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IBM Previews Its Next Content Management Release

Expect beefed-up XML and workflow capabilities in IBM's coming content management products. Set for release by March, the upgrades will include DB2 Content Manager 8.3 and DB2 Records Manager 4.1.1, and they're aimed at what IBM contends is one of the fastest growing segments of the information management market.

IBM's new XML mapping tool is intended to help customers index and more easily search Web and digital content, according to Theresa O'Neil, IBM's director of content management. The tool will help users set up document definitions and migrate content from one system to another by mapping the metadata. The tool contrasts with the virtualized, keep-the-content-where-it-is approach offered by Venetica's VeniceBridge technology, which IBM acquired last year.

The enhanced workflow features will include an improved graphical workflow design tool that will be available in DB2 Content Manager and DB2 Document Manager. The traditional, content-oriented workflow is worlds apart from IBM's business process management building blocks, which include WebSphere MQ Series middleware and WebSphere Business Integration Server Foundation.

An ongoing theme for IBM content management over the next 12 to 18 months will be support for JSR 170, a Java specification for content management expected to be approved as an open standard within the first half of this year. Support for JSR 170 was announced this week as part of IBM's Workplace announcements at Lotusphere, and O'Neil said it also would permeate the DB2 Content Manager family.

"The standard is very much focused on document management in its first iteration and it doesn't yet address imaging and report management," said O'Neil, "but we'll embrace it across our entire portfolio over the next 12 to 18 months."