However after yesterday's posting, I was approached by Cheryl McKinnon, the Chief Marketing Officer at Nuxeo, someone I have known since she was in her previous role at OpenText.
Cheryl gave me a bit of a "blogger briefing" on Nuxeo DAM because, drum role please ......
Its officially launched today !
You can read Cheryl's own blog post here: Nuxeo DAM - First CMIS-enabled Digital Asset Management - We're Launched!
I got to ask Cheryl some questions based on my background with ECM systems, including some small experience of DAM. When we launched our ECM strategy at the Open University a major requirement was for DAM functionality, after all in a distance learning university DAM and XML 'structured authoring' for true "create once - publish many" type operations are a very big deal.
Nuxeo Q and A with Cheryl
First of all I asked Cheryl about the CMIS angle. CMIS is not a ratified standard yet, and in its first iteration its kind of constrained to simple content operations, nothing DAM specific per se. Cheryl responded that while that is true, the fact that CMIS is already baked into the underlying Nuxeo enterprise platform means it can be levered by the DAM functionality and of course it probably won't take a lot of tweaking of the present implementation once CMIS does hit the big 1.0 Meanwhile it gives developers the chance to play with it, and apparently they are doing as Nuxeo are talking to some open source WCMS vendors about providing their publishing engines ontop of the Nuxeo platform / DAM stack.
If we look at the feature stack, from my admittedly limited DAM experience, it appears that all the parts are in place:
- Intellectual Property and Rights Management - done in situ via metadata and of course CMIS or other API's to link into existing Rights Management systems. Rights Management is very important in this space, I got to work with a brilliant team at the OU that focused ont his, and indeed when I left they were gearing up for a procurement / development of a system to replace all thier little Access databases !
- Renditions - also important for producing different file types which might be optimised for a particular channel. Nuxeo are using ImageMagick as their rendition engine.
- Configurable content types - because not all rich media types have the same metadata profiles associated with them etc So easily defined content types are a good idea.
- Web GUI - very topical as Theresa Regli at CMSWatch blogged on this subject this morning (see "The trouble with DAM and your corporate laptop") based, and does not require any other exotic plug-ins. - so Theresa and prospective iPad buyers will be happy to know that the interface is not Flash
We also discussed the benefits of the "platform based approach" to ECM. With DAM basically being a 'module' ontop of the Nuxeo EP base layer, when other initiatives are released, for example DOD compliant Electronic Records Management (coming soon) then DAM automaticaly inherets the features, allowing you to put digital assets under retention policies etc. Interestingly Cheryl noted that the Pharmaceutical industry appears to be getting into DAM, with a requirement to capture images of product labels etc, so you can see how this might fit their needs.
On the subject of 'coming soon' they are also working on a technical documents (think DITA) 'module' that levers the open source Scenari project to provide XML 'Component Content Management'.
Finally we went somewhat off topic and I asked Cheryl about the competition and whether Nuxeo always ends up on the same RFP's as Alfresco, from company's not averse to open source.
She noted that people always assume the two open source ECMS will be going head to head, but that it rarely happens. Nuxeo and Alfresco have taken different architectural paths, and certainly there are many similarities too, but often they are chasing different business in different sectors. Cheryl noted how Alfresco often go with the 'open source SharePoint killer' angle, with the Alfresco Share collaboration element. Nuxeo apparently are more often looked at to replace a closed source / commercial or an in house developed system, often where the commercial system is one or two major releases behind and would be expensive to update.
To finish off this posting I should say thanks to Cheryl for taking the time to give me a call, and that this is NOT a review. I have not used Nuxeo DAM 'in anger' and I am not endorsing it - but I do support open source enterprise content management software. Open source gives us more choice - it allows me to point you to the download page and say go and get it, and try it for yourself!