The Value of a Business Analyst in your AEM Implementation

Source: The Value of a Business Analyst in your AEM Implementation

A very useful post about one of the most important role in a Adobe AEM complex project.

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How hot is Adobe AEM?

Adobe AEM is still the hottest web experience management technologies for websites, mobile apps and forms; it is the ideal platform to manage your marketing content and assets in the web or in mobile applications.

That is confirmed by some raw but interesting number: in less than six months, more than 1.000 AEM professionals joined the Linkedin group I created some years ago: now the Adobe AEM & Marketing Cloud group on Linkedin has now more than 5.000 6.000 registered members (+20%)!

Yuri Simione - Adobe Aem Traine

Yuri Simione – Adobe Aem Traine

Join today the Adobe AEM & Marketing Cloud group on Linkedin https://lnkd.in/e2tTffg and discuss with more than six thousand Adobe AEM subject matter experts (and recruiters) !

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1st Neo4j meetup in Rome

Very happy to host the first Neo4J meetup in Rome, tomorrow Oct 27, 2016 in the Next 2U Consulting offices in Rome. The event has been organized by Lorenzo Speranzoni and Neo Technology.

Neo4j, Neo Technology Meetup in Rome - next-2u-yuri-simione-meetup-roma-italy-graph-database

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Big Data – Internet Of Things – Cloud Expo 2016 conferences in Santa Clara

As in 2015, this November I will be attending the BigData, IoT, Cloud Expo in Santa Clara, CA. Hope to see you then, there!

Yuri Simione-Cloud Expo-IoT -WebRTC-Big Data -sys con-2016

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Adobe AEM & Marketing Cloud group on Linkedin

Adobe AEM is one of the hottest technologies for websites, mobile apps and forms, the ideal platform to manage your marketing content and assets. The Linkedin group I created some years ago has now more than 5.000 registered members!

LinkedinGroup Announcement 5.000 - Yuri Simione - Next 2U Consullting

Join today the Adobe AEM & Marketing Cloud group on Linkedin https://lnkd.in/e2tTffg and discuss with more than five thousands Adobe AEM subject matter experts (and recruiters) !

 

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EMC Documentum 7.2 migration and Murphy’s laws

This month I completed a Documentum 7.2 migration of an existing Documentum 6.7 architecture. As in every Documentum project, I learned a lot. The first thing is that you can work hard in order to manage all possible risks but you will not cover ALL the risks: it happened the impossible but that is not a great point as well described by one of the Murphy’s Laws…..

If anything simply cannot go wrong, it will anyway.

During the Documentum migration I learned something very simple, basic but really new to me: I discovered that the encrypted bof registry user password is validated as-is, by every Documentum Foundation Classes client, for example Documentum Administrator or Webtop, during every standard authentication process.

Introduction

The Global Registry is a special Documentum repository that is used to manage centrally, information like DFC client registrations, service-based business objects (SBOs), WDK presets and preferences, newtork locations. All Documentum DFC clients use the bof registry user credentials to access the Global Registry repository. Every Documentum client, directly or indirectly, uses DFC, the Documentum Foundation Classes and every DFC application, during the initialisation, reads the dfc.properties file where are defined some parameters. Three of these are related to the Global Registry:

  1. dfc.globalregistry.repository, the name of the repository designated as Global Registry;
  2. dfc.globalregistry.username, the login name of the bof registry user, usually dm_bof_registry;
  3. dfc.globalregistry.password, the password of the bof registry user.

During every Documentum client deployment, you need to share the dfc.properties with system administrators, but you don’t want to share a plain text password, right? As reported in every EMC Documentum manual, the bof registry password can be easily encrypted executing this command:

java -cp dfc.jar com.documentum.fc.tools.RegistryPasswordUtils<password_to_be_encrypted>

Then you should copy the output of this command into the dfc.properties file. Since version 7.x, if needed, everyone can decrypt  the encrypted password just executing:

java -cp dfc.jar com.documentum.fc.tools.RegistryPasswordUpgradeTool -decrypt_password  <encrypted_password> 

For example, let’s encrypt / decrypt the SuperCoolPassword2016 string:

Something new I learned

There is no need to decrypt that password! I do admit: in many years I never tried to use the bof registry user encrypted password as a valid password in a Documentum client but one colleague did it. It worked!  That surprised me because because in my mind, encryption is useless without …. decryption!

