presence, they wanted to present certain of this information via the web, which
required the capabilities to manage web content. Furthermore, organizations that
had installed the software in individual departments now began to envision wider
benefits, if they were to deploy it across the enterprise. Consider the fact
that many business documents cross multiple departments and multiple business
processes. Why not improve the management of electronic documents throughout the
organization, and gain the same business benefits at an enterprise level?
Both the market and the software providers began to understand the strategic
potential of software products that integrated the individual EDMS technology
components into a single, integrated solution, capable of addressing an
organization's complete information management needs. In fact, the movement
toward integrated EDMS solutions merely reflected a common trend in the history of the software
industry: the obsolescence of certain types of products and the convergence of
technologies, as vendors melded them into new packages.
Consider office suites, for instance. In the 1970s and early 1980s, word
processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software products were standalone
products. Within an organization, however, the same users were likely to need
all three products. The software vendors responded, and started packaging them
as integrated office suites – a strategy that also helped address consumer
demand for tighter interoperability among desktop applications.
The situation was similar in the EDMS world. Just about any company that
needed document management also needed imaging, workflow, web content
management, and COLD/ERM. Organizations began to demand multiple EDMS services
and ways to leverage them for broad-based applications. Thus, the EDMS vendors
took steps to deliver on truly integrated solutions incorporating the EDMS component
The leaders tended to be those vendors that already offered multiple
technologies. For these vendors, the early steps toward consolidation were small
ones. The first phase was to offer multiple systems as a single, packaged
"suite." Early suites were little more than multiple products being sold
together at a reduced price, and there was a perception in the market that such
suites were a strategy on the part of the vendors to capture additional seats
within a customer account. Not surprisingly, market acceptance was limited – at
But in the late 1990s, these software vendors began a major surge of software
development and acquisition activity, adding capabilities to their software
products or buying the software companies whose products offered the functional
capabilities they needed. Integrating the products into a single solution has
proven to be an ongoing challenge for many of these vendors. Scalability – that
is, the ability of a software product to continue to function well when it is
deployed on a wide scale – also presented some significant problems, as
organizations demanded solutions that could be deployed not just to multiple
geographic locations, but on a global scale, to tens of thousands of users.
In response to these market demands, the major software providers put
considerable development effort into addressing these issues, and they continue
to enhance the capabilities of their products and to expand the types of content
those products can manage. Beginning in approximately 2001, the industry began
to use the term "enterprise content management" to refer to those software
solutions that provide the full complement of
reflecting the truly "enterprise" nature of their products.
More recently, the ECM market has seen the entry of Microsoft and Oracle
Corporation, two of the largest and most pervasive providers of
software, at the value end of the market
. These companies have each taken steps to develop solutions for
content management – Microsoft with its various offerings in the SharePoint
product family in recent years, and Oracle in 2006 with its Oracle Content
Management product. These two software companies look to provide software
solutions with the basic ECM functionality that will address the functional
requirements commonly required by the majority of organizations. The result is
likely to be a stratification of the current ECM market, based on the level of
content services that different organizations require.
Independently of Microsoft and Oracle,
open source enterprise content management systems have emerged to also provide
basic ECM functionality. These include Alfresco, Nuxeo CPS and Plone. Similarly to the operating system, application server and database
markets, these entrants hope to apply the open source distribution model of
freely available and downloadable software to compete against the traditional
enterprise software sales model of the incumbent ECM vendors and commoditize the
The need for scalability and scanning facilities for hundreds of millions of
documents requiring Terabyte,Petabyte or Exabyte filestores that are in
compliance with existing and emerging standards such as HIPAA, SAS 70, BS 7799
and ISO/IEC 27001 may make outsourcing to certified end to end service providers a viable alternative.
Content management has many facets including enterprise content management,
Web content management (WCM), content syndication and digital or media asset
management. Enterprise content management is a vision, a strategy, or even a new
industry, but it is not a closed system solution or a distinct product.
Therefore, along with DRT (Document Related Technologies) or DLM (Document
Lifecycle Management), ECM can be considered as just one possible catch-all term
for a wide range of technologies and vendors.
A comparison of the definitions of the different application fields of ECM
and WCM makes it clear that the existing system category distinctions cannot
last long, whether for products and technical platforms or for usage models.
