SOURCE: AIIM - The ECM Association

April 19, 2005 10:30 ET

AIIM and Industry Leaders Join Forces in New Enterprise Content Management Standards Activity

Group to Develop Service Oriented Architecture Standard for Interoperable Enterprise Content Management

SILVER SPRING, MD -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 19, 2005 -- AIIM, the enterprise content management standards developer announces a new activity to develop a service oriented architecture (SOA) framework for Interoperable Enterprise Content Management (iECM).

The project currently referred to as iECM, through the development of standards will address the growing need for a common integration layer between different enterprise content management related systems and multiple business applications. As organizations increasingly integrate content into business processes there is a need for a common set of standards for accessing, exchanging, managing and integrating structured and unstructured content.

"The document is the fundamental unit of government information. As government becomes increasingly collaborative, documents control the flow of information between different organizations, agencies, departments, and levels," said Christopher Baum, Research Director and Vice President, Public Sector, Gartner, Inc. "Consequently, it is critical that content be accurately and efficiently maintained and updated, so that decisions are made with real-time information; particularly decisions effecting public safety and homeland security. In an environment with a myriad of content management systems and styles, this crucial step becomes practically impossible. This standard would be the basis for a solution."

The concept includes a suite of web services that provide a common set of interfaces by which ECM solutions and Enterprise Applications can interoperate and manage content and content rich processes within a secure environment. These services will provide a standardized approach for content centric processes that span organizations utilizing a services oriented architecture (SOA). "The iECM standards activity that is based on web services and XML is critical to addressing one of the biggest information technology challenges organizations face by integrating diverse applications and the information that they process to enable," said Frank Gilbane, President, Bluebill Advisors and The Gilbane Report.

The committee will take into consideration efforts defined by OASIS, the JAVA Community and others as it drafts an international standard. This standards development effort will provide end-user organizations, vendors and integrators with guidance around how to architect their content-centric applications and business processes. It will provide vendors with direction on how to evolve their technologies to deliver the interoperable services required in meeting their customers' requirements. "I am very pleased to see this Interoperable Enterprise Content Management (IECM) standards work approved and launched," said Brand Niemann, Federal CIO Council. "It continues to foster interoperability through standards, trial pilots and education across government."

The U.S. Federal e-Government initiatives have provided an important, first step toward enhancing citizen access to government information and consolidating information technology across agencies. "This standard and architecture initiative will enable Federal agencies to take e-Government to the next level by enabling information and content interoperability across government processes and multi-vendor applications," says Paul Fontaine, U. S. Department of Transportation and co-author of the standards proposal.

This committee formed by AIIM will identify issues to be addressed, as well as proposed solutions, and will develop a draft document that will then be presented to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) for development and approval as an International Standard. "This standards activity demonstrates the commitment of our supplier community to providing an effective solution to our end users," states John F. Mancini, President, AIIM. "We are excited to play a vital role in the development of this standard. The problem of managing the volumes of structured and unstructured content across the enterprise will be resolved through this standard paving the way for more effective organizations. Through these standards, organizations will receive the guidance they need to architect their content-centric applications in a cost-effective manner."

"In today's heterogeneous corporate IT infrastructure a variety of systems must communicate and share information to optimize business processes and meet all requirements. Historically these disparate systems have been connected through proprietary, one-off connectors that are not only expensive to build but are also brittle and even more expensive to maintain," states Howard Shao, Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President, EMC. "It is clear that standards-based system connectivity is a more cost-effective approach and offers a greater range of flexibility and solution potential. In part through involvement in this AIIM committee, EMC will play an active role in developing standards to meet these needs and will continue to offer content management products that adhere to today's existing standards as well as those that will continue to evolve."

"iECM is a foundation for a next generation of information sharing in which governments and other organizations throughout the world can easily build flexible, scalable end-to-end electronic processes that connect customers, citizens, businesses, government agencies, and employees," says Mike Connor, Group Product Manager for Worldwide Government Markets at Adobe Systems, and co-author of the iECM standard proposal. "This new standard would enable government organizations to extend information to mobile workers and people with disabilities when they need it, in the form they need, any place in the world."

Anyone having an interest in this work, and able to contribute technical expertise, is both invited and encouraged to actively participate in this work. Interested persons can register to participate on this committee by contacting Betsy Fanning at

An organizational meeting is scheduled for May 18, 2005, at AIIM OnDemand 2005 in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania Convention Center to begin defining the issues that this effort needs to address and begin to identify existing standards that will play a critical role in the interoperability of the ECM solutions. Anyone who is interested in finding out more about this project, is invited to attend and should register their participation by sending an email to Renee Georges at

About AIIM

AIIM - the international authority on Enterprise Content Management (ECM), is leading the way to the understanding, adoption and use of ECM technologies. These technologies, tools and methods are used to capture, manage, store, preserve, and deliver content across an enterprise in support of business processes. As a non-profit association for more than 50 years, AIIM provides news, information and resources through its industry web portal and ongoing education through programs that include market analysis, industry standards development, publications, chapters and regional events. Complete information about the association, is available on the Web at

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Betsy Fanning
    Director, Standards, Education and Content
    AIIM - The ECM Association