EMC's content management software division, Documentum, has purchased data repository company AskOnce - a business unit of Xerox - for an undisclosed sum.

Documentum announced the purchase alongside a new product that it described as "the first and only complete virtual repository solution that enables all aspects of cross-repository content management".

This Virtual Repository, scheduled for release early in the second quarter, will link structured and unstructured content from internal corporate applications and external resources, such as websites, and hence allow users to centralise data aggregation, classification and distribution, the company said. AskOnce's products will provide the integration capabilities for the new product.

“Most enterprises have limited knowledge of the content scattered throughout their organisations - on employee desktops, internal and external networks, web sites and portals, or in data archives," said Dave DeWalt, president of Documentum. "There’s a great need in the market for technology that helps companies manage all of this content - especially with the intense public scrutiny of both government agencies and public companies."

Meanwhile, news has emerged that Documentum's parent company EMC (it bought Documentum for $1.5 billion last year) quietly bought IP rights to technology from Storigen Systems in November last year. Storigen's Centera Application Gateway (CAG) enables customers to tie in their content management systems to EMC's Centera content-addressed storage (CAS) system.