xDB Matters

XML Databases are not new.  People have been working with the concept (if not the name) for a decade.  One of the primary vendors in the space, MarkLogic,  just announcedthey raised $12.5 m USD in series D funding.  This is a notable event – not so much for the company but more for the technology.  It shows that one of the most important communities – the VC market – believes XML databases have growth potential worth investing in in this very uncertain economy.  

This ought to be enough to get you interested in exploring the technology if you haven’t already but there is more. I recently spent some time getting up close and personal with EMC Documentum’s xDB.  (formerly known as xHive). I have to say  I have seldom enjoyed getting my geek on more.  It is an extremely powerful technology that you need to get familiar with because it will play an increasingly important role for content management technology in EMC and beyond.

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MarkLogic and Word 2007 Integration

Marklogic has announced the release of  a toolkit for Word.  Much is written in certain circles these days about component content management.  I have often felt that the adoption of  CCM has not lived up to the nirvana  of reuse that we content management professionals strive to achieve. This gap has been due in no small part to the complexity of professional XML editors and their integration to repositories. Products like XMetal and Epic have GREATLY improved from where they started ages ago but it remains a hard sell in many business scenarios. People just don’t want to give up MS Word and many integrators have bought beach houses on the money they made making a tool for unstructured data pretend to be something more than it is.  Times have changed though and Microsoft’s support of XML has improved to the point where it may be a worth being considered as a viable alternative to the professional editors in certain circumstances. This integration is certainly interesting – but one caveat. Any time I see the word toolkit – I brace myself for more work than I bargained for.

Is EMC Responding to Marklogic?

Ann Rockley has a post on CMSWatch re: the X-Hive acquisition. This makes me wonder if this is not really in response to two things –

  1. Success of products like MarkLogic and others in implementing pure XML repositories
  2. The complexity of emulating XML/XPath/xquery capability in old school architectures.

Whether EMC folds X-Hive capabilities into its existing CMA software products will tell us a great deal about the future of the unified platform.

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