Oracle Universal Content Management lives up to the name
Oracle UCM 10g R3 scores high with Microsoft integration, comprehensive search, and new Ajax tool for organizing Web sites
It's not always practical or affordable for large enterprises to consolidate their disparate systems that store unstructured content such as documents, Web material, and digital media. Yet maintaining these siloed applications introduces different costs and risks, including lack of security and records management. ECM (enterprise content management) systems address these shortcomings while leaving your existing file servers and other repositories in place. Although ECMs typically require yet another database, users continue accessing their existing desktop files and processes, while the content manager provides centralized storage, indexing, versioning, workflow, retention, and other services.
One of the better ECM products was Stellent Universal Content Management, which Oracle acquired when purchasing Stellent in late 2006. As you might expect, the renamed and updated Oracle UCM (Universal Content Management) Release 10g R3 is now better integrated with Oracle's other products. For example, UCM has an out-of-the-box provider for Oracle Database (making it easier to configure the database and to perform backups). Plus, as part of Oracle Fusion Middleware, UCM is "hot pluggable" into existing Oracle servers and can take advantage of the company's grid infrastructure, such as application clusters.
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Content in, content out
I've been hammering away at Oracle UCM -- which includes Oracle Content Server, document management modules, and the universal content management pieces (Web content management, digital assets management, and records management) -- for a few weeks on a Windows Server 2003 machine. Oracle Database 10g XE was my database engine. My overall impression is that better usability, integration, and filing (more than 400 file formats are automatically converted using Web services) make UCM an excellent offering.
Contributing content to the repository required no extra steps as I dragged and dropped Microsoft Word and other document types from my desktop to a UCM folder that appeared within Windows Explorer. Oracle automatically applied metadata, while adding options to pop-up menus for document management functions such as Check Out. Similarly, Oracle-managed folders within Microsoft Outlook let me submit e-mails and attachments as records; I then managed this content directly from Outlook (such as searching and taking it offline for editing).
When I placed high-resolution images into a managed folder, UCM automatically created variations at different sizes and resolutions, such as ones appropriate for the Web.