Solutions that are used as pure in-house solutions today will be made accessible
to partners or customers tomorrow. The content and structure of today's
outward-directed web portal
will be the platform for tomorrow's internal information system. In his article
Ulrich Kampffmeyer concentrated the claimed benefit of an enterprise content
management system to three key ideas that distinguish such solutions from Web
Enterprise Content Management is working properly when it is effectively
"invisible" to users. ECM technologies are infrastructures that support
specialized applications as subordinate services. ECM thus is a collection
of infrastructure components that fit into a multi-layer model and include
all Document Related Technologies (DRT) for handling, delivering, and
managing structured data and unstructured information jointly. As such,
Enterprise Content Management is one of the necessary basic components of
the overarching E-Business application area. ECM also sets out to manage all
the information of a WCM and covers archiving needs as an universal
- "Enterprise Content Management as integrative middleware
- ECM is used to overcome the restrictions of former vertical
applications and island architectures. The user is basically unaware of
using an ECM solution. ECM offers the requisite infrastructure for the
new world of web-based IT, which is establishing itself as a kind of
third platform alongside conventional host and client/server systems.
Enterprise Application Integration and SOA
Service Oriented Architecture will play an important role in the
implementation and use of ECM.
- Enterprise Content Management components as independent services
- ECM is used to manage Information without regard to the source or
the required use. The functionality is provided as a service that can be
used from all kinds of applications. The advantage of a service concept
is that for any given functionality only one general service is
available, thus avoiding redundant, expensive and difficult to maintain
parallel functions. Therefore, standards for interfaces connecting
different services will play an important role in the implementation of
- Enterprise Content Management as an uniform repository for all types
- ECM is used as a content warehouse (both data warehouse and document
warehouse) that combines company information in a repository with a
uniform structure. Expensive redundancies and associated problems with
information consistency are eliminated. All applications deliver their
content to a single repository, which in turn provides needed
information to all applications. Therefore, Content Integration and ILM
Information Lifecycle Management will play an important role in the
implementation and use of ECM.
Components of an enterprise content management system
Enterprise content management systems combine a wide variety of technologies
and components, some of which can also be used as stand-alone systems without
being incorporated into an enterprise-wide system.
These ECM components and technologies are categorized as:
This model is based on the five lead categories of AIIM International.
The traditional application areas are:
- Document management (DM),
Collaboration (or collaborative software, groupware),
Web content management (WCM) (including web portals),
Records management (RM) (archive and filing management systems on long-term
storage media) and
Workflow / Business process management (BPM)
These form the "Manage" components that connect Capture, Store, Deliver and
Preserve and can be used in combination or separately. While Document
Management, Web Content Management, Collaboration, Workflow and Business Process
Management are more for the dynamic part of the life cycle of information,
Records Management takes care of information which will no longer be changed.
The utilization of the information is paramount throughout, whether through
independent clients of the ECM system components, or by enabling existing
applications that access the functionality of ECM services and the stored
information. The integration of existing technologies makes it clear that ECM is
not a new product category, but an integrative force.
The individual categories and their components will be examined in the
The "Capture" category contains functionalities and components for
generating, capturing, preparing and processing analog and electronic
information. There are several levels and technologies, from simple information
capture to complex information preparation using automatic classification.
Capture components are often also called "Input" components.
Manually generated and captured information
Manual capture can involve all forms of information, from paper documents to
electronic office documents, e-mails, forms, multimedia objects, digitized
speech and video, and microfilm.
Automatic or semi-automatic capture can use
EDI or XML documents, business and ERP applications or existing specialist application systems as sources.
Technologies for processing captured information
Various recognition technologies are used to process
scanned documents and digital faxes, among them:
Optical character recognition (OCR)
- This converts image information into machine-readable characters. OCR is
used for type.
Handprint Character Recognition (HCR))
- This refinement of OCR converts handwriting or lettering into machine
characters, but does not yet give satisfactory results for running text.
However, for defined field content, it has become very reliable.
Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR)
- ICR is a further development of OCR and HCR, that uses comparison,
logical connections, and checks against reference lists and existing master
data to improve results.
Optical Mark Recognition (OMR)
- OMR, as used for checkboxes for example, reads special markings in
predefined fields with very high accuracy. It has proven its value in
questionnaires and other forms.
