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Technology Focus: Content Management Isn't Just About What's in Your Docs Anymore

Document Management
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But for most IBM i users, the emphasis on document content is hard to escape if you're looking at apps that run directly on the i.

 

Content management as a product type across IT in general is conceptually divisible into two main categories: document content management and Web content management. When it comes to focusing on that product type more specifically in the IBM i market, though, content management takes on a more sharply document-centric tone.

 

Nearly all content management applications that run on the IBM i are at heart document management apps. The most commonly used Web content management applications, on the other hand, are generally native to Windows and other platforms. This situation lends a more ambiguous feel to drawing the lines between content and document management in the i market space, a paradox that's well highlighted by comments from two representatives of the content-management vendor community.

Content Management vs. Document Management

"To me, content management usually refers to website generation of edited articles, product data, forums, blog posts, and other informational content rather than structured secure access to internal business documents," notes Richard J. Schoen, recently named director of document management technologies at HelpSystems.

 

"Content management is all about collaborationsharing and editing documents," counterpoints Dan Forster, president of inFORM Decisions. "A content management solution would be used by writers, editors, videographers, etc. working on the same documentalmost like a programming change-management tool for writers."

 

"There is some crossover in that content management systems (CMSs) such as SharePoint, Drupal, Joomla, and others can store and serve documents as well," Schoen notes, but he points out the contrast that "the management of documents is just one of many services that a CMS provides, making a CMS a little bit too much of a Swiss army knife in terms of being a document management system with its simplified approach to hosting documents."

 

" 'Content management' and 'document management' terms are often misused," Forster explains. "In our definition, document management is an all-encompassing term that could be anything from imaging, to laser forms processing, to workflow. It's a term we use to describe the whole business and solutions we provide, but then we start to drill down with questions to address the specific needbarcoding, variable print merging, workflow, document capture, etc. In my opinion, [our company] and many of our competitors are in the document management business, not the content management business."

Document Management as an IBM i Specialty

"There are only a few of us committed to and continuing to develop solutions that are IBM i–native," Forster elaborates. "Many of our competitors have developed Windows server–based products, which force the user to download their spool or DB data to a PC to process. Regarding why not Web vs. a server-based product, I believe most of us are rapidly developing more applications that take advantage of the Web." 

 

"Document management has changed in our world because a new project…often starts from a need to take an existing paper-based form and turn it into an online process," Schoen points out. "Capturing and archiving scanned documents, system reports, and other documents are still important, but not always the primary driver. Another significant thing we're seeing is the types of documents customers want to manage. It's no longer just scanned documents and reports, but email messages, Word and Excel documents, photos, video, and more. Pretty much any document that can be created in a PC file format can be captured and archived, thus making all types of documents fair game to be properly managed. The term document management can often be seen as too generic…because it describes everything from generation and printing to archiving and purging of documents."

Applications for Managing Your Content

The upshot of this situation is that, if you're an IBM i shop, your choices in "content management" systems that run natively are largely going to consist of document management applications. If you want a true CMS on your i, you'll need to be looking at products that run under Windows or Java and that may not be as feature-rich.

 

Whichever type of content management suits your enterprise needs, below are listings with links to vendor Web sites for server-based content or document management applications. That's followed by selected listings of more Web-oriented CMS products that run under Java or Windows on the i, or on other platforms.

 

Please note that the product descriptions only touch on some of the features available. Please consult each of the vendor Web sites for more complete information on each product's capabilities.

Content Management Solutions for IBM i

 

ACOM

EZContentManager

ACOM's EZContentManager helps users build secure electronic document libraries and manage document content. Designed to interface with ACOM's EZeDocs and EZPayManager, EZContentManager includes content from documents and checks produced by those two applications and also provides workflow features.

 

EZeDocs

EZeDocs is an electronic-forms design and document-delivery system that helps users create invoices, purchase orders, reports, checks, forms, and other business documents without requiring preprinted forms or custom programming. Documents produced can be printed or distributed electronically as fax or email messages.

 

Ademero

Content Central

Content Central is a browser-based solution for capturing documents, emails, and other files in a central repository; automating approval processes and document workflow, and managing all content via the Internet.

 

BCD International

Nexus Portal

Although designed primarily as a Web-portal solution, Nexus' focus is on assembly and organization of business information gathered from documents and applications. Nexus includes a content-management application that handles all aspects of document storage and retrieval and supports document formats that include those of MS Office, Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF), and graphics.

