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IBM Content Manager Enterprise Edition v8.5 (IBM CMEE v8.5) has been realeased a while ago. In this post, we will go through the reasons why you should consider upgrading to this newest version.

IBM Content Manager Enterprise Edition is a complete solution for storing and retrieving documents. Content Manager EE features multi-operating system support, client options, and administration tools including document routing to manage the flow of work through the system. It has been a while since IBM has released Content Manager 8.5 (CMEE 8.5). And, here are a few key points which make it worth to update from older versions:

 

1)Simple migration from earlier versions:

In order to update from the existing old CMEE environment, you don’t have to worry too much about having the new environment on same OS/DB/Application Server/CMEE version during migration stage. It gives you flexibility to directly having the target versions installed on the target We can understand it better with following case:

  • Source Environment – CMEE 8.4.3 on Windows Server 2003, DB2 9.7, WAS 6.1 (all 32 bit)
  • Target Environment – CMEE 8.5 on Windows Server 2012, DB2 10.5, WAS 8.5 (all 64 bit)

In the above scenario, we don’t have to worry about installing CMEE 8.4.3 or any other source version of any component on target server in order to make it compatible for migration. We can just install the components with desired target versions on target servers.

(Of course, we need to consider the compatibility levels for software components and OS. Also we have to make config changes as needed. But that is out of the scope for this blog, I will cover that later on some other day.)

 

2) Simpler install/configuration/update:

Update process always has been a challenge for CMEE. Even if we just want to do a fix pack update, we need to go thru many separate install and configuration steps. And, if you make a mistake in process, it was really hard to find and fix it. Now, there is a lot simple and manageable process. CMEE 8.5 supports a remote config tool, which gives you configuration options for different components (like, Library Server, RM DB and Application, Web Service Application, System Administration Client etc.) at one place. It can be re-run (in case of some error or failure), or configurations can be changed without too much of efforts. This is much like we have already seen in the install and configuration tool for ICN (IBM Content Navigator).

 

3) Retention management:

You can now control the retention and expiration of items in IBM Content Manager by defining a policy for retention and expiration. Retention can be done on the basis of time or event. Similarly, expiration can be enabled to automatically delete items at a fixed or event-driven time. It is also possible to manage retention/deletion with custom logic (as, if you want to add rules/exceptions for certain documents) or batch driven activities.

 

4) Migration and replication policy enhancements:

It has added support for synchronous replication and also with new migration and replication policies, the performance of object retrieval has improved.

 

5) Quiesce server:

Version 8.5 provides the ability to quiesce the content management system. Use the quiesce system function in the system administration client to put all IBM Content Manager servers into a quiesced state, which is a state that suspends all activities against the databases and stored content. The quiesce system function is useful for creating a synchronized backup of the entire content management system, including databases, data, and configuration information.

 

6) Additional Benefits

Apart from the above listed advantages, you also get enhanced transport layer security, DB2 database encryption support, DB2 Text Search Server suppport and ACL enhancements.

 

7) The Deprecations:

IBM has deprecated or removed a number of features in this update. The most significant can be listed as II4C (some parts are merged with the main installer, other parts removed completely), support for 32 bit servers and DB instances, APIs (the entire C++ API is deprecated with this release), few 32 bit client applications (eClient, II4C Client, Client for Windows)

 

Conclusion:

Why should we upgrade from older version?

With this release IBM has tried to address many issues which were pending for a long time. This release is a big step towards modernizing the Content Manager platform. IBM is deprecating outdated 32 bit APIs and UI tools, and adding more support to its multi-functional, sleek UI of IBM Content Navigator. There are still some 32 bit UI parts available, but we can expect all of those will go away soon. On the other hand, IBM Content Navigator provides a more modern, lightweight and highly customizable UI which can meet the requirements of the business users and administrators both.

Do you need to evaluate your system and/or upgrade it? Or do you have any questions regarding IBM Content Manager?

Amit Das
Working on various ECM solutions from last 6 years which include Alfresco, SharePoint, Documentum, IBM FileNet P8, IBM CMEE and IBM OnDemand. I love to explore new technologies and find a better way to do things.

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