Documentum Digital Asset Manager Review

A swarm of applications for varying business demands, but scalability needs improvement

How has it helped my organization?

I've been working on the architecture of big Documentum installations, and I've experienced pros and cons of the whole stack in different places, starting from the Content Server, going through mid pieces like workflow engine or CAS storage, and finally opening the infinite box of web applications it has. But technical support guys have been always there, trying to help me when I've been stuck at any point.

What is most valuable?

It's a product with a swarm of different applications, each one answers the needs of a specific part of the business. They collaborate one with each other relatively smoothly.

What needs improvement?

I would say scalability is a hot point to improve.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues. In my opinion, out of the box it is a pretty stable product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

One special point of difficulty was when I wanted to install a two-cluster-nodes Content Server and wanted to use a REST API to connect third-party applications with the cluster. 

The problem was that we wanted to secure the whole thing with token sessions, and we found that their persistence is not shared between different content servers in a cluster, leading to potential problems. For example, when a process client starts a session with Content Server "A", it receives a session token that is only known by Content Server "A". If, by any chance, the next query of this client goes to Content Server "B", his token session will not be recognized and he'll receive a challenge login screen.

I worked around this issue creating a REST endpoint that managed and delivered cluster tokens instead of using those from the Content Server.

How are customer service and technical support?

Wonderful people, excellent professionals. Actually, I've got a lot of friends there, as I worked one and a half years with them in Brentford, UK. I've been opening service requests that have been pretty well resolved. Keep doing it that way, guys.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I did not have a previous solution in production, but I've used other solutions in PoCs to further my understanding of them.

How was the initial setup?

Setting up even an all-in-one machine requires some technical expertise, e.g. Linux or Windows operating system. But EMC's documentation team has put a lot of effort into its literature, and the documentation and installation guides are simply superb.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It's absolutely not a product for small companies, but for middle sized or large companies it is not expensive. You pay for what you get, and there are a lot of benefits.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

On two occasions, customers asked me to evaluate different solutions: Alfresco or FileNet.

What other advice do I have?

I've been using Documentum products for seven years, starting from version 6.5 SP1.

In my experience, the starter product of Documentum is xCP 2.x. It allows you to create amazing Documentum-based applications with just a few clicks on its workbench, no need to write a single line of code.

It's an excellent solution, I totally recommend this product if you need a content management solution. But make sure your revenue will cover the investment in licenses.

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
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