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Documentum broadens SAP's reach

Documentum ships a new version of its DocLink software that opens up SAP's R/3 system to a wider array of corporate data.

Document management specialist Documentum (DCTM) is shipping a new version of its DocLink software that opens up SAP's R/3 system to a wider array of corporate data.

The software addresses the growing interest at large enterprises for products that can store, manage, and link together data originating in the parallel worlds of client-server networks and corporate intranets.

Documentum's DocLink for SAP R/3 adds the company's Enterprise Document Management System to R/3's own Document Management System 3.0 and SAP ArchiveLink to allow information stored in R/3 to travel beyond the system's architecture, and for documents in other formats be displayed by the R/3 user interface.

"You live in SAP. You don't even see Documentum," said. Larry Warnock, director of corporate marketing for the Pleasanton, California-based company. He said Documentum will target SAP customers, who have already been clamoring for a way to access data that is not part of the R/3 document store but is central to the business processes of large corporations that use SAP software.

If a manufacturing worker on a factory floor, for instance, runs into a problem building a specific product, the worker can use the SAP interface to search out and retrieve data about the manufacturer of the product, instead of turning to the pages of a manual or sending an inquiry back to the design engineer. From the SAP interface, the worker can access a Documentum information store containing reports written in Microsoft Word or in HTML, along with engineering designs, drawings, and other information.

The DocLink can also tap SAP's ArchiveLink interface to cull information generated in R/3. For example, inventory levels determined with R/3 can be used as the basis for generating a purchase order outside of the R/3 system, which can then be routed through the company for approval and processed electronically over the company intranet.

DocLink automatically converts the SAP reports into Adobe Acrobat PDF and HTML for viewing online via a Web browser.

DocLink's replication, version control and security features make it easier to securely publish the information culled from R/3 onto both corporate intranet sites and across the firewall onto Internet sites accessible to company suppliers, business partners, and the public, Warnock said.

The product is available now and is already being pilot tested at a handful of large corporations, according to the companies. Client pricing ranges from $300 to $900 per seat.