- Barcodes on mailed forms allow for the automatic recognition and filing
imaging processing techniques are used to show scanned images, and also
allow legibility enhancement for capture. Functions like "despeckling," which
removes isolated pixels, or "adjustment," which straightens images from sheets
that feed in at an angle, improve the results of recognition technologies.
Document imaging functions are used in capture quality control.
In forms capture, there are two groups of technologies, although the
information content and character of the documents may be identical.
- Paper Forms
- Forms Processing means the capture of industrially or individually
printed forms via scanning. Recognition technologies are often used here,
since well-designed forms enable largely automatic processing.
- E-Forms / Web-Forms
- Automatic processing can be used to capture electronic forms as long as
the layout, structure, logic and contents are known to the capture system.
COLD/ERM are technologies for the automatic processing of structured entry
data. COLD stands for Computer Output to Laser Disk and is still in use although
laser disks have not been on the market for years. The acronym ERM here stands
for Enterprise Report Management. In both, supplied output data is processed
based on existing structure information in such a way that it can be indexed
independently of the origination system, and transferred to a storage component
that can be dynamic (Store) or an archive (Preserve).
Is a process of combining data entries from different creation, capture, and
delivery applications. The goal is to combine and unify data from different
sources, in order to pass them on to storage and processing systems with a
uniform structure and format.
Components for subject indexing of captured
Systems incorporate further components for subject indexing and getting
captured digital information to the appropriate recipients. These include:
- Indexing (manual)
- In English parlance, indexing refers to the manual assignment of index
attributes used in the database of a "manage" component for administration
- Input Designs (profiles)
- Both automatic and manual attributing can be made easier and better with
preset profiles. These can describe document classes that limit the number
of possible index values, or automatically assign certain criteria. Input
designs also include entry masks and their logic in manual indexing.
Categorization (automatic classification or categorizing)
- Based on the information contained in electronic information objects,
whether OCR-converted faxes, office files or output files, automatic
classification programs can extract index, category, and transfer data
autonomously. These systems can evaluate information based on predefined
criteria or in a self-learning process.
The objective of all "Capture" components is the provision of information to
the "Manage" components for further processing or archiving.
The Manage components are for the management, processing, and use of
information. They incorporate:
- Databases for administration and retrieval, and
- Access authorization systems.
The goal of a closed ECM system is to provide these two components just once
as services for all "Manage" solutions such as Document Management,
Collaboration, Web Content Management, Records Management and Workflow /
Business Process Management. To link the various "Manage" components, they
should have standardized interfaces and secure transaction processes for
DM – Document Management
Document management in this context does not refer to the industry known in
Europe as DMS, but to
document management systems in the narrower "classical" sense. These systems
control documents from their creation through to long-term archiving. Document
management includes functions like:
- Check in/Check out for checking stored information for consistency
- Version management to keep track of different versions of the same
information with their revisions and renditions (same information in a
- Search and navigation for finding information and its associated
- Visualizing for showing information in structures like virtual files,
folders, and overviews
However, the functions or Document Management increasingly overlap with those
of the other "Manage" components, the ever-expanding functionalities of office
applications like Outlook/Exchange or Notes/Domino, and the characteristics of
"Library Services" for administering information storage.
Collaboration (collaborative systems, groupware)
Collaboration simply means "working together." However, these solutions,
which developed from conventional groupware, now go much further and include
Knowledge Management. Collaboration includes the following functions:
- Jointly usable information databases
- Joint, simultaneous, controlled information processing
- Knowledge based on skills, resources and background data for joint
- Administration components such as whiteboards for brainstorming,
appointment scheduling, project management etc.
- Communication application such as video conferencing
- Integration of information from other applications in the context of
joint information processing
WCM – Web Content Management
Enterprise Content Management claims to integrate
Web Content Management. However, information presented on the Internet and
Extranet or on a portal should only be data that is already present in the
company, whose delivery is controlled by access authorization and storage. Web
Content Management includes the following functions, among others:
- Creation of new or editing of existing information in a controlled
generation and publishing process
- Delivery and administration of information for the web presentation
- Automatic conversion for various display formats, personalized display
- Secure separation of access to public and non-public information
- Visualization for Internet presentation (browser, HTML, XML etc.)
