Papyrus CMIS Adapter (OASIS Standard)

ISIS Papyrus is a Foundational Sponsor of OASIS and has commited to supporting the CMIS Standard. The Papyrus CMIS Adapter is available.

The Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS) OASIS standard defines a domain model along with Web Services and Restful AtomPub bindings that can be used by applications to work with one or more Content Management repositories/systems. The CMIS interface is designed to be layered on top of existing Content Management systems and their existing programmatic interfaces. It is intended to define a generic/universal set of capabilities provided by a CM system and a set of services for working with those capabilities. CMIS enables content sharing across heterogeneous archiving systems. CMIS is vendor- and technology-neutral.

The Papyrus CMIS Adapter architectural foundation is well suited for the purpose since it promotes standard interfaces over proprietary APIs, and open protocols over custom ones. Adapters come with a library of predefined templates, to foster rapid installation and deployment cycles. To no surprise, CMIS Adapter features an out-of-the-box template, which connects the Papyrus installation to CMIS clients in few mouse clicks. CMIS Adapter contains a Server-side interface and a Client-side interface.

The Papyrus CMIS Service primary use is to extract documents from Papyrus  in order to archive them externally, and to instantiate documents in Papyrus.

The Papyrus CMIS Client primary use is to retrieve documents from an external archiving system and to store them in Papyrus. It allows to retrieve documents from third-party CMIS archives. SOAP binding publishes CMIS service URLs through a WSDL document. Once documents are imported in Papyrus, they  can trigger workflows, or be stored in Papyrus Archive.

The CMIS data model in a nutshell:

CMIS specifies a core data model to define the type system and supported operations, and includes a set of services to access and manipulate the derived entities.

CMIS provides four base types (no additional base type can be defined) upon which more types can be derived if needed by the implementation. A type defines attributes, properties and operations that the instance must/can implement:

  1. Document object type: this is the base type for physical document entities, and is arguably the most important type. Documents have attributes like: name, objectId; and properties like: creation date, content stream Id, etc.
  2. Folder object type: CMIS exposes a file-system oriented interface, and the Folder type is the container of “file-able” objects, which include folder objects themselves and documents. Folders therefore organize documents in a tree structure. The Root folder is one of a kind, since only one root exists and it cannot be created through CMIS operations.
  3. Relationship object type: represents an instance of relationship between two objects. This describes for example a mapping between customers<=>contracts. The parent-child relationship doesn’t need a dedicated relationship entity, since it is implicit with the folder<=>document link, see above.
  4. Policy object type: represents an administrative right, which may be “applied” to one or more “controllablePolicy” objects. CMIS refers to a “textual description” property, and does not commit to any precise semantic significance or vendor-specific implementation.

CMIS services are used as follows:

  • Repository service: the Papyrus Platform exposes a logical name that identifies the container accessed through CMIS. The name is a customer-defined string, and is used to reference any subsequent calls to the same target location.
  • Navigation services: CMIS Adapter supports the CMIS Navigation service and offers a simple, yet efficient way to match the CMIS model. Documents retrieved from Papyrus are directly referenced under a Root folder. The Root folder can be a physical container, like a Queue, or a logical container, like the result set of a PQL query.
  • Object services: Papyrus CMIS Adapter exposes Read and Create operations on documents, since this is the primary reason to communicate between archives.
  • Multi-filing services: multi-filing is optional to CMIS, but is a native feature of Papyrus Objects (multiple parent references is the default setting).
  • Discovery services: Papyrus Objects is a non-relational, Object-Oriented system therefore  SQL syntax is not the most natural way to interface with it. We don’t plan to support SQL queries in CMIS Adapter (service), but we may support this interface in a future release of Papyrus CMIS Client since third-party archives may be conveniently accessed in this way.
  • Versioning services: Native support for version control in Papyrus Objects is implicitly accessed through CMIS (a document can be retrieved in its Active or Development version depending on the Role of the connected User).
  • Relationship services: relationships between CMIS entities may serve to query the links between documents (for example, to link a customer together with its contracts).
  • Policy services: CMIS policy services are not implemented in Papyrus CMIS Adapter since “policies” are fully defined by the integrated Papyrus Objects role-based access control system.
  • ACL services: The list of “allowable actions” returned with each object (Object services) fully defines what methods are permitted and what are not.