Every Documentum developer/consultant knows that behind the scenes DFC libraries decrypt the encrypted password: Documentum clients have to (actually should) “register” the application to the Global Registry during first start-up or just to save information on behalf of the end user (WDK preferences). What I did not know is that DFC decrypts that password also during standard authentication for bof registry user, in every DFC client, so plain text password and the encrypted version are interchangeble, everywhere, in all Documentum clients (apart those based on dmcl).

Words are important and the “encrypted password” term in the dfc.properties file and in standard manuals is misleading, at least to me, but probably that is just my problem! In my opinion, a more correct term could be “client login ticket“, something similar to the standard Documentum login ticket, something that does not need to be decrypted by end users or applications before to use it.

I am thinking about a question again and again: why someone should encrypt a string if everyone can use it, as-it, in every application, without the need to decrypt it? It is more reasonable to use a plain text string instead: everyone can use it, as-is, as the encrypted password but … you do not have to encrypt it, no need to read manuals, no need to to convert password encrypted using DFC 6.7 library for newer DFC 7.x environment. No need to decrypt a forgotten password.

My doubts can be summarized by a new, not pessimistic, Murphy’s Law:

Use Encryption just if Decryption is necessary….

Documentum login tickets could be a valuable alternative to the password encryption for the standard bof registry user: a login ticket  generated by a Documentum superuser (using a new Documentum Administrator feature?), can have a limted time validity and a great advantage: the term “login ticket” instead of the “encrypted password”: more clear (at least to me!).

YURI SIMIONE, dfc.properties, bof registry, dm_bof_registry, encryption, decryption, upgrade, next 2u consulting, consulenza, italia

***

Good news after Documentum 7.2 migration

The new Documentum 7.2 architecture is working very well; better than the older one. At the moment we do not know what really improved performances. Many variables are changed during the migration: the Java runtime (from 1.6 to 1.7), the o.s. (from Solaris 10 to Solaris 11), Sparc CPUs and Documentum (from 6.7 SP2 to 7.2). One should isolate every single variable in order to discover what really changed performances but everybody spends time and money just when things or performances are not going well. I like to think (and I am supposing) that Documentum 7.2 added a great value to the overall architecture performances

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Adobe AEM & Marketing Cloud group on Linkedin

Whit more than 4.500 registered members, the Adobe AEM & Marketing Cloud group on Linkedin I created few years ago, is the fastest growing group about Adobe technologies. Join this group to get just in time news, information about events and references to useful materials to learn more or to solve technical problems. Join your peers now!

ADOBE AEM-Adobe CQ5 - yuri simione- Next 2u Consulting - Consulenza Italia

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Managing your content with the Adobe Experience Manager Template Editor on next AEM 6.2

In this workbook, Gabriel Walt, Adobe Product Manager, describes how to manage your content with the Adobe Experience Manager Template Editor, a new feature that will be released with the upcoming Adobe AEM 6.2.

template-editor-6.2-yuri-simione-consulenza-adobe-aem-cq5-italia-roma-next 2u consulting - www.next2u.it

Template editor – Yuri Simione Consulenza Adobe Aem Cq5 Italia Roma, Next 2U Consulting

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EMC Documentum D2 Vulnerability explained

Last Thrursday EMC released the ESA-2016-034 security bulletin. This is related to a Documentum D2 vulnerability (CVE-2016-0888). As reported in the bulletin by EMC:

Prior to EMC Documentum D2 4.6, many D2 Configuration object types were not properly protected with ACLs. As a result, an authenticated but unprivileged user could then modify or delete such objects.

The severity is high. EMC recommends that all customers should upgrade to D2 4.6 at the earliest opportunity. There is no patch and you have to plan a D2 upgrade to the latest version. The affected versions are all D2 products, from version very old version 3.1 to the more recent version 4.5.

Every upgrade should be planned carefully and you can decide to upgrade your D2 environment later. I strongly advice to complete the D2 upgrade sooner. In next paragraphs I will explain why.

D2 configurations

Documentum D2 is an interesting way to create document management applications based on Documentum, just using configurations. D2 is very, very powerful: it provides many configuration points. With these, a business users can create complex document/content management applications just combining configuration points, virtually without to write a single line of code.

documentum d2 - yuri simione - next 2u consulting - consulenza documentum - italia - romaMy company released some Documentum D2 based applications and we really liked this approach because we configure very complex applications and make our customers satisfied, with a reasonable budget.