RM – Records Management (file and archive management)
Unlike with traditional electronic archival systems,
Records Management] (RM; Electronic Records Management or ERM) refers to the
pure administration of records, important information and data that companies
are required to archive. Records Management is independent of storage media, and
can also manage information stored otherwise than in electronic systems. Among
the functions of
Records Management are:
- Visualisation of file plans and other structured indexes for the orderly
storage of information
- Unambiguous indexing of information, supported by thesauri or controlled
- Management of record retention schedules and deletion schedules
- Protection of information in accordance with its characteristics,
sometimes down to individual content components in documents
- Use of international, industry-specific or at least company-wide
standardized meta-data for the unambiguous identification and description of
Wf – Workflow / BPM – Business Process Management
Workflow and Business Process Management differ substantially.
There are different types of Workflow, for example:
- "Production Workflow" which uses predefined sequences to guide and
- "Ad-Hoc Workflow" in which the user determines the process sequence on
Workflow solutions can be implemented as:
- "Workflow solutions" with autonomous clients which users mostly work
with, or as
- "Workflow Engines" which act as a background service controlling the
information and data flow, without requiring an own client for this.
Workflow Management includes the following functions, among others:
- Visualisation of process and organization structures
- Capture, administration, visualization, and delivery of grouped
information with its associated documents or data
- Incorporation of data processing tools (such as specific applications)
and documents (such as office products)
- Parallel and sequential processing of procedures including simultaneous
- Reminders, deadlines, delegation and other administration
- Monitoring and documentation of process status, routing, and outcomes
- Tools for designing and displaying process
The objective is to largely automate processes by incorporating all necessary
BPM or Business Process Management goes a step further than Workflow.
Although the words are often used interchangeably. BPM aims at the complete
integration of all affected applications within an enterprise, with monitoring
of processes and assembling of all required information. Among BPM's functions
- Complete workflow functionality
- Process and data monitoring at the server level
- EAI or
Enterprise Application Integration, to link different applications
- BI or
Business Intelligence, with rule structures, integration of information
warehouses, and utilities that assist users in their work.
Today, "Manage" components are offered individually or integrated as suites.
In many cases they already include the "Store" components.
"Store" components are used for the temporary storage of information which it
is not required or desired to archive. Even if it uses media that are suitable
for long-term archiving, "Store" is still separate from "Preserve."
The "Store" components listed by AIIM can be divided into three categories:
"Repositories" as storage locations, "Library Services" as administration
components for repositories, and storage "Technologies." These infrastructure
components are sometimes held at the operating system level like the file
system, and also include security technologies which will be discussed farther
below in the "Deliver" section. However, security technologies including access
control are superordinated components of an ECM solution.
Different kinds of ECM
repositories can be used in combination. Among the possible kinds are:
- File Systems
- File systems are used primarily for temporary storage, as input and
output caches. The goal of ECM is to reduce the data burden on the file
system and make the information generally available through "Manage,"
"Store" and "Preserve" technologies.
Content Management Systems
- This is the actual storage and repository system for content, which can
be a database or a specialized storage system.
- Databases administer access information, but can also be used for the
direct storage of documents, content, or media assets.
- These are complex storage systems based on databases, which reference or
provide information from all kinds of sources. They can also be designed
with more global functions such as Document or Information Warehouses.
Library Services have to do with
only in a metaphorical way. They are the administrative components close to the
system that handle access to information. The Library Service is responsible for
taking in and storing information from the Capture and Manage components. It
also manages the storage locations in dynamic storage, the actual "Store," and
in the long-term "Preserve" archive. The storage location is determined only by
the characteristics and classification of the information. The Library Service
works in concert with the database of the "Manage" components. This serves the
necessary functions of
While the database does not "know" the physical location of a stored object,
the Library Service manages the
- Online storage (direct access to data and documents)
- Nearline storage (data and documents on a medium that the drive can
access, but for which robotics or something similar must first be set up)
- Farline storage (data and documents on a medium that the drive can
access, but for which a person needs to load media)
- Offline storage (data and documents on a medium that is removed from
If there is not a superordinated document management system to provide the
functionality, the Library Service must have
- Version management to control the status of information
- Check-in/Check-out, for controlled information provision
An important Library Service function is the generation of logs and journals
on information usage and edits, called an "audit trail."
