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The challenge of managing a Documentum D2 interface

November 6th, 2012 Comments off

In June 2012, Documentum launched their all new interface D2 version 4. It is their answer to the new demand for flexibility in the new normal. After more than 10 years of struggling with the WDK clients this is what all Documentum users are waiting, no, begging for.

D2 was already there but that was a fully .net internet explorer only interface that needed a client install. This client was very life-science focussed but the first idea’s where very promising.
Now version 4 is here. It is html5 based and will work without install on a set of different browsers. It is based on the same configuration concept as the old D2. This blog is about that functionality.

Up front: I am really impressed about the look and feel of D2 and I applaud EMC for the decision to stop their own dev work and ‘buy’ a new interface. This blog is not about the tool itself but fully about the challenges for maintaining a flexible user interface on top of a very controlled and structured ECM solution.

The base of the configuration is based on a set of tables where roles in Documentum are mapped to functions and widgets. It is very easy to do and – in a demo – to show the impact and speed of a change and reason for applause.

But now to real life an example.

I’m a security officer of a large bank. We have defined 450 roles worldwide within 6 different regions and per region about 4 different departments.
A significant part of the users will work internationally and share, use and create content for multiple regions and within multiple departments that could vary per region.

When we used TaskSpace we had defined about 150 different functions that users should be able to do and should be presented independent of the other functions.
To make the user experience rich and flexible, we defined 50 external widgets like Google Maps and calculations connectors.

Simple calculations shows us that we will have (probably spread across 6 or 24 different views) 9000 cells in our tale(s) that I as the security officer need to manage.
It is my responsibility to guarantee that there are no wrong check-marks set between a role and a function. A challenge I must say.