• United States
Neal Weinberg
Contributing writer, Foundry

Documentum’s eRoom 6.0

Aug 14, 20033 mins
Collaboration SoftwareEnterprise ApplicationsSmall and Medium Business

* Documentum's eRoom 6.0 impresses

Continuing our report on collaborative workspaces, Documentum’s  eRoom 6.0 was by far the easiest software to install. The only prerequisite is a fully patched Windows 2000 (or newer) Server.

The only mark against the system as we tested it is that the Real Time Server, which supports the collaborative meeting environment, must be installed on a separate Windows 2000 server.

Documentum calls its workspaces “rooms” – new rooms can be populated with objects from a template, or a completely blank room can be created, and you can create your own objects later. A user with permission can create rooms as they see fit, using those objects (tools) that best suit their needs and creativity. Individual items also may have permissions set on them. For example, a folder might be created to hold documents. Some users can be given the right to read and edit, while others can only read. You also can choose to hide the folder from users who get no permissions within the folder. This detail in access control is one of eRoom’s strengths.

With a Web-based platform, there is virtually no setup needed to join a community or workspace. A Web browser is all that is required to get up and running. You can supplement the browser experience on eRoom by installing an optional plug-in. The plug-in gives members easy access to project downloads from a local machine; a workspace preferences configuration tool; monitoring; a “quick start” button on the system tray; and Outlook synchronization.

We found that Documentum’s database-centric model offered the richest capabilities in terms of asset management, and the most elegant interface for viewing author names, last change date and the like. Documentum has file check-in, checkout, review and approval systems, and other advanced file management features that are highly controllable by the “owner” of the workspace.

A collaborative workspace must have a directory or contact database to help members find or get to know one another. Documentum was limited in its directory information, but gives the user the ability to modify everything but their logon name. Documentum could leverage multiple LDAP directories or Windows domains, and could authenticate using RSA Security  SecurID tokens.

The Documentum eRoom Real Time Server was the most tightly integrated offering and resembled a full-featured Web conferencing platform – including features such as moderator control, synchronized Web surfing and color-coded team member markup tools. From nearly anywhere in the space, a right-click on an asset, task or member name pulls up an eRoom operation menu, including options such as “add to meeting” or “invite to a meeting.” The degree to which this integration is important to a team varies with the project or process, but it certainly helps keep everyone focused in the same space, and avoids breaking up the flow of work by changing tools for different tasks.

For the full report, go to