A wide variety of technologies can be used to store information, depending on
the application and system environment:
- Read and Write Magnetic Online Media
- This includes hard drives as RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks)
server drive subsystems, Storage Area Networks (SANs) as storage
infrastructures and Network-attached storage (NAS) as directly accessible network storage
- Magnetic Tape
- In automated storage units like "Libraries" or "Silos" with robotics for
access, used like DAT in smaller environments for backup but not online
- Digital Optical Media
- CD (CD-R for write-once, read-only
Compact Disk, CD/RW for read-and-write Compact Disk), Digital Versatile Disk
(DVD)), MO (Magneto Optical), and other formats
can be used for storage and distribution, or in jukeboxes for online
components of ECM handle the long-term, safe storage and backup of static,
unchanging information, as well as temporary storage of information that it is
not desired or required to archive. This is sometimes called "electronic
archiving," but that has substantially broader functionality than that of
"Preserve." Electronic archiving systems today generally consist of a
combination of administration software like Records Management, Imaging or
Document Management, Library Services (IRS - Information Retrieval System) and
But it is not just electronic media that are suitable for long-term
archiving. For purely securing information, microfilm is still viable, and is
now offered in hybrid systems with electronic media and database-supported
access. The decisive factor for all long-term storage systems is the timely
planning and regular performance of migrations, in order to keep information
available in the changing technical landscape. This ongoing process is called
Continuous Migration. The "Preserve" components contain special viewers,
conversion and migration tools, and long term storage media:
Long term storage media
Write Once Read Many (WORM) rotating digital optical storage media,
which include the classic 5 ¼" in or 3 ½" WORM disc in protective sleeve, as
well as CD-R and DVD-R. Recording methods vary for these media, which are
held in jukeboxes for online and automated nearline access.
- WORM tape
Magnetic tapes with WORM characteristics are used in special drives,
that can be as secure as a traditional WORM medium if used properly with
specially secured tapes.
- Magnetic disk storage with special software protection against
overwriting, erasure, and editing, delivers similar security like a
traditional WORM medium. An example is CAS Content Addressed Storage.
- Storage networks
- Storage networks like NAS
Network Attached Storage and SAN Storage Area Networks can also be used if they meet the requirements of
edit-proof auditing acceptability with unchangeable storage, protection
against manipulation and erasure, etc.
- Microforms like
aperture cards, jackets a.s.o. can be used to backup information that is no
longer in use and does not require machine processing.
- Paper still has applications as a long-term storage medium, since it
does not require migration, and can be read without any technical aids.
However, like microfilm it is used only to double secure originally
Long term preservation strategies
To secure the long term availability of information different
strategies are used for electronic archives.
- Continuous migration of applications, index data, meta data and objects
from older systems to new ones generates a lot of work but secures the
accessibility and usability of information, and allows during this process
the deletion of information which is no longer relevant. Conversion
technologies are used to update the formats of the stored information. ;
- [Emulation|emulator] of older software allows us to run and access the
original data and objects. As well as special viewer software which can
identify the formats of the preserved objects and can display the objects in
the new software environment.
Standards for interfaces, meta data, data structures and object formats are
important to secure the availability of information.
The "Deliver" components of ECM are used to present information from the
"Manage," "Store," and "Preserve" components. They also contain functions used
to enter information in systems (such as information transfer to media or
generation of formatted output files) or for readying (for example converting or
compressing) information for the "Store" and "Preserve" components. Since the
AIIM component model is function-based and not to be regarded as an
architecture, we can assign these and other components here. The functionality
in the "Deliver" category is also known as "output" and summarized under the
term "Output Management."
The "Deliver" components comprise three groups of functions and media:
Transformation Technologies, Security Technologies, and Distribution.
Trans¬formation and Security as services belong at the middleware level and
should be available to all ECM components equally. For Output two functions are
of primary importance:
- With tools for layouting and formatting output, and
- With Applications for presenting Information for distribution and
Transformations should always be controlled and trackable. This is done by
background services which the end user generally does not see. Among the
transformation technologies are:
- COLD / ERM (Computer
Output to Laser Disc)
- As distinct from "Capture" components, it prepares output data for
distribution and transfer to the archive. Typical applications are lists and
formatted output, for example individualized customer letters. These
technologies also include journals and logs generated by the ECM components.
