What I learned about CenterStage at EMC World 2009
CenterStage was all the rage this year at EMC World, and it looks like it’s eventually going to be Documentum’s primary knowledge worker UI. CenterStage replaces eRoom, and it provides a collaboration environment for teams. CenterStage works like this: You define a “space”, which is like a room in eRoom – it’s a collection of documents, discussion threads, wiki pages, blogs, etc. all related to a single project or a single team. You can invite users to become members of this space, and then they can organize all their information about that project together in one place. The concept of spaces or rooms is not new – SharePoint, Alfresco, and several others use this same paradigm.
CenterStage is pretty slick looking, and I think it will make a big splash in the Documentum community. The search function is a million times better than WebTop’s, and with the addition of Blogs, Wikis, and Discussions it’s much more suited to the way teams share information than WebTop. WebTop and other document management clients are constrained to documents only, and most teams that use WebTop end up sending a ton of emails to each other to share all the information that doesn’t fit nicely into a document. With CenterStage, a lot of the information that goes into emails could easily transition to CenterStage, being stored in Discussion Groups, on Wiki Pages, as Blog Entries, or (in an upcoming release) as Data Tables (kind of like an online spreadsheet). Not only do your end users benefit from improved collaboration and information sharing, but the organization gets all the traditional compliance benefits that Documentum offers, such as centrally managed retention policies, archiving, eDiscovery, etc.
One of the nice features of CenterStage is the ability to scope your searches. When you issue a search, you can tell CenterStage where to search:
- Search within your current space
- Search within all you favorite spaces
- Search all the spaces you have access to
- Search the entire Documentum repostiory (assuming you are using Documentum for standard document management as well)
- Use EMC’s Federated Search Services to search other repositories, such as FileNet, Wikipedia, etc.