Search Results Will Show Context, Not Just Files

Today, when you do a search, you come up with a ranked list of isolated electronic documents.

That’s not enough. You need the context around the documents as well. For example, it’s just not good enough to find a contract document that refers to a particular deal. To be useful, you want context. You probably want to know who was involved with it, whether there were contentious issues associated with it, any associated documents, whether or not any key dates are approaching or have passed, and so on.

Various vendors are working on this issue. EMC/Documentum has a nice example. This leading enterprise content management (ECM) vendor offers a team workspace (Documentum Collaboration Edition) that tightly integrates with its ECM repository. You can search for a document, and then see not just the document itself, but also the rich workspace that surrounds the document–for example, people involved, associated documents, project calendar, issues, and ongoing discussions.

David Ferris, with thanks to EMC/Documentum’s Steve Skidmore

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