Documentum steps up collaboration with eRoom 7 releaseDocumentum this week is planning to roll out an update to the eRoom\u00a0collaboration technology it acquired last year, giving users the ability to search across multiple workspaces, manage active eRooms from a single location and collaborate around specific business processes.The update, eRoom 7, enhances the existing features of eRoom as Documentum works toward more tightly integrating the collaboration technology with its enterprise content management system. Deeper integration between the two - such as being able to launch an eRoom from within the Documentum content management system - is expected to come later this year with the release of eRoom Enterprise 7.This week's eRoom 7 release, "is not a huge jump forward really," says Erica Rugullies, an analyst with Forrester Research. "It's an improvement of existing functionality, rather than a breakthrough innovation."With eRoom 7, users log on once through single sign-on and then have the ability to search across multiple eRooms hosted on multiple servers. In past releases, searching was confined to eRooms located on a single server.In addition, the eRoom architecture has been beefed up to handle more users, and installations running on multiple servers can be administered from a single user interface, says Jake Sorofman, director of product marketing at Documentum.The new release also includes pre-configured collaborative workspaces to make it easier for business users to set up eRooms to handle projects that must meet government regulatory guidelines, for example, or for projects related to new product development, Sorofman says.Bob Buttacavoli, partner with Mercer Human Resources Consulting in Manhattan, says the project management interface combined with collaboration provides just the right amount of control the company needs to make sure projects stay on track."There is a fine balance between overly rigid program management and collaborative capabilities," he says. "The project management feature is what we've been particularly anxious to get in eRoom 7."Mercer uses eRoom's collaboration technology to work with hundreds of clients around the world."This is taking it to the next level in terms of crossing the enterprise, meaning that multiple sites feed into one site for an overall dashboard view," he says.Collaboration is becoming increasingly important to content management vendors as users look for ways to share not only formal documents, but also content as it is in the creation process. Documentum competitors such as iManage and OpenText already have tightly integrated collaboration and content management capabilities, analysts say.Documentum eRoom 7, which is priced at about $200 per seat, can be deployed with Documentum's content management system, but the two still retain separate content repositories, although users can opt to save content created in an eRoom to Documentum. ERoom 7 also can be deployed alone.Documentum eRoom Enterprise 7, scheduled for release in the fourth quarter, is expected to cost about $275 per seat.