I'm one of the many CMS enthusiasts excited about CMIS. CMIS is the abbreviation for the OASIS Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS). Please check AIIM's official guide to CMIS for further details.
Before you do go over to AIIM's site, you might want to also check out Stefan Waldhauser's 8 reasons why CMIS will transform the ECM industry posted at Digital Landfill. I like reason number four:
4 -- No more lock-in to one ECM-vendor because of CMIS.
Until today the ECM industry was driven by high complexity and proprietary systems that prevented to switch to other vendors. Even when a vendor dramatically increased maintenance fees (many customers know what I’m speaking about) there often was no choice to go somewhere else because of the tight and proprietary integrations between the customer build applications and the ECM-infrastructure. CMIS will help separate the applications from the ECM-platform and so there will be no more lock-in to one vendor. Doesn’t that sound great?
I think the biggest thing CMIS offers is customer satisfaction in not having to choose one vendor over another. As I stated this morning on Twitter, I see CMIS as recognition that the "total enterprise solution" is a lie. I have yet to see an enterprise software package provide the complete solution that vendors often promise their customers. Somewhere in the product's life cycle the customer finds that they need more than what the current software and/or vendor can deliver but the customer also isn't ready to leave their current system behind. CMIS hopes to solve the migration issues involved with moving from one application to another by allowing both applications to work together.
There is a cost issue here with CMIS though and, so far, I haven't seem much dicussion on the subject. While CMIS allows more than one application to share and work with the content it will not always reduce costs and maintenance fees. The fact is CMIS may now require the customer to provide ongoing support for multiple applications and platforms instead of the single platform they were once supporting. In general, when the customer's IT group has to support additional applications they also need additional time and money required to provide that support. Just like the problem CMIS is trying to solve, CMIS will not always be the total solution to your problems.
Bryan Ruby is the owner and editor for CMS Report. He founded CMSReport.com in 2006 on the belief that information technologists, website owners, and web developers desired visiting sites where they could learn about content management systems without the sales pitch. Besides this site, you can follow Bryan at Google+ and Twitter.