CMIS gurus gather for first OASIS Technical Committee meeting

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Last week some of the biggest names in content management gathered in the same room at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, WA. They were there for the first OASIS CMIS Technical Committee meeting to hash out exactly what the CMIS 1.0 spec would look like. What's most interesting is not what they are including, but the long list of items they have chosen to leave out in order to get a standard in place as soon as possible.

According to John Newton's post on the meeting "Companies participating in person were IBM, Oracle, EMC, Alfresco, Exalead, OpenText, SAP, Day, Nuxeo, Dennis Hamilton (representing himself), and of course, Microsoft." Newton explains that "the CMIS effort so far has been use case driven with the main use cases being collaborative content management, integration into portals, mashups and search."Newton says the tougher use cases have been placed "explicitly out of scope" so that they can move forward quickly. (Netwon's post also includes his live tweets on Twitter from the event--scroll to the end to see these.)

Meanwhile Florent Guillaume, who was there representing Nuxeo also provided a broad overview in which he details major issues which Newton explained would be left out for the 1.0 version including records management, any kind of complex tagging and metadata (although they hope to have something simple in place), events and notifications among other highly technical aspects of the specification.

The good news is that Newton says that "the use cases that are in-scope seem to be clear and compelling enough that we all agreed that we urgently want to get CMIS to market to get people building these applications." Guillaume says, "The outlook from these discussions, and from the scope of the spec itself, is very positive. I believe that within a year CMIS will start to actively redefine the world of content management systems."

CMIS 1.0 still needs to go through the normal OASIS approval processs and Guillaume expects this to happen late this year or early next. For now, it's amazing to see these vendors working together to make this happen. It's a spirit of cooperation you don't often see among the biggest names in the industry, but they seem to have successfully put aside ego and competitive issues to put together something that will benefit the entire industry. I suspect the economy and the fact customers are clamoring for this kind of interoperability has something to do with it, but whatever the reason it's impressive to see.

For more information:
- see John Newton's blog post
- and Florent Guillaume's blog post

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