Unlike most imaging media
COLD records are indexed not in a database table but by absolute
positions within the document itself (i.e. page 1 line 82, position 12). As
COLD index fields are uneditable after submission unless they are
converted into a standard database.
- This is no longer just a function of web-based portals, but applies to
all ECM components.
Personalization gives the user just those functions and information that
- XML (eXtended
- A description language that allows description of interfaces,
structures, metadata, and documents. XML is becoming the universal
technology for describing information.
PDF (Portable Document Format)
- An intelligent print and distribution format that enables the
platform-independent presentation of information. Unlike pure image formats
like TIFFs, PDFs permit content searches, the addition of metadata, and the
embedding of electronic signatures.
- XPS (XML Paper Specification)
- A XML specification developed by Microsoft describing the formats and
rules for distributing, archiving, rendering, and processing XPS documents.
- Converters and Viewers
- Serve to reformat information to generate uniform formats, and also to
display and output information from different formats.
- Used to reduce the storage space needed for pictorial information. The
ITU process (CCITT) is mainly used for b/w for TIFFs, and JPEG2000 for color
images. ZIP applications allow the compression of any kind of data for
- Used for presenting content in different formats, selections and forms
in the context of Content Management.
Syndication allows the same content to be used multiple times in
different forms for different purposes.
Security technologies are cross-section functions that are available to all
ECM components. For example, electronic signatures are used not only when
documents are sent, but also in data capture via scanning, in order to document
the completeness of the capture. PKI (Public/Private
Key Infrastructure) is a basic technology for electronic signatures. It
manages keys and certificates, and checks the authenticity of signatures. Other
electronic signatures demonstrate the identity of the sender and the integrity
of the sent data, i.e. that it is complete and unchanged. In Europe there are
three forms of electronic signatures, of different quality and security: simple,
advanced, and qualified. In most European states the qualified electronic
signature is legally admissible in legal documents and contracts. Finally, there
Digital Rights Management and Watermarking. This is used in Content Syndication and in MAM (Media Asset Management) for
managing and securing intellectual property rights and copyrights. It works with
techniques like electronic watermarks that are integrated directly into the
file, and seeks to protect usage rights and protect content that is published on
All of the above technologies basically serve to provide the various contents
of an ECM to target users by various routes, in a controlled and user-oriented
manner. These can be active components such as e-mail, data media, memos, and
passive publication on websites and portals where users can get the information
themselves. Possible output and distribution media are:
- Internet, extranet and intranet
- Employee Portals
- Data transfer by
EDI, XML or
- Mobile devices like mobile phones,
PDAs, and others
- Data media like CDs and DVDs
Digital TV and other multimedia services
The task of the various "Deliver" components is to provide information to
users in the best way for the given application, while controlling its use as
far as possible.
The former member of the board of directors of
Ulrich Kampffmeyer, states in his whitepaper on ECM in 2004:
"Document technologies like Enterprise Content Management make
traditional data processing complete. They bring together structured, weakly
structured, and unstructured information. Every company, every government
agency, and every organization must confront the subject. Even if there are
no immediate plans to implement such a system, it sneaks into the
organization of its own accord – with the next server licence update, with
the next office software suite, with the next database or ERP upgrade. In
many companies with heterogeneous IT landscapes, the question of which
redundant functionalities of existing products are unused is already more
important than whether to invest in a new software system. The most
important job is to keep in-house information under control. The questions
add up: where to put the thousands and thousands of e-mails, what to do with
the electronically signed business correspondence, where to put
taxation-relevant data, how to transfer information from the disorganized
file system, how to consolidate information in a repository that everybody
can use, how to get a single login for all the systems, how to create a
uniform in-basket for all incoming information, how to make sure that no
information is lost or ignored, etc. etc. Document technologies play an
important role in all these questions. ECM solutions are necessary basic
components for many applications.
Every potential user will naturally consider his own individual needs
before deciding on a system. However, putting off decisions does not make
them less necessary. Every year something supposedly better and easier to
use will come along, but waiting will just mean never installing anything.