Papyrus CMIS Server configuration:

  1. Instantiate the CMIS Web Service template from the Library
  2. Setup Web Service parameters like URL, and give the CMIS Repository a name
  3. Design the CMIS tree for navigation (more about this, below).

The Papyrus Repository defines a specialized class (“CMIS folder”) exposing logical links to documents (children); therefore, documents are grouped following the ontology dictated by business requirements. Documents are “connected” to the appropriate folders without need to modify physical links nor to change existing workflows: every CMIS Folder defines what documents are available beneath itself. Therefore, a CMIS tree is not a static representation mirroring database relations or file-based links; instead, CMIS folders are freely combined and nested in multiple levels for optimal user accessibility and logical aggregation.

Authorizations are handled through the Papyrus built-in authorization subsystem, based on Roles Policies and Privileges. Therefore, CMIS Clients will perform the desired actions only on those documents and folders whence permissions are granted.

Interoperability tests

Papyrus CMIS Adapter has been tested on WebServices/SOAP binding with the following third-party CMIS connectors:

  • OpenCMIS from Apache Chemistry
  • CMIS OpenWorkdesk Community from  WeWebU
  • Microsoft SharePoint 2010 CMIS Connector
  • IBM FileNet

We have proposed test with other vendors but have not been invited to do so. If you are interested to test CMIS interoperatibility please contact us.


Papyrus Supports New OASIS Open Standard CMIS 1.0

The OASIS international consortium today announced the approval of Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS) version 1.0, a new open standard that enables information to be shared across Enterprise Content Management (ECM) repositories from different vendors. Advanced via a collaboration of major ECM solution providers worldwide, CMIS is now an official OASIS Standard, a status that signifies the highest level of ratification.

The OASIS CMIS 1.0 ratification is an important first step to enable businesses to freely make important solution choices for ECM, BPM and CRM applications without being limited to the functionality of the underlying archive system vendor. We hope that subsequent releases will reach beyond access to content and metadata, and we are positive that this emerging standard – which Papyrus Platform already supports – will be widely adopted and increase motivation for continuous expansion to full content interoperability in process-oriented environments.

ISIS Papyrus becomes OASIS Foundational Sponsor

Recently, ISIS Papyrus Software has decided to join OASIS – the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards as a Foundational Member.

OASIS is a not-for-profit consortium that drives the development, convergence and adoption of open standards for the global information society. The consortium produces more Web services standards than any other organization along with standards for security, e-business, and standardization efforts in the public sector and for application-specific markets. Founded in 1993, OASIS has more than 5,000 participants representing over 600 organizations and individual members in 100 countries.

For many this may be a surprise. I have been fairly outspoken when discussing the benefits of standards and made it clear that only those standards are relevant to us when they produce a substantial benefit to the business user. Otherwise they just cost money and hold back innovation. One of the reason to join was the creation of the OASIS CMIS (Content Management Interoperability Services) to standardize a Web services interface specification that will enable greater interoperability of Enterprise Content Management (ECM) systems. CMIS uses Web services and Web 2.0 interfaces to enable rich information to be shared across Internet protocols in vendor-neutral formats, among document systems, publishers and archives, within one enterprise and between companies.

We have announced the participation in the CMIS standards already over a year ago and have well advanced its implementation and testing. In this process we found that we should take a stronger shaping role in the creation as otherwise it is just the large vendors who dominate such standards to fit their own purposes, as much as OASIS uses a democratic process. Democracy only works if you go to vote. So here we are!

We also announced some time ago that we will put more effort into supporting XML formats, despite all their drawbacks and problems. We will only do this to the outside because our own internal formats are up to TWENTY TIMES more efficient than any XML format would be.

This is a substantial step for our business to give our customers the assurance that we do not only support market standards such as AFP (since 22 years) and PDF, but also Open Standards!