 

GEMKO Information Group

iSeries Document Management Software

GEMKO's product is a document-imaging and spool-file-capture solution. Document content typically managed through paper records in file cabinets can be captured, indexed, and managed easily using the platform you already have. Entries are converted into digitized records for later retrieval.

 

IBM Corporation

Content Manager OnDemand for i

Content Manager OnDemand runs on IBM i and other servers running AIX, Linux, and Windows. The product's middleware manages formatted computer output and reports and provides instant electronic access to files, statements, invoices, and check images. It includes IBM Content Navigator, which organizes collaborative and mobile content, and integrates with other IBM filing and archiving solutions.

 

IBM WebSphere Adapter for Enterprise Content Management

IBM WebSphere Adapter for Enterprise Content Management works with WebSphere to let users create integrated processes that include the exchange of information with a Content Management Repository, without special coding. It also lets users create new documents or folders within a repository, enables users to receive event notifications from the server, and creates a standard interface to repository data that doesn't require users to understand application implementation or data structures.

 

Lotus Web Content Management

IBM's Lotus Web Content Management is designed for managing website content that's delivered via Internet, portal, intranet, or extranet. The product lets users create, publish, and manage Web content from virtually any desktop but runs on IBM i servers using i5/OS, AIX, Linux, or Windows.

 

WebSphere XML Document Management Server (XDMS)

XDMS is available for IBM i servers running AIX or Linux. It helps users manage, share, and distribute eXtensible Markup Language (XML) documents of any type with each other or across applications.

 

inFORM Decisions

iDocs

The iDocs suite is concentrated on helping users design and produce forms, checks, and documents from IBM i spooled output. Suite members help users format documents, filter and distribute them, and index and archive them in a Web-based repository.

 

Inventive Designers

DTM for iSeries

DTM, the IBM-designated successor to OfficeVision/400, is an XML-based system for incorporating information from databases into electronic documents for display and distribution via the web, email, and fax. It also facilitates document generation and display between IBM i and MS Office applications. DTM comes with a choice of user interfaces: native 5250 (or green-screen) or MS Word. The MS Word user interface can be used on Microsoft Windows computer systems running MS Word.

 

LiveDocs

LiveDocs is a Web-based document-editing environment that lets users add numerous document elements to any document, enforce content guidelines enterprisewide, capture information via input fields, and personalize communications in a controlled environment.

 

Scriptura Engage

Scriptura Engage is designed primarily for use in customer-relationship-management scenarios. It provides centralized content storage, document creation, design and production of customer communications, and control of output processes. It also features security, regulatory compliance tools, and the ability to handle multiple languages and business logic in the same document template.

 

ITM Associates

inFusion

The inFusion suite of products, designed for use with IBM's Lotus Notes/Domino, includes inFusion eForms, which is a workflow solution for creating and routing of electronic forms, and PDF inFusion eReview, which supports online, real-time collaborative review of documents and graphics in files using the PDF format.

 

Lennox Hill

isoTracker

Lennox Hill's isoTracker is a cloud-based content-management service that can access and open any document reachable via browser, lets users edit and save those documents, and channels the results via workflow tools, all in a secure environment.

 

OpenText

OpenText Content Suite Platform

The OpenText Content Suite Platform includes capture technology for entering text and data and indexing information, a Web-based document-management system for building a shared and secure document repository, workflow and automation tools, records management features for handling documents throughout their lifecycle, development tools, and intelligent archiving that optimizes storage based on metadata and business context.

 

Quadrant Software

Formtastic

Formtastic is a document automation solution that enables you to custom design forms, checks, and barcode labels from a desktop-based interface designer. From there, Formtastic extracts spooled data from your IBM i and inserts it into a new business form. You can then automatically fax, email, print, or store the newly formatted electronic document within a network.

 

 

Real Vision Software

RVI Complete

RVI Complete is a document-imaging and report-capture solution that digitizes documents and other files (e.g., photos, spooled files, emails, spreadsheets) to make them available for distribution, indexing, and Web access. The product includes workflow tools, PC integration options, and security features.

 

RJS Software

Enterprise Workflow

Enterprise Workflow automates the handling of existing documents by managing and routing documents in a Web environment. It also lets users build workflows, enables control of user access, and generates audit trails of all activities.

