EASY first introduced the SPIRIT project at EASY WORLD 2014 – a project whose goal is to develop a cloud-first ECM that is more mobile and simpler than anything that’s come before. Project manager Marcel Rosenbaum’s presentation was met, accordingly, with high expectations at EASY World 2015. His audience was not disappointed.
Rosenbaum reported on the twelve months the team used to make concrete decisions on the idea in collaboration with consultants, distributors, developers, and partners and to translate it into a concept and an architecture. Believe it or not, after only a few weeks of work on the project, the team’s ideas had filled 380 Wiki pages.
Selecting the best ideas
The team set to work selecting the right ideas during a boot camp. They formulated concepts on business objects, cloud capabilities, and mobility, and tested technologies. Marcel Rosenbaum said: “We took our time, with the support of company management, to make sure we could review everything,” including four different NoSQL databanks. The team finally selected a MongoDB, since it offers decisive advantages when operating solutions in the cloud.
SPIRIT is based on microservices
The cloud then dictated very specific requirements: scalability, a high level of availability and failsafe performance, and agility. That’s why EASY’s blazing new paths with the SPIRIT project. “We decided on a microservice-oriented architecture. Wherever it makes sense, we’ve divided the software and created functional building blocks we can outsource to individual sources,” the project manager said.
High performance and reliability
The benefits of this approach are diverse. Functions that are used frequently – such as archival searches – are reproduced in multiple instances, while other, more rarely used services are operated with just a few instances. This makes the system more high performing. Users will also notice the increase in reliability: if a service malfunctions, all of the others will continue to work perfectly. Its “organizational scalability” is also vital. Rosenbaum explains: “The microservices allow us to develop in packages. We can use multiple developer teams and draw in partners, as well as parallelize everything. This makes us much quicker when we want to bring new services to the market.” For EASY, of course, these will include a more powerful archive service based on ENTERPRISE.X, an OCR service, a viewer service, a workflow service, and much more.
More mobile than ever
The question remains: how do EASY ECM Suite and EASY SPIRIT work together? The answer: SPIRIT expands the ECM Suite wherever it makes sense to do so, especially with regards to mobile ECM. Stephan Bitomsky provided a first taste of how this works in a live presentation of Mobile Contract’s state of development at EASY WORLD 2015. An optimal interplay between app, middleware, and hardware makes it possible to quickly, easily, and remotely access existing EASY Contract contractual data and all documents on file and to edit them, write associated contacts, or call them directly from the app. Rosenbaum also announced that specific offerings would be available in 2016. Things are staying interesting here at EASY, and with the SPIRIT project as well.