Microsoft, EMC shake hands on Office content management

SharePoint Server 2007 will benefit the most from the deeper integration

Microsoft Corp. and EMC Corp. said today that they will offer better integration between EMC's Documentum content management software and Office 2007, particularly with regard to SharePoint Server 2007.

With the shipment of Office 2007, which is expected early next year, EMC will release integration software for Documentum that will add the functionality without requiring an upgrade to the Documentum repository or base software, said John McCormick, vice president of product management of content management software at Hopkinton, Mass.-based EMC.

Dow Corning Corp., a Midland, Mich., is currently a customer of both Documentum and Microsoft, and expects to implement SharePoint Server 2007 next year, said Anne-Marie Horcher, a senior specialist with Dow's enterprise content management group.

The company expects to improve its collaboration capabilities from the flat file share it has now to more of a team-based workroom, said Steve Hershauer, senior engineer with enterprise content management at Dow.

With SharePoint Server 2007, users working on projects such as engineering new capabilities for the manufacturing plants, developing a new product or a new business process can communicate between remote teams, share information and have a threaded discussion, Horcher said. The company was planning to use both Documentum and SharePoint 2007 separately, but it can now have a suite that works together, she said.

Integration between the two families of products will enable users to perform functions, such as placing a newly created document into a Documentum repository in order to help  comply with regulations such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, either automatically through policies or by performing Documentum functions from within SharePoint itself.

McCormick said there are two main new offerings from Microsoft: Content Services for SharePoint, which provides access to the Documentum repository within SharePoint so users can check documents in and out and manage metadata and virtual documents. The other product is Archive Services for SharePoint, which can either manually or automatically move content into SharePoint.

SharePoint Server 2007 will be the first Office 2007 application to contain the upgraded integration features, with other Office 2007 applications to follow, McCormick said.

Melissa Webster, an analyst with IDC, Framingham, Mass., said users should be pleased that they will no longer have to deal with separate user interfaces and logins when using SharPoint Server 2007 and Documentum together. They just want transparent access to content from the applications they use every day, she said.

Webster said that although EMC hasn't made an overt push to partner with Microsoft in the past, it has certainly made up for that with this product integration announcement, which essentially maps its entire product portfolio against Microsoft's. However, she said she does not expect the two vendors to collaborate on product development.

EMC also said its Documentum content management system, which currently supports SQL Server 2000, will also support SQL Server 2005.

Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

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