 

WebDocs

WebDocs is a browser-based document-management system that lets users digitally manage, store, and distribute all business content. Available either as a licensed application or as a cloud-hosted service, WebDocs handles PC- and server-generated content, email, e-forms, invoices, and other document types.

 

Xait

XaitPorter

XaitPorter is a cloud-based service that enables collaboration on documents by users anywhere in the world, via browser. XaitPorter lets users reuse content, control versions, generate audit reports of all document changes, compare revisions, access workflow features, export documents, add graphics, and customize layout in a secure environment.

Major Web Content-Management Systems

Dries Buytaert

Drupal

Drupal is open-source freeware for Web servers running Apache, Nginx, or Microsoft IIS. It lets users manage all Web content on their sites and includes basic community features like blogging, forums, and contact forms. The product is extendible by downloading other contributed modules and themes.

 

EllisLab

ExpressionEngine

ExprssionEngine offers numerous Web-publishing tools, a template engine with built-in versioning, multiprotocol support for moving content to other platforms, a search engine, a spam deterrent and other security features, membership management, tracking of users and hits, and numerous add-on features.

 

Hannon Hill

Cascade Server

Cascade Server runs on Linux, Mac, Solaris, and Windows servers. It's a Java-based app that comes packaged with Apache Tomcat. Features include WYSIWYG editing, single-click content creation, multilingual support, an Ajax-enhanced interface, and site-preview tools.

 

Joomla

Joomla!

Joomla! is a community-based software project that provides a website builder and content management application. Its features include a user-registration system with authentication, international language support, a configurable MIME setting that can handle any type of file, and tools for managing web links, content, menus, templates, data and file importing, syndication and newsfeeds, and web services.

 

Kentico Software

Web Content Management

Kentico Web Content Management is designed to run under ASP.NET and offers support for web content management, e-commerce, online marketing, online communities, intranets, and online collaborations. Product features include WYSIWYG editing, a workflow designer, an image editor, multilingual content, page templates, versioning, archiving, and widgets.

 

Magnolia International

Magnolia CMS

Magnolia CMS is a Java-based, open-source web content management application available in three versions with escalating features. Some available features include version controls, backup utilities, website customization tools, instant inline editing, and compatibility with JBoss, Tomcat, and WebSphere.

 

MediaWiki.org

MediaWiki

MediaWiki is open-sourced freeware written in PHP that controls and services Wiki-based websites. Designed to be run on larger servers for sites getting up to millions of hits per day, MediaWiki processes and displays data stored in databases such as MySQL. It lets nontechnical users edit pages without knowing XHTML or CSS, can manage image and multimedia files, retains a copy of all versions of web pages, and includes security features.

 

NetSuite

LightCMS

LightCMS provides website management, output design templates and options, direct access to code for advanced users, color-coded HTML and Java editing, calendaring, form-building, SEO optimization, and security features.

 

Percussion Software

Percussion CMS

Percussion CMS is designed for marketers who want to publish web content quickly without requiring much technical knowledge. The product provides web design, content management, SEO optimization, and integration with other application features. It automatically creates a library or reusable content and files and can manage multiple websites concurrently.

 

rhythmyx

Percussion's rhythmyx is a content-management system for websites that offers workflow capabilities, open and custom APIs, taxonomy and metadata services, staged publishing, web analytics, security features, and versioning support. Its multichannel publishing capability lets users export content to websites, web applications, social-media sites, databases, and RSS.

 

Textpattern

Textpattern CMS

Textpattern CMS is an open-source content manager that features a flexible engine for all kinds of websites, a browser-based template and CSS editing, time-stamping of content, password protection of content, automatic conversion of plain text to XHTML, support for plug-ins, and unlimited role privileges for users, as well as obvious access to the product's source code.

 

WordPress

WordPress

Although known primarily as a blogging aid, WordPress offers content management tools for full-featured websites as well. It includes a multilingual control dashboard, popularity-tracking features, interfaces for mobile devices and social-networking sites, more than 280 themes, and the ability to add images, video, and audio to site content.

