What is xCP?

1) Enhanced linux/unix function to copy files
2) New extreme sport
3) New one-click software bundle from EMC|Documentum

If you didnt guess #3, you shouldnt be reading my blog 🙂 I attended xCP hands-on training event provided by EMC to its partners. The goal was to give EMC partners enough training that they could start developing case based POCs with the software bundle and start showing the value of xCP.

Lets start by reviewing what xCP is. xCP is a rapid deployment of Forms Builder, Process Builder, TaskSpace, and Business Activity Manager using a simplified installation script. xCP also simplifies the licensing structure; the sales/marketing folks have come up with a bundled license for all of the products per user basis. This simplifies the total upfront costs, which makes easier to get a new customer to market sooner, with focus on “speed to value”.

From a training perspective, this two day course was pretty darn cool. We were able to run the entire stack from a VMimage hosted by EMC cloud servers. Each of 15 or so participants had their own image running on the cloud. There were no issues with performance on the cloud. We had an option of running the image on our local laptops, but based on previous sessions, there were performance issues given the amount of memory required from the image and what is typically available on a laptop.

We spent about a half day on each of the products. Since I worked with Forms Builder and Process Builder before, I only picked up a few new tidbits. I saw how high-fidelity forms can work in conjunction with web forms. I also saw how Invoke button on a eForm was implemented. This type of button was designed to launch a custom WDK action. This was of interest to me because I was involved in the 6.0 Forms Builder Early Adopters Program where we requested this feature.

In Process Builder, we were worked through some examples of when to use structured data types (SDT) vs package data. Data stored in SDT are local to the process instance and will be lost once the process has been completed. Data stored in package object model will persist beyond the life of the process instance. The training showed us how we can use SDT throughout the process and then in the last activity in the process, save the SDT information back to the package structure if needed. SDTs are easier to use when mapping values from external system/source (eg email).

Taskspace training session was relatively straight-forward. Most of us have seen this demo before showing the different UI for different roles and how you can easily configured different TaskSpace components for different needs. What was missing from the training was mapping of when to use various TaskSpace components. Its probably easier to digest if you have real requirements and have specific UI needs.

I learned the most from BAM session. The BAM product has been tightly integrated with TaskSpace. Using Process Reporting Services, you can “dashlets” that can be assembled into a dashboard from within TaskSpace. The dashlets allow report designer to create various UI that compile and display process metrics collected from CS to local BAM database. This separation of process data from live data greatly minimizes the impact on the CS when process data is analyzed and displayed. The entire BAM product-line is very UI friendly and can used to deliver a quick win to client in a relatively short time frame.

In addition to the installation of the four products, xCP provides several templates (aka xCelerators) for various case management practice areas. The xCelerators include sample object types, process templates, user scenarios, and best practices that can be used as jump start to new implementations. The Grants Management xCelerator was used during this training session. I believe a Contracts Management xCelerator is coming out soon. Using xCelerator, a client/partner can develop a custom xApp much quicker than before. EMC claims about 50% faster. Do I believe this – I think in some scenarios this could be true. Obviously, everything depends on requirements, but if the goal is to get something out quick, xCP is packaed to do that.

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5 responses to “What is xCP?

  1. I am guessing that this will be extremely good for Development. Still trying to figure out how all of this stuff will be moved to QA / Production.

    Solution cannot be taken to production directly, from my experience I have seen too many things that work on one app server and not on another. In this case everything is loaded onto Jboss (which I hope more companies start deploying into production).

  2. I actually asked the same question to some of the product engineers that were in the room and they said that all the configurable components in xCP can be included in a DAR that can be used to move configuration from one environment to another.

  3. Pingback: xCP – integration platform of the future? « Ask Johnny! – Documentum Guru

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