The D2 data model, before the version 4.6

One of the easiest ways to learn a new product is to understand how it is implemented. When I started my first Documentum D2 project, I tried to understand the D2 data model and how that works. So, I learned that EMC used a lot of custom object types. I mean, a lot! No wonder: this is a way to work although more than one hundred of custom object types is really a big number!

Most of the D2 and the D2 Plus pack custom object types do not have a supertypeor are not dm_sysobject subtype:

  • This is good because this is an easy way to not inherit useless metadata;
  • This could be really bad, because instances of a custom object type with no supertype cannot be protected using standard ACL.

To create a new custom object type an authenticated user should have a CREATE TYPE privilege or should be a Sysadmin or a Superuser. Only a superuser can create new custom object types with no supertype.

Apart that, every authenticated user could potentially execute DQL queries and discover important information stored in the instances of a object type with no superytpe. Moreover, any authenticated user can execute arbitrary CREATE OBJECT, UPDATE OBJECT or a DELETE OBJECT statements and change what other users created/modified.

One of the most important D2 object types is the d2_documentset_switch: this is the object type that is used to model the configuration matrix where a Documentum D2 developer defines new D2 applications just using a GUI, the Documentum D2 Config application. With Documentum D2 Config, the D2 developer can modify, change the application behavior, adding or removing functionalities to a group of users or for more detailed D2 contexts.

documentum d2 configuration matrix - yuri simione - next 2u consulting - consulenza documentum - italia - roma

The d2_documentset_switch is an example of an object type that has no supertype: instances of this object type cannot be protected with an ACL; every authenticated user can update or delete d2_documentset_switch instances. That has a tremendous security impact: with a simple DELETE d2_documentset_switch OBJECT every user can delete your Documentum D2 applications in few milliseconds. Ok, one can argue that if that happens it will be easy to restore D2 configurations (if the developer exported/saved, of course…). But it is not easy to understand if someone completed one or more more insidious UPDATE d2_documentset_switch OBJECT (…).

The d2_documentset_switch object type is just one of the more than 100 D2 object types and most of them have no supertype or are not a dm_sysobject subtype, so here the problem is the same for all those object types.

documentum d2 object type - yuri simione - next 2u consulting - consulenza documentum - italia - roma

The new D2 data model

The solution to this vulnerability is just one: the D2 4.6 upgrade. A migration tool provided by EMC will help Documentum administrators to migrate the existing data model to the new one. This upgrade is not exactly cheap but you have to consider it as soon as possible. Until then Documentum D2 administrator have only one choice to mitigate this vulnerability: prevent the DQL queries execution by standard users. That is not impossible and this vulnerability could be a business justification to start and complete a Documentum hardening.

Btw, do you have a copy of all D2 configurations?

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Adobe AEM & Digital Marketing Cloud conferences

adobe-aem-conferences-2016-digtal marketing-yuri simione-cq5- next 2u consulting

The interest on Adobe AEM & Digital Marketing Cloud is growing day by day. That is confirmed by the job posts, by the projects released and shared on GitHub (for example, the fantastic projects released by the Adobe Consulting Services) or to not go too far by the number of the community members I created some years ago: the Adobe AEM & Digital Marketing Cloud group on Linkedin with more than 4.100 registered members.

Another way to discover how the market considers a technology is to find the number and quality of the conferences around the world related to the product or technology. There is a big interest on Adobe AEM & Digital Marketing Cloud: Adobe and independent companies and agencies organize many conferences.

In 2016, Adobe will organize:

The interesting point is that there are many other conferences organized by independent companies and sponsored by Adobe:

  •  Circuit, (July 27 & 28, 2016 Chicago, IL),
  • Evolve, (August 29-31, 2016, San Diego | Hard Rock Hotel),
  • AEM HUB, (to be announced),
  • Connect, formerly known as CQCON, (to be announced),
  • AdaptTo, (to be announced).

Probably I will attend one of these and I will report my experience on my blog, in the Linkedin group or “just” on Linkedin: which conference do you prefer/suggest?

Did I forget other conferences or most important meetup? Let me know in order to update and make this page as a good reference of the Adobe AEM and Adobe Marketing Cloud related events!

You can follow me in Twitter: http://twitter.com/artika4biz ,on Linkedin http//linkedin.com/in/yurisimione or you can subscribe my blog on http://www.artika.biz

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