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THE REVOLUTION WROUGHT by Web-based standards and distributed computing environments is having tremendous impact, including the democratization of many specialized enterprise software functions. Business intelligence applications, for example, are embedded under the hood of many general-purpose platforms and are thereby moving closer to their end-users.
CM (content management) is the latest beneficiary, or victim, of this trend. Thanks to XML's proliferation, the concept of a dedicated CM application is challenged by the notion that ubiquitous platforms from companies such as Microsoft, Oracle, and IBM will play a greater role in helping enterprises manage business documents, e-mail, and other unstructured content.
Each of these companies is pointing the way to a holistic approach to managing unstructured content -- as indicated by Microsoft's recent XDocs and Jupiter initiatives. This is an appealing notion to those of us who create mounds of text each day and can't remember where we put our damn notes about that important customer. But the devil will be in the details of these XML-based implementations, which confront a host of unresolved issues, such as openness, integration, and control of the business logic, workflow, and user interfaces.
Incumbents in the content management space -- companies such as Interwoven, Vignette, Documentum, and Filenet -- clearly see the threat from XML and the horizontal platform players. "I think you'll see more of these content management capabilities out of the box," says …