Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Timothy Sprehe explains Technical Report 48

Timothy Sprehe described the work of the AIIM C30 Standards Committee at last month’s joint NCC AIIM/ARMA meeting. The committee’s report, Technical Report 48, establishes a framework for the integration of electronic document management systems and electronic records management systems.

The committee decided that it was not practical to define functional requirements. They also agreed there was not enough research to define best practices. After a great deal of discussion, they decided to establish a framework for the integration of electronic document management systems and electronic records management systems. After months of meetings that usually ran three hours and after lengthy email discussions, the committee developed a draft for Technical Report 48. The essence of TR 48 is a common reference model and common metadata.

The committee decided to start with document management/records management and extend the standard to email management, image management and so on.

Sprehe came out of the Office of Management and Budget. He was the principal author of the original 1985 Circular A-130, which sets standards for managing federal information resources. He said that stand alone records management systems are a thing of the past and that now everyone talks about electronic records management as part of an integrated system.

Sprehe described TR 48’s metadata center as the ”glue that holds it all together.” The C30 committee reconciled assorted national standards, including U.S., Australian, Irish. Sprehe observed that records management standards are more mature than document management standards.

Systems must be able to extract metadata automatically from records when they are captured. The FBI is developing an electronic record keeping certification process. Sprehe said that such a certification prcoess could be extended to other federal agencies. He joked that while FBI has not implemented the certification process, there are a lot of guns in the FBI building (nervous laughter).

The C30 committee did not try to define what is a record, as such an effort would lead down a blind alley (knowing laughter).

Sprehe solicited further input for the new standard, throwing the floor open for an unusually long question period.

One participant maintained that integrated EDMS/ERMS systems have been around for years and did not see those systems reflected in the committee’s work.

Another participant asked if Technical Report 48 standards would apply to content management systems. Sprehe replied that the principles would apply.

Here Mark Mandel interjected that the term, enterprise content management, came from the web content management industry. The document management field wanted to expand their market.

Someone asked, “Why content management? Why did we drop information management?

Sprehe responded, "Is it because content does not have information?” This received a big laugh.

Al Linden made an appeal to the audience to participate in standards committees.

Sprehe characterized the work of the C30 committee as ”descriptive,” not “prescriptive,” saying that, had the standard been prescriptive, they would have ”moved into pain.”

One questioner complained of the lack of taxonomy in DOD 5015.2. Sprehe responded that the committee had decided to take 5015.2 as given.

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