Every time the decision is put off, the mountain of uncontrolled and unused
information gets bigger, and known problems get larger. A sensible long-term
migration strategy removes the fear of fast technology change. The basic
functions of document technology are mature, and most products are reliable,
stable, secure, and increasingly affordable. In many industries, the use of
document technology makes the difference in staying competitive. ECM -
Enterprise Content Management – should be a part of every modern IT
ECM market development
leading industry analyst firm, estimated that by midyear 2006, 50 percent of ECM vendors will merge or be
acquired (0.6 probability) - tellingly this never happened. According to
Gartner, by 2008, 75 percent of Global 2000 companies will have a
desktop-focused and a process-focused content management implementation (0.9
probability) and ECM will continue to absorb other technologies, such as digital
asset management and e-mail management. Gartner also predicted that there will
be further market consolidation, acquisition and separation of vendors into
platform and solution providers. The reality is that ECM remains a highly
fragmented marketplace despite persistent predictions of consolidation.
According to Gartner reports as of 2005,
the ECM market leaders were Open Text Corporation, EMC (Documentum), IBM,
FileNet, Stellent and Hummingbird. In 2006 the consolidation process of the ECM
market continued and lead to the acquisitions of Hummingbird by Open Text,
Captiva by EMC, FileNet by IBM and Stellent by Oracle Corporation. New
competitors in the ECM market place are Oracle, Microsoft and Pitney Bowes Group
1 Software. Other ECM vendors include Hyland Software,TOWER Software, Objective
Corporation, Vignette, Interwoven, Xerox, Saperion and a bevy of smaller players
targeting low-cost document and records management. Ever-Team, SunGard EXP, and Xythos Software have been added in the Magic Quadrant for
In early 2007, independent analyst firm CMS Watch cited substantial turbulence
among major ECM vendors, suggesting that some of the largest players presented
some of the riskiest buys..
The Web 2.0 wave has brought new players to the market with strength in
web-based delivery. Koral and EchoSign, both available on the Salesforce.com AppExchange platform, are representative of this trend.
Enterprise Information Management is taking a growing interest from
organizations who are trying to aproach Information Management (whether
structured or unstructured() from an Enterprise perspective. EIM combines ECM
and Business Intelligence.
- ECM Enterprise Content Management
definition by AIIM International
- ECM Enterprise Content Management, Ulrich Kampffmeyer. Hamburg
2006, ISBN 978-3-936534-09-8 (English, French, German),
- Evolving Electronic Document Management Solutions: The Doculabs
Report, Third Edition. Chicago: Doculabs, 2002.
- Trends in Records, Document and Enterprise Content Management.
Whitepaper. S.E.R. conference, Visegrád, September 28th, 2004
PDF original source of this wikipedia article by the German consulting
company PROJECT CONSULT
^ AIIM Industry Watch: State of the ECM Industry, "The ECM
Association Moving from Why? To How?: The Maturing of ECM Users". AIIM
Association for Information and Image Management international, Silver
History: of the development and changes of the definition of ECM
Enterprise Content Management by the association AIIM international.
AIIM: current ECM Definition.
^ Microsoft launched it's ECM strategy with MOSS 2007, Oracle
with 10g and the acquisition of Stellent, both late 2006.
^ Ulrich Kampffmeyer, "ECM - Herrscher über Informationen".
ComputerWoche, CW-exktraKT, Munich, September 24th, 2001.
^ Kampffmeyer, 2001, p. 34.
^ Ulrich Kampffmeyer, "Trends in Records, Document and
Enterprise Content Management". Whitepaper. S.E.R. conference, Visegrád,
September 28th, 2004.
^ Kampffmeyer, 2004, p. 20.
^ Gartner Group, ECM Magic Quadrant, November 2005.
^ Gartner Group, ECM Magic Quadrant, October 2006.
^ Alan Pelz-Sharpe (2007-04-23).
Enterprise Content Management Marketplace: Opportunities and Risks.
^ Ismael Ghalimi (2007-04-10).
First Koral, then ThinkFree and EchoSign. ITRedux.
AIIM the international association for Enterprise Content Management
(definition of Enterprise Content Management)
ECM vendors list (in
PDF format) (ECM
product classification covering Europe)
CMS Watch -- categorized list of 40 ECM vendors from independent analyst
Open source content management systems
Version control systems
List of content management systems
List of content management frameworks
Document management system
Enterprise content management
Geospatial Content Management System