What is a Common Information Infrastructure?

MPj03960520000[1] A Common Information Infrastructure (CII) is a set of interoperable information management technologies along with common enterprise-wide standards, associated business processes, support and governance models, and enterprise-wide technical architectures. Phew! That is a mouthful!

The resulting environment provides the common framework required to ensure that system use aligns with organizational priorities and streamlines document and records management and collaboration efforts across the organization. This is not an application that is installed on some giant server in the the sky. Moving to a CII becomes a strategy and involves the journey to migrate from current reality to the future CII realization along with defining and providing services and support to the consumers and customers of the CII.

The primary characteristic of the CII is the ability to effectively manage electronic documents, electronic records, and other electronic information commonly referred to as unstructured data through their entire lifecycle. That lifecycle begins at creation or receipt and extends to the appropriate destruction at the end of that information asset’s life, based on business and compliance requirements.

The CII is not just technology but includes the necessary common processes and support models to effectively translate business requirements into information solutions by leveraging a consistent, predictable, and centrally managed set of technologies.

Typically the technical foundation of the CII will emerge based on the predominate technology deployed and in use within an enterprise. For many enterprises that technology will be Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007, which is an integrated solution for managing the entire life cycle of different types of content, including documents, forms, images, email messages, instant messages, and more. Thanks to an intuitive user interface that integrates with common Microsoft applications such as Microsoft Office and Outlook, user acceptance and adoption should be high. This integration with familiar tools allows users to effectively manage information as an extension of their normal workload without having to significantly change the way they work.

In my next post I will discuss some of the dependencies and critical enablers for realizing the promise of moving to a Common Information Infrastructure.

With this post I wish all my readers a happy New Year and look forward to increasing the conversation about Better ECM in 2009.


BetterECM Quoted in InfoWorld Today


Today at the Office, Vista, Exchange Launch event in Washington, DC, Grant Gross of IDG stopped by our Applied Information Sciences (AIS) booth. The event is at the Washington Hilton. He was interested in some of the comments made by Bill Veghte, Microsoft’s corporate vice president for North America, at the keynote earlier this morning. We talked about the new DoD 5015.2 STD records management capabilities that are being added to MOSS 2007.

He has already posted an article “Microsoft talks up Vista security in DC” to the InfoWorld site. 

Microsoft will also submit its Office SharePoint Server 2007 for U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) certification for electronic records management, Veghte said. Microsoft, working with partner Applied Information Sciences Inc., expects to have SharePoint Service compliant with DOD 5015.2 standard in May.

The add-on will allow users to comply with the DOD standard and have “military-grade” records management, said Russ Stalters, Applied’s chief technology officer.

The add-on package will allow customers to collaborate using SharePoint without buying third-party records-management software, as SharePoint users have had to do in the past, Stalters said. By complying with the DOD standard, the software package “sets the bar” for records management for customers in highly regulated industries, he said.

I will start writing some posts with more details about this really exciting project.

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See BetterECM at the Office 2007 Launch Tomorrow – 1/30/07


If you are attending the Office, Vista, Exchange Launch event in Washington, DC tomorrow, stop by and say hello. I will be hanging out at the Applied Information Sciences (AIS) booth #43. The event is at the Washington Hilton.

If you stop by you can sign up for a new, limited availability white paper I wrote about the new DoD 5015.2 STD records management features coming for SharePoint 2007.

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BPM & Steak: A Great Combo, Part 2

Sorry for the delay in getting Part 2 out. Anyway, I wanted to continue by sharing some of my slides and some key points regarding practicing Business Process Management (BPM) using a Microsoft platform.

Many of our clients have made investments in Microsoft technologies through enterprise agreements which provide for licensing of Office and SharePoint clients access licenses. In most cases they are running parts of their business on SQL Server and some have made investments in BizTalk.

This stack of .NET based technologies begins to create a rich platform for implementing business process automation solutions that support BPM initiatives for organizations. The following slide depicts the breadth of business processes.

At one side of the spectrum, you have very ad-hoc and collaborative activities, which tend to be highly unstructured in nature. On the other end, you have activities that are highly structured and transactional in nature – a good example of this is traditional IT business applications and integration middleware. Realistically, business processes tend to blur the lines and span across each category depending on the complexity and scope of the process.

