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Pawan Kumar reviews WCM with Documentum

Pawan Kumar is the author of the book Documentum Content Management Foundations. Here he reviews the book - Web Content Management with Documentum. Enjoy! 



Disclaimers / Disclosures
  • This review represents my independent opinion.
  • No one has solicited this review. Specifically, I have not been paid by the author or EMC for this review.
  • The publisher has provided me with a free copy of the book for writing this review.
  • The author (Gaurav Kathuria) is a technical reviewer of my book.
Approach
This review does not attempt to provide information about EMC Documentum outside the context of the book. The review focuses on what the book offers, what it does well, and where it could have done better. Content outline and information about the author is present on the publisher’s page for the book.

Review
This book was one of the first two books on Documentum to become available. It was also an inspiration for me to write one myself, though I did not get to read it until now.

I would describe this book in one sentence as "a handy reference with illustrated step-by-step examples for performing various web content management tasks with EMC Documentum." The book addresses version 5.2.5 but it also has 5.3 features listed under each topic. The utility of the book is not limited by the version it addresses since the fundamental concepts and processes for web content management are still the same in the newer version. This book is also a handy tutorial for setting up Documentum infrastructure in a basic configuration with common options.

The book starts with an overview of Documentum concepts and then leads the reader through the setup of Documentum infrastructure. This setup includes Web Publisher and Site Caching Services setup which are the core pieces for web content management. Then the reader is led through setting up a web site whose content will be managed through Documentum Web Publisher. In the process, various capabilities of the platform are explored with examples. Towards the end, several practical aspects such as Documentum deployment and content/code migration are discussed as well. The book also illustrates the use of DFC and WDK to get the reader started on full customization capabilities of Documentum. Finally the book concludes with some frequently asked questions and a list of new features in Documentum 5.3.

I expect certain things from any book on Documentum.
  • It has to provide information in a simple form. Those who can digest complexity can devour reams of product documentation which already exist.
  • It has to bring all relevant information in one place. Again, there are several detailed documents available for the product which provide more information than you might usually need.
  • It should provide words of wisdom that come through practical experience. Usually, such information can be found, if at all, by sifting through user groups and support forums.
So how does this book fare on these expectations? In terms of simplicity the book does very well. The writing style is straightforward and easy to follow and the text is supported by plenty of illustrations. It also scores high marks in bringing the relevant information together and in an appropriate sequence. It is almost self-contained for basic Documentum setup as well as WCM setup. In terms of sharing practical experience the book probably could have offered more at a high level. However, there are still best practice type recommendations sprinkled throughout the book at the feature level.

Conclusion
This book is a great visual guide for web content managment with Documentum. It offers step-by-step instructions for setting up Documentum infrastructure, setting up a web site, and creating custom Documentum applications. If you are new to web content management with Documentum or if you prefer to have the relevant information for WCM with Documentum in one place, then this book is for you. If you are fairly experienced with Documentum and comfortable (know where to look and to comprehend what you find) with product documentation then you probably won't need this book.
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