 

John Ghrist

John Ghrist has been a journalist, programmer, and systems manager in the computer industry since 1982. He has covered the market for IBM i servers and their predecessor platforms for more than a quarter century and has attended more than 25 COMMON conferences. A former editor-in-chief with Defense Computing and a senior editor with SystemiNEWS, John has written and edited hundreds of articles and blogs for more than a dozen print and electronic publications. He is currently CEO of John Ghrist Agency, a marketing communications firm for technology companies. You can reach him at ghrist@comcast.net.

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  • Ask the RDi Experts

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericWatch this recording where Jim Buck, Susan Gantner, and Charlie Guarino answered your questions, including:

    • What are the “hidden gems” in RDi that can make me more productive?
    • What makes RDi Debug better than the STRDBG green screen debugger?
    • How can RDi help me find out if I’ve tested all lines of a program?
    • What’s the best way to transition from PDM to RDi?
    • How do I convince my long-term developers to use RDi?

    This is a unique, online opportunity to hear how you can get more out of RDi.

     

  • Node.js on IBM i Webinar Series Pt. 2: Setting Up Your Development Tools

    Profound Logic Software, Inc.Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application. In Part 2, Brian May teaches you the different tooling options available for writing code, debugging, and using Git for version control. Attend this webinar to learn:

    • Different tools to develop Node.js applications on IBM i
    • Debugging Node.js
    • The basics of Git and tools to help those new to it
    • Using NodeRun.com as a pre-built development environment

     

     

  • Inside the Integrated File System (IFS)

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericDuring this webinar, you’ll learn basic tips, helpful tools, and integrated file system commands—including WRKLNK—for managing your IFS directories and Access Client Solutions (ACS). We’ll answer your most pressing IFS questions, including:

    • What is stored inside my IFS directories?
    • How do I monitor the IFS?
    • How do I replicate the IFS or back it up?
    • How do I secure the IFS?

    Understanding what the integrated file system is and how to work with it must be a critical part of your systems management plans for IBM i.

     

  • Expert Tips for IBM i Security: Beyond the Basics

    SB PowerTech WC GenericIn this session, IBM i security expert Robin Tatam provides a quick recap of IBM i security basics and guides you through some advanced cybersecurity techniques that can help you take data protection to the next level. Robin will cover:

    • Reducing the risk posed by special authorities
    • Establishing object-level security
    • Overseeing user actions and data access

    Don't miss this chance to take your knowledge of IBM i security beyond the basics.

     

     

  • 5 IBM i Security Quick Wins

    SB PowerTech WC GenericIn today’s threat landscape, upper management is laser-focused on cybersecurity. You need to make progress in securing your systems—and make it fast.
    There’s no shortage of actions you could take, but what tactics will actually deliver the results you need? And how can you find a security strategy that fits your budget and time constraints?
    Join top IBM i security expert Robin Tatam as he outlines the five fastest and most impactful changes you can make to strengthen IBM i security this year.
    Your system didn’t become unsecure overnight and you won’t be able to turn it around overnight either. But quick wins are possible with IBM i security, and Robin Tatam will show you how to achieve them.

  • How to Meet the Newest Encryption Requirements on IBM i

    SB PowerTech WC GenericA growing number of compliance mandates require sensitive data to be encrypted. But what kind of encryption solution will satisfy an auditor and how can you implement encryption on IBM i? Watch this on-demand webinar to find out how to meet today’s most common encryption requirements on IBM i. You’ll also learn:

    • Why disk encryption isn’t enough
    • What sets strong encryption apart from other solutions
    • Important considerations before implementing encryption

     

     

  • Security Bulletin: Malware Infection Discovered on IBM i Server!

    SB PowerTech WC GenericMalicious programs can bring entire businesses to their knees—and IBM i shops are not immune. It’s critical to grasp the true impact malware can have on IBM i and the network that connects to it. Attend this webinar to gain a thorough understanding of the relationships between:

    • Viruses, native objects, and the integrated file system (IFS)
    • Power Systems and Windows-based viruses and malware
    • PC-based anti-virus scanning versus native IBM i scanning

    There are a number of ways you can minimize your exposure to viruses. IBM i security expert Sandi Moore explains the facts, including how to ensure you're fully protected and compliant with regulations such as PCI.