The following slide depicts the Microsoft platform components that address process automation.

With the addition of Windows Workflow Foundation and the work that was done to support surfacing interaction with processes (workflow) within the Office 2007 desktop clients through the business pane uses can interact with their work without leaving the client application. Additional extensions and “hooks” have been provided within SharePoint to bring structured processes into the collaborative user interface. Another noteworthy capability is the InfoPath server which provides the capability to host InfoPath electronic forms and render them (for viewing and complete interaction) purely in a web browser.

This new capability allows designers and developers to expose forms based interfaces within the SharePoint environment or through a web browser easily and quickly. Now these forms can be connected to automated business processes for both data input and the display of process related data and information.

Using these modular and interconnected building blocks along with other .NET based solutions from Microsoft partners, organizations can support BPM using this Microsoft platform.

In Part 3, I will give you my Top Five New BPM Features of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007.

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Supplemental Documentation For MOSS 2007

It’s the RTM eve and I have an early present.

The big launch event for Microsoft Windows Vista operating system, 2007 Microsoft Office system client and server applications, and Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 will be in New York city tomorrow.

Microsoft has been posting updated content on TechNet and MSDN. Here is some supplemental documentation for MOSS 2007 which include poster-sized documents created in Microsoft Office Visio. The documentaion includes:




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Compliance Features in the 2007 Microsoft Office System

With the RTM just around the corner, Microsoft is doing a good job pumping out volumes of new documentation to support the implementation of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007 and the Office System.  The latest release is “Compliance Features in the 2007 Microsoft Office System”. The white paper is very comprehensive and targets developers and technical architects.

From the MSDN summary:

“This white paper showcases compliance-related features and extensibility opportunities with the 2007 Microsoft® Office system, and demonstrates how the Office system can help you meet the demands of regulatory compliance. By focusing on a few core products, including Microsoft Office SharePoint® Server, Office client-side applications, and Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, this paper introduces built-in features of the Office system that address compliance requirements. The paper also focuses on the opportunities for developers to use expanded tools support to build customized solutions that facilitate regulatory compliance without bogging down business processes.”

Here is a synopsis of the content from the TOC:

  • Introduction
  • An Overview of Regulatory Compliance
  • Common Compliance Requirements
  • The 2007 Microsoft Office System Products
  • Compliance Capabilities in the 2007 Microsoft Office System
  • Compliance Extensibility Opportunities
    • Extensibility Scenario: Spreadsheet integrity
    • Extensibility Scenario: Auditing 3rd-party events on Office documents
    • Extensibility Scenario: Reporting suspicious activity
    • Extensibility Scenario: Removing sensitive metadata from outbound documents
  • Development Tools for Extending Office and Windows SharePoint Services
  • Summary
  • Appendix I: Resources
  • Appendix II: References

Happy reading 🙂

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Breaking News: Office 2007 and Vista to Launch November 30th

Finally after over three years! Microsoft has announced Office 2007 (including Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007), Vista, and Exchange 2007 will launch November 30th at an event in New York City.

According to an InfoWorld article, Microsoft Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Steve Ballmer will be on hand for the event according to an email invitation sent out today. The event will be held at the Nasdaq Stock Market in midtown Manhattan.

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MOSS 2007 Security, Compliance, Server Hardening, and IP Protection Resources

Joel Oleson just posted a great set of resources over at the Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies Team Blog which lists Webcasts, other Blog posts, presentations, and white papers and other content which cover different security topics on Office SharePoint Server and WSS v3. I am a regular reader of Joel’s Blog and he is always a good source of SharePoint information. The following is the link to the post.

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Office SharePoint 2007 Books Galore!!!

This is from Joel Oleson’s SharePoint Land. He lists a boat load (yes that is a technical term) of SharePoint 2007 books that will be coming out soon to support the imminent release of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007.

Go check out Joel’s list at: Have you seen the new SharePoint books?

You should subscribe to Joel’s Blog – he is always a source of great SharePoint information.

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MOSS 2007 Videos & Screencasts

Here are some links to videos and screencasts for Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007 on MSDN that SharePoint developers will find useful:

Update: Oops – Left this off the original post: From John Holliday

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