Documentum vs Sharepoint – Round 3

You’ve asked for it, so here is a short-list of the differences between Sharepoint and Documentum:

  1. Sharepoint 2007 is tightly integrated with Office 2007. Documentum has some light integration with Office through Webtop Application Connectors. Documentum has stronger integration with other authoring applications including Dreamweaver, QuarkXPress, and Adobe InDesign.
  2. Sharepoint provides various mechanisms to access and modify content when offline (eg Outlook, Access, etc). Documentum only supports offline editing if you install Documentum Desktop application.
  3. Sharepoint 2007 supports rights management with Office 2007 natively. Documentum requires you to install Information Rights Manager to have this feature.
  4. Both Documentum and Sharepoint provide the ability to create custom object types. However, Sharepoint’s object model does not seem to support object inheritance.
  5. Lifecycle features (eg applying actions, defining entry criteria, applying lifecycle to multiple documents, etc) is more extensive in Documentum than in Sharepoint.
  6. Documentum security model is more extensive than Sharepoint. Documentum has extended permissions that allow users to perform specific functions (eg change ownership, change state, change permissions, etc).
  7. All objects in Documentum are secured using the security model. In Sharepoint only certain objects can be secured (eg web site, list, folders, documents, etc).
  8. Content can be only published to Sharepoint site; however, if content needs to publish outside of MOSS repository, this requires custom coding. Content can be published to any website using Documentum Site Caching and Site Delivery Services. Documentum also has portlets for various portal vendors that allow those portals to access content that is stored in Documentum repository.

Please feel free to comment on any other feature differences.

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9 responses to “Documentum vs Sharepoint – Round 3

  1. From what I’ve seen of MOSS I think that you’re provided a pretty fair comparison. MOSS is trying to be more than a pure collaboration tool but I don’t think that its quite there yet. Having said that it obviously does enough for most customers – I am guessing that it will sell as many licenses as all of the competing ECM vendors.

    Have you had a look at Alfresco yet? If not, I would suggest downloading it. I think that you will be impressed with its performance, functionality and flexibility when compared to Documentum.

    PS
    Keep up the good work on the PowerLink (awful redesign btw) forums!

  2. Hi markdav,
    I have not had a chance to look at Alfresco yet, but its on my plate for this summer. Thanks for the words of encouragement.

    • johnnygee, I have been tasked with setting up a user requirement specification. Our government department owns documentaum as well as Sharepoint. My director is pushing for Sharepoint to be the primary ECM application while his fellow director of another business unit is pushing for Documentum. The result being that they are hoping that by setting out the business requirement through the URS, that this will decide which product to use (if not both). Being a typical gov department, we own all the toys but they have never been implemented – So lucky me! I need to write a URS that is application agnostic, and not being an ECM specialist I have no idea where to start and what questions to ask, that will enable me to build a URS. How have you historically set out to deliver a ECM specification? And where do you start? Is there an engagement checklist that you use to gather questions whose ansers will make up the end technical doc (URS)? Thanks Colin

  3. Pingback: Documentum vs. Sharepoint? « Messaging….. Technology…… Life…..

  4. SharePoint does not provide native capabilities of managing e.g.:
    – Compound documents
    – XML content (chunking, validation, transformation etc)
    – Rich Media such as automatic transformation of high-resolution video or images to lower , web-ready resolutions.

  5. That’s a great post. You have put in some interesting comparison of Documentum and SharePoint, but considering that the post is around two years old, can you confirm whether these differences are bridged or they still exist.

    Regarding the Point No 7:
    In Documentum only the objects of types inherited from dm_sysobject can use ACL. I suppose there is not much security for the objects that have their types’ supertype as null.
    As I am totally zero in SharePoint, it would be great if you can put some more light on the difference in the security aspect of both.

  6. I can shed some light on SharePoint security. Objects in SharePoint lists and libraries have item-level security. I.e. each folder, document, event, contact, announcement, contact, task, issue, page, etc can have it’s own ACL or inherit the ACL from its parent container. Item level security was one of the big enhancements between SharePoint 2003 and SharePoint 2007.

    An object that does not reside within a list or library inherit the security of the SharePoint site in which the object resides.

  7. johnnygee, I have been tasked with setting up a user requirement specification. Our government department owns documentaum as well as Sharepoint. My director is pushing for Sharepoint to be the primary ECM application while his fellow director of another business unit is pushing for Documentum. The result being that they are hoping that by setting out the business requirement through the URS, that this will decide which product to use (if not both). Being a typical gov department, we own all the toys but they have never been implemented – So lucky me! I need to write a URS that is application agnostic, and not being an ECM specialist I have no idea where to start and what questions to ask, that will enable me to build a URS. How have you historically set out to deliver a ECM specification? And where do you start? Is there an engagement checklist that you use to gather questions whose ansers will make up the end technical doc (URS)? Thanks Colin

  8. Colin, when my customers are comparing applications, I recommend that they DO NOT do a direct features comparison. Features comparisons can take a substantial amount of time and provide very little information about each product’s suitability to the task, which is what the customer really needs.

    Instead, I recommend that the customer put some time into generating a list (10-20) of use cases or usage scenarios that they need a product to enable. Once the customer has the list, the customer can now do a comparison between the products in the context of the use cases. This method provides a good way to see which product features are actually relevant to the customer’s needs and which features, while sounding good, are just fluff.

    Once the customer has the product comparison in the context of the use cases (the functional comparison), the customer then needs to do a non-functional comparison between the products. The goal of the non-functional comparison is to determine the organizational impact of each product. For example,
    * How does each product handle scaling, load balancing, fail-over?
    * What backup / recovery models does each product support?
    * How does each product handle security and identity management?
    * To what extent does each product integrate with and extend the customer’s existing infrastructure (on-premises or hosted)?
    * What resources (human and non-human) does the sustainment team for each product consist of?
    * What are the associated costs of each product, both up-front and ongoing?

    Combining the functional and non-functional comparisons of each product allows the customer to ultimately reach a value comparison between each product. The value comparison should be the determining factor in deciding one product vs. another.

    Hope that helps. -Eugene

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