While my blog output the last couple months has been lackluster at best the community at large has benefited from a new author in the arena. Take a look at http://blogs.oracle.com/kyle. Leave a comment. Welcome Kyle Hatlestad to our blog-o-sphere.
I am adding Kyle to the blog roll here. He has already produced a series of very nice articles and I strongly encourage you to take a gander and add his site to your RSS Reader. To give you a sample, here are the titles of his first eight posts:
2009.08.31 – How to set up a Public Document Library in WebCenter Spaces
2009.08.21 – Positioning Sections in Site Studio Designer
2009.08.20 – Site Studio Naming Best Practices
2009.08.18 – UCM Black Hole Check In
2009.08.14 – Allow Contributors To Add Fragments To Your UCM Site Studio Pages
2009.08.06 – UCM Custom Skins and Layouts
2009.07.23 – Global Rules for Standard Check In and Search Only
2009.07.21 – Displaying Native Content With Site Studio 10gR4 in External Apps
Excellent work so far. Kyle has been involved in various aspects of the community for a while. I see his name in forums and blogs occasionally. This is a great next step for him, and a benefit for all of us learning and using Content Server on a weekly basis.
In an effort to learn more about Kyle I have been sending him questions and tabulating his answers to form a kind of "Web Interview". I wanted to introduce him as a community participant, point out his great work and demonstrate to people just how approachable he is. Here's some of the questions I asked and his responses.
Where have you worked other than Oracle (did you come over with the Stellent acquisition)?
Yes, I came over as part of the acquisition of Stellent. I joined Stellent (which was formally named IntraNet Solutions) in July of 1998. Prior to Stellent, I worked at Camax which was a Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) software company for 3 years.
Where is home?
I work in Eden Prairie, MN which was the Stellent headquarters. I live about 20 miles north and was born and raised in Minnesota.
Can you describe what you do now for Oracle and the previous roles you have played in the history of Stellent?
I work in the sales organization in a department known as the Enterprise Solution Group. Our charter is to put together reusable sales assets that can be used during sales cycles. Prior to sales, I was in the Quality Assurance department doing testing for several years. I was also a consultant for several years and did go to customers to do initial installs and configurations of systems.
Is there anyone you can single out has influential in your career development?
Frank Radichel who is a Vice President in Software Development at Oracle and was head of R&D under Stellent has been a big influence on me. I've worked directly for him when I was in the Quality Assurance group and have always worked with him in the other various roles that I've had (Tech Support, Consulting, Sales). He's always been a great mentor and someone I could always turn to with questions.
What products do you work with on a semi-regular basis at Oracle besides UCM (your recent blog post indicates WebCenter Spaces)?
The major ones within what we call the 'Enterprise 2.0' group. They include the portal products of WebCenter Spaces, WebCenter Interaction, and WebLogic Portal. I also work a lot with Information Rights Management and Oracle Capture. Outside of the E 2.0 products, I've done work with BPEL Process Manager, Siebel, AutoVue, & BI Publisher. It's basically the laundry list of products that integrate with UCM. Which seem to be growing every day.
Within UCM what are your favorite two products and why?
I generally like to work with Site Studio. Web Content Management offers a lot of flexibility and creativity. I also like working with the core Content Server which has proven to have a great architecture over the years.
Outside of UCM what are your favorite two Oracle products?
WebCenter Spaces is a great product to work with. It's a very advanced product with a lot of flexibility and control. Provides a great portal/workspace environment that we use internally on a day-to-day basis with our own projects.
And I guess the other product would have to be the database. Under Stellent I was often intimidated when working with the Oracle Database, but have really enjoyed digging into all the things it can do and benefits it provides. Things like Secure Files with compression, deduplication, and encryption of unstructured data, the Application Express (APEX) interface, Oracle Text searching, etc.
What's one piece of functionality that you would like to see added to Content Server? (I get asked this on support follow-up calls all the time!)
Yeah…this is a tough one because it's always changing depending on what I'm working on at the time and what's missing.
While it's not technically functionality, I think a redesign of the UI would be nice. I think functionally it can do most of the things customers need (or can be customized to), but the general UI can be difficult to use for the non-technical user.
One enhancement I've always wanted to be included since day one has been the ability to store and present comments in Workflow. For both rejection and approval. I've been asked too many times then I can count if you can add comments when you approve in workflow.
What do you feel is the hardest part about customizing Content Server?
Tracing resource includes across different components and patches. Resource includes are great in that they are modular and reusable, but given the number of core and extra components that generally get loaded, it can be cumbersome at times to find the code you need to override for your component.
Do you have any advice to share with those that have just purchased Content Server and are intimidated by "the possibilities" it provides them?
Well, I've always tried to encourage customers to start small and try to do quick win projects first. It helps with the learning curve and encourages adoption. I've seen too many initial big projects that get bogged down in politics, lack of understanding, and poor planning.
Also, I tell every customer to buy the book "The Definitive Guide to Stellent Content Server Development" by Brian "Bex" Huff. Even though it was written prior to the acquisition, the majority of it still holds true for UCM 10gR3 and is a tremendous resource.
Please tell us your vision for the future of Content Management (2-3 years out). What are some forthcoming trends, technologies, etc.?
I think it's something that Billy Cripe has been saying for a few years now and that's "invisible ECM". It's the concept that ECM is sitting behind the systems that businesses use to do their day-to-day work. So it will be less important that it be a primary system that users go directly to and use but rather transparent to them as they are executing their business process. So I see a lot more integrations down the line that tie Content Management systems closer to these business systems.
Here's to hoping that Kyle can find the time to continue sharing his insights with all of us in the community for a long time to come. Thanks for the info Kyle, keep the posts coming!