Hiding Types in Documentum Clients

Custom types in Documentum solutions benefit from inheritance in a type hierarchy. It is quite common to have a base type for a particular application/solution and the other custom types are derived from it. A common base type also facilitates querying all the related custom types since the query can use the base type in the FROM clause rather than enumerating all the subtypes. For example, a base type financial_doc could be used where the concrete document types are invoice, check, and paystub.

A side effect of this choice is that the base type also starts showing up on the Import screen (and probably some others where it may not be desirable). The base type may be akin to an abstract class and we might not want users to use this type when importing documents or creating objects. It might also be difficult to hide this type by simple configuration. Maybe we don’t want this type to show up anywhere on the UI other than in a few specific places. Is there a way to hide the type on the UI while still keeping it available for use?

This requirement can be accomplished by using the data dictionary attribute (easily via Documentum Application Builder) – lifecycle (dmi_dd_common_info.life_cycle). This attribute can have the following values 1=current 2=future 3=obsolete Like other data dictionary items this is just a hint for client applications. However, EMC products such as Webtop respect this attribute. When this attribute is set to anything other than 1, the type is available for all purposes, it is just not shown on the UI. The same approach can be taken for hiding an attribute.

It is quite likely that we do want the type to show up on the search screen since it enables us to search across all of its subtypes. This will require a customization that “hard codes” the type to be displayed. Often, this can be accomplished by modifying the appropriate JSP.

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2 thoughts on “Hiding Types in Documentum Clients

  1. You state: “However, EMC products such as Webtop respect this attribute. When this attribute is set to anything other than 1, the type is available for all purposes, it is just not shown on the UI”

    Can you clarify the versions of products you are using. I have filed this as a bug more than once with Documentum. Depending on the version of Content Server and Webtop you are using, your above statement may not be true.

    Good post! I like these types of posts. More please!

    1. That is good to know. I have seen this behavior in 5.2.5 and 5.3 Webtop. The documentation/help indicates the same. I haven’t checked in 6.0 or 6.5.

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