Final Day of EMC World 2007

Today was the final day of EMC World, and I was able to catch one session this morning before my flight left. The session was an overview of the upcoming D6 release of WebTop, Documentum’s multi-purpose document management application.

This release of WebTop seems to be focused on configurability and usability. Here are some of the highlights.

  • In the out-of-the-box experience, WebTop has removed the “streamline” interface. Although you can still turn it on via a configuration setting, the default view is an improved version of the “classic” interface – the one that looks a lot like Windows Explorer, with a folder tree on the left and a table view of the folder’s contents on the right.
  • WebTop will now have Resizable Columns, something that I have been wanting for quite a long time.
  • As I mentioned a couple of days ago, WebTop will still support the ability to multi-select documents. But instead of having to click checkboxes to select documents, the user can now shift-click and control-click just as she would in other Windows applications.
  • To make it easier to perform actions on a document, WebTop now supports a right-click menu and keyboard shortcuts. There’s even support for double-click that will bring up an actions menu, although I didn’t get a good sense of why this is better than right-click. Developers can easily add their own functions to the right-click menu and create custom keyboard shortcuts as well.
  • WebTop now includes auto-complete for various form fields on the properties dialog and other screens.
  • All listing pages, such as the ones that show the contents of folders or categories, now include a starts with panel that lets the user filter the current result set by typing the first few letters of a document name.
  • WebTop now supports one of the most commonly-requested features of all time: setting attributes on multiple documents at the same time. You can also update the permissions or lifecycle state of multiple documents simultaneously.
  • You can now set a document’s lifecycle state on the properties screen and right-click to promote the document.
  • WebTop now support the ability to export any listing page as a comma-separated CSV file so that it can be easily opened in Excel. The export will include the entire result set, not just the documents on the current screen.
  • Some improvements have been made to the Drag and Drop functionality. You can now drag documents together to create relationships between them, add a rendition by dragging a file onto an existing document, and check in from file by dragging a file onto a document you had previously checked out.
  • In previous versions of Documentum, a user had to be a full-fledged system administrator in order to have access to any of the administrative functionality. In D6, you will be able to scope users with specific administrative features, allowing you to delegate tasks such as user and group management.
  • One of the biggest changes to WebTop is the addition of Presets that allow power users to configure the user interface for various roles. Using a GUI, you will be able to (for example) limit the object types, formats, ACLs, lifecycles, and templates that are seen by a user when she imports a document. You will also be able to configure an object type and default attributes that will be applied when a document in imported into a certain folder.

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