Putting Portals in the Mix

Microsoft, Interwoven to meld content management, portal capabilities.

As enterprises look to deploy content management systems for more sophisticated uses, Microsoft Corp. is extending its content management system to give less technical users more power.

This week at its TechEd conference in New Orleans, the company will preview a combination of its Content Management Server suite with its SharePoint Portal Server, providing customers with integration among content, knowledge and document management systems.

The Redmond, Wash., company is not alone. Content management software developer Interwoven Inc. this month will announce new portal integration capabilities of its own.

The next version of Interwovens ECM, or Enterprise Content Management, suite will include a software development tool kit designed to make it easier for portal vendors to build extensions to Interwoven content management systems into their products, said sources close to the Sunnyvale, Calif., company.

The Microsoft CMS-SharePoint integration, slated to be available by the end of the month, will allow customers to search CMS content from SharePoint, display CMS tasks and content in the SharePoint portal, and publish SharePoint documents directly to Web sites managed by CMS.

"Well be able to give our nontechnical folks the ability to publish documents in SharePoint and integrate with CMS so we can display them on our Internet and intranet sites," said Jamie Mangrum, manager of Web and application technology services in the Office of Technology Resources for the state of Californias General Services department, in Sacramento. "It seems to be faster to teach them SharePoint; the learning curve is less."

While content management is hardly a new technology, Microsofts foray appears to be well-timed, as much of that market remains untapped. Jack Jia, senior vice president and chief technology officer of Interwoven, said nearly three-quarters of his companys competition comes from home-grown systems, rather than from other vendors.

But IT managers who have deployed packaged content management software said that trend cant continue forever because the increasingly sophisticated needs of enterprises are outstripping the capabilities of home-grown solutions. "Youre not just talking about managing Web pages anymore; youre talking about being able to share images and managing multimedia assets," said Jason Hoch, director of site operations at Space.com Inc., in New York, which uses Divine Inc.s Content Server. "Theres a sweet spot for vendors between the front-end communications and the back-end technical team."

Other content management vendors arent standing still. Stellent Corp. is adding content integration and distribution capabilities through the acquisition last week of Kinecta Corp., while FileNet Corp. expanded into Web content management by acquiring eGrail Inc.