Getting Started with Enterprise Content Management
"Enterprise Content Management (ECM) is the strategies, methods and tools used to capture, manage, store, preserve, and deliver content and documents related to organizational processes. ECM tools and strategies allow the management of an organization's unstructured information, wherever that information exists."
Source: AIIM - The ECM Association
To enable content-rich business processes from an end to end perspective the seamless integration of ECM services into business applications is key. A typical example would be the creation of a purchase order (business object) triggered by an incoming purchase document, which has been processed by a capturing component (ECM).
SAP offers multiple ECM capabilities and services as part of SAP NetWeaver, several SAP applications and integrated partner products:
The Knowledge Management capabilities of SAP NetWeaver transform information into organizational knowledge by structuring and classifying the entire spectrum of unstructured content, making it accessible to users and available for improving decision making. Therefore, Knowledge Management provides you with a configurable set of connectors, repositories, and services, including a full-featured search engine that makes all unstructured information accessible to users. For more information see the Knowledge Management topic page.
Web Page Composer
Web Page Composer provides Web content management capabilities for the SAP NetWeaver Portal. This tool enables your business users to manage most of the business-relevant WCM tasks (for example creating and updating Web pages and content) in an easy and effective way without the involvement of administrators or portal experts. Only the tasks related to governance and administration (for example creating additional page templates, layouts and styles, offering application content) are allocated to members of your IT department. For more information see the Web Page Composer topic page.
Records and Case Management enables quick access to the information required for successful transaction processing. The content managed with records management technology includes both transactional or application data (structured data) and the unstructured content in related documents. Managed documents can include scanned documents, document information records, faxes, e-mails, or Microsoft Office documents. Records management technology is the foundation for various solutions, for example public sector records management, case management in mySAP Customer Relationship Management (mySAP CRM), and SAP Dispute Management. For more information, see http://service.sap.com/recordsmanagement (SMP logon required).
Knowledge Provider (KPro) is a cross-application and cross-media information infrastructure within the framework of SAP Web Application Server (ABAP). Thanks to its considerable flexibility, Knowledge Provider can handle a wide range of information types relating to documents and document-like objects, such as administration data, index data, and pure content. Different applications use Knowledge Provider services by implementing their own user interface. In this way, Knowledge Provider provides the fundamental infrastructure for application-independent information exchange. For more information, see http://service.sap.com/Kpro (SMP logon required).
The Content Server is a separate server instance of the SAP Web Application Server (ABAP) that is used to store documents or other type of content related to SAP applications. It can be accessed via the Knowledge Provider (KPro) or via ArchiveLink. KPro and ArchiveLink are central ABAP-implemented (business) services of SAP Web Application Server. For more information, see http://service.sap.com/ContentServer (SMP logon required).