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Retrieve a document with a single request Using CMIS

Question asked by jmetzger on Nov 21, 2013
Latest reply on Nov 22, 2013 by jpotts

I am a working with the Mortgage Industry Standards Maintentance Organization (MISMO) to develop the next version of their data reference model.  I have the goal of developing an implementation guide showing how the MISMO data model can support integration to a CMIS-conformant data repository. The primary use case I am trying to satisfy is that a business that has a CMIS-conformant content management system wants to send a MISMO-conformant message that references a document stored in that system.

In order to access content from a resource that has a data format that is not xml based, MISMO's data model has a container element called FOREIGN_OBJECT.  Within this container, there is a choice of using a data element called EmbeddedContentXML, which might have something like a Base64 string representing the document image, or an element called LocationURL, which tells the receiver where to retrieve the document.

My concern is that when I read the CMIS specification, I see that getting any content appears to be a two-step process, because multiple repositories can exist at the same endpoint.  First, I must call the CMIS instance's endpoint with a URL to get a list of repositories, and then make a subsequent call (or calls) including the repository ID I obtained from the first call.

As a result, I believe that I must have available both a URL to the CMIS endpoint and a repository name as separate data elements.  When we proposed this to MISMO's Architecture workgroup, there was a lot of pushback saying this is unnecessary.  One comment was "there are millions of messages going across the Internet that use a single URL to retrieve a document. Surely that's the case with any CMIS repository as well."

I don't have the experience to know whether this person is right or not.  Given that I have the right access credentials, can I send a single inquiry to Alfresco's content repository and get back a document stored there?

Any insights this group can give me will be most welcome.

Jim Metzger
Harland Financial Solutions

PS: If Alfresco's API can do this, would you say that the CMIS standard supports this, or that Alfresco extended the standard?  Thanks again.