Another ECM debate theme has emerged over the last few weeks, with imagery replete with bloat and rot. Diets and smorgasboards, soup to nuts, and decaying cores.

In this context, it's time to take a deeper dive into Nuxeo Enterprise Platform, to explore more 'why it matters'.

Though I work in marketing now, and have never coded for a living... I've paid my dues in the technical realm as a consultant, trainer and courseware developer. I've seen the inside operations now of both proprietary and open ECM vendors, and I know which one is more efficient.

One of the key issues identified by Jeff Potts in his ECM Architect blog is software bloat, a characteristic of many of ECM offerings, not unique to the example he provides. Meanwhile, another major ECM leader actually markets the fact that 90+ more product modules have been crammed into the core. And yet other vendors pile cool new thing on top of cool new thing, letting the heart of the offering strain and struggle under the never-ending new weight.

When I talk about a fundamental difference in thinking as a platform provider vs. a suite provider - this is at the core. An end-to-end ECM modular architecture with hundreds of documented extension points and services - built specifically for developers and solution providers to take, tailor, package and deploy.

It is this extension system that is at the core of the Nuxeo vision for our Enterprise Platform. The extension point system is designed to let architects create a content app, providing a set of components that can be bound using the extension point mechanism. This dynamic plug-in model is used large scale by Eclipse RCP, but not by any other ECM provider in the market today.

So, what does this mean for content architects and developers? It means a logical separation of modules, designed to interact cleanly, with a coherent dependency management system that ensures coding discipline, rigour and high quality. This is proven (transparently on our open development community at nuxeo.org) on a daily basis. Of the 10+ distributions we provide for Nuxeo EP, each one of them is rebuilt nightly, assuring quick identification of problems. (Packages such as the downloadable Nuxeo DM, Nuxeo DAM, Nuxeo CMF are examples of these distributions...)

Nuxeo as an ECM vendor does not presume to assume what is essential to your business and what is not. Closed system vendors don't give customers and partners our level of control and the ability to prioritize needs vs. wants.

What is the ratio of "used to unused code" in your current ECM implementation? What if an architecture like Nuxeo EP meant you could select and package the modules needed, excluding what you don't need, and building a preferred distribution for your own organizational purposes? What kind of efficiencies could you achieve? What kind of simplifications could you deliver to the people who use the app? How small a physical or carbon footprint could you get away with by downsizing the servers and being able to get away with leaner, more mobile and agile application environments?

Less a smorgasboard, perhaps more a palette with which to create something elegant, usable, and practical. This is the design and architectural vision of the Nuxeo Enterprise Platform.

To some extent, Nuxeo has an unfair advantage. The company made the choice to develop a new, ground-up ECM architecture in 2005, and is now reaping the benefits of that hard work. Larger, less agile ECM companies constrained by financial or organizational issues have all faced this decision... and they flinched. It's a tough, undeniably practical choice, but one that assuredly kills the spirit of genuine organic technological innovation.