IBM Helps Users Find i Needles in CMOD Haystack
June 3, 2014 Alex Woodie
Metadata and indexes will only get you so far when you’re looking for one particular document among millions. In some scenarios, the capability to match a specific text string against an entire document repository is the only way to find that needle in a haystack. With the latest release of the Content Manager OnDemand (CMOD) for IBM i, IBM has added a powerful full-text search capability that will help users surface that hard-to-find content.
Full-text search is an optional feature in CMOD for IBM i version 7.2, which IBM announced April 29 and shipped May 2. The new feature was designed to provide another way for users to get hard-to-find content that may not be easily identified by traditional indexes.
The new feature works by creating an “optimal index” of all the words within a document, according to IBM United States Software Announcement 214-186. At runtime, users can perform searches against that index to find specific documents.
Full text search will not work with all kinds of content, of course. Image-heavy content that’s often stored in CMOD, such as X-rays or hand-written notes, obviously won’t work with this feature, and will force users to be reliant on indexed metadata. But for the vast majority of text-based content that CMOD customers store in the system–such as reports, checks, statements, and invoices–the full text search will be a much-welcomed feature (and not a bad way to utilize the screaming-fast Power8 processors to boot). The new option is accessible via the IBM Content Navigator interface and customer-written applications, IBM says.
CMOD version 7.2, which is the first new release of the product in four years, brings several other new features. For starters, it’s positioning the Content Navigator client as the strategic user interface for CMOD going forward.
Content Navigator is an HTML5-based client that works with a variety of enterprise content management (ECM) systems, including those from IBM (like FileNet, IBM Content Manager, and Case Manager) and other vendors, too, via support for the content management interoperability standard (CMIS). In addition to providing a standardized UI that works in desktop and mobile Web browsers, the search analytics functionality in Content Navigator provides an almost “Google-like” user experience, says senior IBM ECM product manager Ian Story in a video demo on IBM’s website.
Content Navigator is the future for CMOD. In a statement of direction, IBM announced that several old CMOD features–specifically the eClient and IBM Information Integrator for Content components–are being replaced by Content Navigator. Additionally, the OnDemand Web Enablement Kit components–OnDemand Archive plug-in to IBM System i Navigator, the AFP2HTML viewer applet, and support for Tivoli Storage Manager–are being depreciated.
Going forward, the administrative interface for CMOD will be accessed via IBM Navigator for i, the new browser-based administrative interface for the platform. Administrators can perform all their previously performed tasks in the OnDemand Archive plugin of System i Navigator using IBM Navigator for i, IBM says.
Other new features in CMOD 7.2 include new password options that will allow customers to comply with security requirements when adding content to CMOD, or starting the monitoring programs that automatically look for new content to gather. IBM also added new commands that are designed to help customers manage document lifecycles with an eye toward storage management.
The OS/400 Indexer component of the product has also been improved. (You gotta love IBM’s product naming techniques. OS/400 Indexer? How many years has it been since the operating system was called OS/400?) It now supports indexing spool files that are up to 378 characters wide, which will enable it to handle very (very) wide reports. IBM also increased the number of metadata fields that are maintained in the CMOD indexes. The previous limit of 32 metadata fields has been replaced with a new limit of 128 fields, which should dramatically help users find content, and may actually reduce the need for the new text search index.
For more information on CMOD 7.2 enhancements, see the What’s new in Content Manager OnDemand page on IBM’s website.