     

     

  • Fight Cyber Threats with IBM i Encryption

    SB PowerTech WC GenericCyber attacks often target mission-critical servers, and those attack strategies are constantly changing. To stay on top of these threats, your cybersecurity strategies must evolve, too. In this session, IBM i security expert Robin Tatam provides a quick recap of IBM i security basics and guides you through some advanced cybersecurity techniques that can help you take data protection to the next level. Robin will cover:

    • Reducing the risk posed by special authorities
    • Establishing object-level security
    • Overseeing user actions and data access

     

     

     

  • 10 Practical IBM i Security Tips for Surviving Covid-19 and Working From Home

    SB PowerTech WC GenericNow that many organizations have moved to a work from home model, security concerns have risen.

    During this session Carol Woodbury will discuss the issues that the world is currently seeing such as increased malware attacks and then provide practical actions you can take to both monitor and protect your IBM i during this challenging time.

     

  • How to Transfer IBM i Data to Microsoft Excel

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic3 easy ways to get IBM i data into Excel every time
    There’s an easy, more reliable way to import your IBM i data to Excel? It’s called Sequel. During this webinar, our data access experts demonstrate how you can simplify the process of getting data from multiple sources—including Db2 for i—into Excel. Watch to learn how to:

    • Download your IBM i data to Excel in a single step
    • Deliver data to business users in Excel via email or a scheduled job
    • Access IBM i data directly using the Excel add-in in Sequel

    Make 2020 the year you finally see your data clearly, quickly, and securely. Start by giving business users the ability to access crucial business data from IBM i the way they want it—in Microsoft Excel.

     

     

  • HA Alternatives: MIMIX Is Not Your Only Option on IBM i

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericIn this recorded webinar, our experts introduce you to the new HA transition technology available with our Robot HA software. You’ll learn how to:

    • Transition your rules from MIMIX (if you’re happy with them)
    • Simplify your day-to-day activities around high availability
    • Gain back time in your work week
    • Make your CEO happy about reducing IT costs

    Don’t stick with a legacy high availability solution that makes you uncomfortable when transitioning to something better can be simple, safe, and cost-effective.

     

     

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  • Backup and Recovery on IBM i: Your Strategy for the Unexpected

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413Robot automates the routine tasks of iSeries backup and recovery, saving you time and money and making the process safer and more reliable. Automate your backups with the Robot Backup and Recovery Solution. Key features include:
    - Simplified backup procedures
    - Easy data encryption
    - Save media management
    - Guided restoration
    - Seamless product integration
    Make sure your data survives when catastrophe hits. Try the Robot Backup and Recovery Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • Manage IBM i Messages by Exception with Robot

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413Managing messages on your IBM i can be more than a full-time job if you have to do it manually. How can you be sure you won’t miss important system events?
    Automate your message center with the Robot Message Management Solution. Key features include:
    - Automated message management
    - Tailored notifications and automatic escalation
    - System-wide control of your IBM i partitions
    - Two-way system notifications from your mobile device
    - Seamless product integration
    Try the Robot Message Management Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • Easiest Way to Save Money? Stop Printing IBM i Reports

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413Robot automates report bursting, distribution, bundling, and archiving, and offers secure, selective online report viewing.
    Manage your reports with the Robot Report Management Solution. Key features include:

    - Automated report distribution
    - View online without delay
    - Browser interface to make notes
    - Custom retention capabilities
    - Seamless product integration
    Rerun another report? Never again. Try the Robot Report Management Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • Hassle-Free IBM i Operations around the Clock

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413For over 30 years, Robot has been a leader in systems management for IBM i.
    Manage your job schedule with the Robot Job Scheduling Solution. Key features include:
    - Automated batch, interactive, and cross-platform scheduling
    - Event-driven dependency processing
    - Centralized monitoring and reporting
    - Audit log and ready-to-use reports
    - Seamless product integration
    Scale your software, not your staff. Try the Robot Job Scheduling Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • ACO MONITOR Manages your IBM i 24/7 and Notifies You When Your IBM i Needs Assistance!

    SB DDL Systems 5429More than a paging system - ACO MONITOR is a complete systems management solution for your Power Systems running IBM i. ACO MONITOR manages your Power System 24/7, uses advanced technology (like two-way messaging) to notify on-duty support personnel, and responds to complex problems before they reach critical status.

    ACO MONITOR is proven technology and is capable of processing thousands of mission-critical events daily. The software is pre-configured, easy to install, scalable, and greatly improves data center efficiency.