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Documentum History

Howard Shao and John Newton formed a company named Documentum in June 1990, while they were working at Ingres and found a solution to unstructured information management problems using relational database technology. With initial backing from Xerox, they developed a customized system for Boeing to organize, store, maintain, and selectively publish the thousands of pages of information for the Boeing 777 training manuals. They developed another customized system for Syntex, a pharmaceutical vendor, to automate the process of assembling New Drug Application (NDA) documents when seeking approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Documentum became a public company on February 5, 1996, listing on NASDAQ with symbol of DCTM.

EMC acquired Documentum for $1.7 billion in December, 2003. Then after the Documentum platform is part of EMC’s content management and archiving business unit, one of EMC’s four operating divisions.

Documentum introduced its Electronic Document Management System (EDMS) in 1993, a client-server product for electronic document management. This product managed access to unstructured information stored within a shared repository, running on a central server. End users connected to the repository through PC, Macintosh, and Unix Motif desktop client applications.

Documentum EDMS provided check-in/check-out access controls as well as workflow capabilities for sequencing document review and approval processes. It included an integrated full-text search engine for retrieving documents from the repository. In 1998, Documentum launched its Web Application Environment, a set of Internet extensions for EDMS. This product provided access through a Web browser to the business documents stored within an EDMS repository.

In 2000, Documentum had released Documentum 4i, its first native Web application platform. The company redesigned the repository to ensure that it could manage a very large number of discrete objects, ranging from self-contained documents to granular information snippets. Beyond just managing documents for print or electronic distribution, Documentum 4i could integrate with external Web applications and be used to distribute content to portals, Web application servers, and Web sites. Documentum’s Web Application Environment is more commonly called Webtop.

In 2002, Documentum launched Documentum 5 as a unified enterprise content management (ECM) platform for storing a virtually unlimited range of content types within a shared repository. The platform delivered integrated business process management (BPM) capabilities as well as tools for managing content across a distributed organization. Through a series of acquisitions over the next several years, the company added further capabilities, including records management, digital asset management, Enterprise Content Integration, Document Imaging, and collaboration. Key acquisitions that have accelerated internal development efforts include Bulldog (December 2001), Boxcar (January 2002), eRoom (October 2002), TrueArc (October 2002), askOnce (March 2004), Acartus (October 2005), Captiva Software (October 2005), Autherntica (March 2006), ProActivity (June 2006), X-Hive (July 2007) and Documentum Science (December 2007).

Documentum 5.3, released in April 2005, followed by Documentum 6, launched in July 2007 and Documentum 6.5 was released in July 2008.

Documentum functionality supports a variety of user interfaces and application programming interfaces (API) including web services, WebDAV, FTP, Java (programming language) Documentum Foundation Classes and SMB/CIFS. Documentum provides management capabilities for all types of content including business documents, photos, video, medical images, e-mail, Web pages, fixed content, XML-tagged documents, etc. The core of Documentum is a repository in which the content is stored securely under compliance rules. This repository appears as a unified environment, although content may reside on multiple servers and physical storage devices within a distributed environment.

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