The Digitalist Team
August 9, 2021

The evolution of Enterprise Content Management

We are currently seeing a true revolution in enterprise content management: Gone are the days of systems covering only one aspect of content management. Isolated systems serving a single business unite are replaced by turly enterprise-scale content management systems integrated with the complete infrastructure.

With more than a decade of experience behind us, we were always oriented towards enterprise-scale systems, therefore we primarily integrate out-of-the-box solutions – with additional upgrades – into enterprise infrastructures.

Based on all that we have learned, we offer two products for implementing in different environments with similar efficiency. One is an open-source solution, while the other one is a well-rounded paid solution. Our company carries out document management projects using Alfresco and IBM FileNet.

How does content management go enterprise?

Formerly in this region content management was pretty much the same as storage management. Content libraries were serving as compartments storing binary materials of a single business or administrative system, while the storage, retention, search, lifecycle and user rights logic was defined by applications.

By contrast the concept of an enterprise content library assumes some kind of service-oriented approach (SOA architecture): a content library is a system that provides every service related to document management for all other applications, so there is no need to implement any document handling logic in them. A simple benchmark for this is storing the document ID – the right approach is when an application does not store technical IDs coming from a document manager, but shows documents based on business key (eg. case No.) in a given context via the search service of the document library.

This way the content library also serves integration purposes; applications do not need to transfer shared documents to eachother. Storing in the document library can trigger actions (in the document library) that notify the subscribing applications about the occurence of the event – this way use of contents created somewhere else is also possible.

Another indicator of being enterprise-scale is having a user interface covering the whole of enterprise content assets in place, where every content is searchable and accessible by a certain criteria (eg. client).

All these complex tasks can only be solved by Enterprise Content Management systems like FileNet and Alfresco, but not by document management systems presented as "enterprise" but only capable of handling subtasks (eg. collaboration).

What is Enterprise Content Management?

Company information is mainly available as unstructured data instead of database records, that is defined as enterprise content as a whole.

Enterprise content includes, among others, the paper-based documents received by the company, along with emails, data collected via web forms, documents for clients created in enterprise systems in scale, or custom documents created by text editors, recorded calls and even web content.

Enterprise Content Management aims to provide digitalization of such content, long-term storage in a central repository, retrievability and lifecycle management (eg. changes, versioning).

Enterprise Content Management (ECM) covers the following main areas:


Imaging: scanning incoming documents

Document Management: lifecycle management for electronically created internal documents

COLD: re-archiving of mass-created documents for the printing-office

Collaboration: management of shared content (docs, wikis) of a workgroup/project within the company

Forms Management: saving and managing enterprise and client workflow forms

Web Content Management: management and publishing content on external websites

It is important to note that content management cannot be isolated from process management, because approving, creating managed content and also life-cycle management all happen in a workflow.

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August 9, 2021

The evolution of Enterprise Content Management

We are currently seeing a true revolution in enterprise content management: Gone are the days of systems covering only one aspect of content management. Isolated systems serving a single business unite are replaced by turly enterprise-scale content management systems integrated with the complete infrastructure.

With more than a decade of experience behind us, we were always oriented towards enterprise-scale systems, therefore we primarily integrate out-of-the-box solutions – with additional upgrades – into enterprise infrastructures.

Based on all that we have learned, we offer two products for implementing in different environments with similar efficiency. One is an open-source solution, while the other one is a well-rounded paid solution. Our company carries out document management projects using Alfresco and IBM FileNet.

How does content management go enterprise?

Formerly in this region content management was pretty much the same as storage management. Content libraries were serving as compartments storing binary materials of a single business or administrative system, while the storage, retention, search, lifecycle and user rights logic was defined by applications.

By contrast the concept of an enterprise content library assumes some kind of service-oriented approach (SOA architecture): a content library is a system that provides every service related to document management for all other applications, so there is no need to implement any document handling logic in them. A simple benchmark for this is storing the document ID – the right approach is when an application does not store technical IDs coming from a document manager, but shows documents based on business key (eg. case No.) in a given context via the search service of the document library.

This way the content library also serves integration purposes; applications do not need to transfer shared documents to eachother. Storing in the document library can trigger actions (in the document library) that notify the subscribing applications about the occurence of the event – this way use of contents created somewhere else is also possible.

Another indicator of being enterprise-scale is having a user interface covering the whole of enterprise content assets in place, where every content is searchable and accessible by a certain criteria (eg. client).

All these complex tasks can only be solved by Enterprise Content Management systems like FileNet and Alfresco, but not by document management systems presented as "enterprise" but only capable of handling subtasks (eg. collaboration).

What is Enterprise Content Management?

Company information is mainly available as unstructured data instead of database records, that is defined as enterprise content as a whole.

Enterprise content includes, among others, the paper-based documents received by the company, along with emails, data collected via web forms, documents for clients created in enterprise systems in scale, or custom documents created by text editors, recorded calls and even web content.

Enterprise Content Management aims to provide digitalization of such content, long-term storage in a central repository, retrievability and lifecycle management (eg. changes, versioning).

Enterprise Content Management (ECM) covers the following main areas:


Imaging: scanning incoming documents

Document Management: lifecycle management for electronically created internal documents

COLD: re-archiving of mass-created documents for the printing-office

Collaboration: management of shared content (docs, wikis) of a workgroup/project within the company

Forms Management: saving and managing enterprise and client workflow forms

Web Content Management: management and publishing content on external websites

It is important to note that content management cannot be isolated from process management, because approving, creating managed content and also life-cycle management all happen in a workflow.

No items found.

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