Goodbye 2005, Welcome 2006

Here are some of the happenings of 2005 that might have an impact on the future of the PCM space. They are in no particular order.

1. Emergence of Google: Google appears much closer to “taking over the internet”. It launched services like My Google, Desktop search and Google Talk. These services are in the portals space and were aimed at making Google more than just a search engine. There were other services too.

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EMC building a more complete ECM suite

Recently, EMC announced acquisitions of Acartus and Captiva in a bid to offer an end to end ECM offering. Both these products are on the opposite ends of the content life-cycle spectrum. Captiva is for managing content input (by scanning and digitization), whereas Acartus provides solution for content archival. So, now EMC has all the components required for managing content lifecycle – Captiva for content entry, Documentum for content management and finally Acartus for content archival. One component that it lacks though is a decent content delivery mechanism.

Captiva, however had strong relationships with other products too and it will be interesting to see if EMC will let Captiva continue and build those relationships?

The consolidation continues and another niche vendor is no more!

IBM acquires Bowstreet

So, another niche and stand alone player in the PCM space has been acquired. IBM announced acquisition of Bowstreet. Bowstreet, a hot company during the dot com days survived the crash and became a reputed company in the portal based tools space. I recently participated in a webinar by Bowstreet and was simply amazed by the portlet factory’s capabilities in building and deploying portlets. It not only makes it easy to build portlets but also has a lot of pre-built portlets. However, it would be interesting to see how this acquisition turns out because of the following factors:
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Apache releases Jetspeed 2.0

Apache announced Jetspeed 2.0. It is a major release and users of earlier versions will have to do some work for migrating to this version.
Unlike previous version, it is fully compliant with JSR-168. In that sense, it can now compete better with Liferay and JBoss. An area where it scores over others is that one can create portlets using PHP, Perl and CGI, JSF, Struts and so on using Apache’s Portals Bridges project. However, I think it still needs to improve on administration related features. For example, in Liferay, it is very easy to define new pages, define what portlets will appear on those pages and what the layout will be like. In these respects, Apache is a little behind Liferay and recently open sourced Sun.

Sun enhances portal offering

Earlier this month, Sun announced that it’s making JES and developer tools free and open source. After all, open sourcing is the ultimate outsourcing.
Today, they announced a new version of portal server (Sun JES Portal Server 7) with enhanced community, collaboration and identity based features. With improved AJAX support, people can build collaborative and self service applications. Until previous versions (JES 6x), building community based portals (for example, community sub-sites) was very difficult and this was one big gap in Sun’s offering. I’ve blogged before about emergence of collaborative portals and all the market trends have been pointing to the evolution of collaborative portals.

1. All major ECM and Portal vendors have acquired or built collaboration features. Leading products in this space have an offering that targets collaborative initiatives. For example, IBM has QuickPlace, EMC Documentum has eRoom, Microsoft has SharePoint Portal and Interwoven has WorkSite. More recently, BEA also acquired Plumtree. These products have built-in features for creating communities and enabling them to work in a collaborative environment. These products include a document repository, basic library services (e.g., check-in/checkout, version control, basic workflow, discussion threads, and lightweight project management.
Updated December 19, 2005
Vignette also recently announced Vignette Collaboration 7.0.
2. All the analysts (Forrester, Gartner etc) have predicted emergence of collaborative portals and that stand alone portals will mature into collaborative portals.

However, Sun did not have a product that targets this space and hence it was only a matter of time that they released something that will help them compete with other biggies.