Documentum and Databases

July 3, 2013 at 4:11 pm | Posted in Performance | 4 Comments
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Here’s a quick thought on Documentum and databases. For a long time Documentum used to support a variety of databases however these days support is just for 2 in D7 (Oracle and SQL Server) down from 4 in D6.7 (the previous 2 plus DB2 and Sybase).

The clear reason for narrowing down the choice of database server is (I suspect) the cost of developing for and supporting a large number of choices, particularly since most of the database/OS combinations were used by only a handful of customers.

So why doesn’t EMC port the application to postgres and cut that choice down to 1? Why postgres? Well because EMC owns Greenplum (well actually it’s now part of Pivotal but that just complicates the story) and Greenplum is an enhanced postgres.

The logic for this is clear: EMC would like people to move to OnDemand and it makes sense for them to have ownership of the whole technical stack. At the very least they must be shelling out money to one of the database vendors. I’m not sure which one – if you have access to an OnDemand installation try running ‘select r_server_version from dm_server_config’ and see what’s returned, someone let me know the results if you could.

There are a couple of reasons why EMC might be reluctant. First it’s a big change and people (including EMCs own development and support teams) have a big skills base in the legacy databases. Taking a medium-term strategic view this is not a great reason and is just a product of FUD – Documentum has taken brave technical steps in the past such as eliminating the dmcl layer with great success.

Second we’ve been hearing a lot over the last few years about the NG server that runs on XHive xml database that is touted to replace the venerable Content Server in the longer term. Perhaps EMC is reluctant to work on 2 such radical changes.

Who knows? It’s just a thought …

 

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4 Comments »

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  1. OnDemand runs on MS SQL Server

    • Thanks Ben, I was hoping you might chip in here. I was pretty sure it wasn’t going to be Oracle!

  2. I’ve been waiting for a shift at the back end for a while, but even beyond the DB there are a lot of complimentary technologies in the greater EMC/Pivotal world which could assist the stack – e.g. TCServer (supported already), XHive, Greenplum, even Gemfire theoretically could be leveraged.
    Unfortunately I’m just a lowly consultant in another silo to the boffins at engineering, so a lot of the time my guess is as good as yours!

  3. […] Documentum Developer Conference: Documentum Developer Edition is back and now runs on PostgreSQL. I discussed this a few months back and I thought that maybe EMC didn’t have the stomach for something so technical, but I was […]


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