AdoptOS

Assistance with Open Source adoption

ECM

We want to invite you to DEVCON 2018

Liferay - Tue, 10/16/2018 - 10:04

Every year we, the developers doing amazing things with Liferay's products, have this unique opportunity to meet, learn and enjoy those long technical discussions with each other. All that happens at DEVCON - our main developer conference which is taking place in Amsterdam from November 6th to 8th. This year's agenda is filled with sessions delivering in depth technical details about the products, presenting  new technologies and showcasing spectacular use cases.

Following the tradition, DEVCON starts with an un-conference, the day before the main conference. That is a full day consisting solely of the best parts of any traditional conference - the meetings and conversations at the halls between the talks. It's a day full of discussions with experts and colleagues on topics that attendees bring in.

We try to keep the prices for DEVCON at reasonable level and provide several kind of promotions for partners and organizations we have business relationships with. Yet there are talented developers in our community who are working alone or for non-profit organizations or in not so well developed parts of this world or for whatever reason can not afford a DEVCON ticket. This year we want to help some of them. 

We have free DEVCON tickets to give away!

As much as we would love to invite the whole community, we have to live by the market rules! So we only have limited number of tickets. To help us decide, please send an email to developer-relations@liferay.com with "Free DEVCON ticket" subject and tell us why you think you should be one of the people we give that free ticket to. We will decide between those that have the most convincing, creative and fun reasons.

See you in Amsterdam!

David Gómez 2018-10-16T15:04:00Z
Categories: CMS, ECM

Gradle Plugin for manage properties files

Liferay - Mon, 10/15/2018 - 13:01

GitHub repositoty: https://github.com/ironcero/devtools-liferay-portal-properties

Summary

This gradle plugin let you manage your properties files on your liferay workspace (version 7.0 and 7.1).

Blade tool initializes this kind of workpace with one folder named configs. There are some folder into configs folder:

  • common
  • dev
  • local
  • prod
  • uat

It's very common that you need to keep different values for the same properties depends on your environment. This plugin try to help you to manage this settup: copying all properties files from one common folder to each environment folder and replacing all properties found in filters file to the correct value.

How to use

First you will need the plugin jar file. You could download latest version from https://github.com/ironcero/devtools-liferay-portal-properties/blob/master/release/portal-properties-1.0.0.jar (Maven Central Version coming soon) or download source code from this github and to compile it. If you download jar file you will need move this to correct path in your local repository (gradle coordenates are devtools.liferay:portal-properties:1.0.0). Else if you download source code and compile it you will need to execute install maven task to install jar file on correct path in your local repository.

After jar file is fetched you will need to set up your liferay workspace. You will need to create two newely folder. You can create these folder in path you want but we recommend created into common folder (in configs folder).

Now you will need to set up this plugin in your build.gradle file. You will need add these line to build.gradle file:

buildscript { dependencies { classpath group: "devtools.liferay", name: "portal-properties", version: "1.0.0" } repositories { mavenLocal() maven { url "https://repository-cdn.liferay.com/nexus/content/groups/public" } } } apply plugin: "devtools-liferay-portal-properties" buildproperties { descFolderPath = 'configs' originFolderPath = 'configs/common/origin' keysFolderPath = 'configs/common/keys' } build.finalizedBy(buildproperties)

In this example we're going to use configs/common/origin folder to keep original properties file with pattern, and configs/common/keys folder to keep different values for properties. In details:

  • Dependencies: Gradle coordenates of DevTools Liferay Portal Properties is devtools.liferay:portal-properties:1.0.0.
  • Repositories: you will need mavenLocal repository because you've moved plugin jar file to your maven local repository.
  • Apply plugin: DevTools Liferay Portal Properties plugin id is devtools-liferay-portal-properties.
  • BuildProperties: In this section we will put all configuration parameters. In 1.0.0 release we have:
    • descFolderPath: Path where properties file will be copied and properties will be replaced.
    • originFolderPath: Location of original properties file (with ${} filter params).
    • keysFolderPath: Location of filter properties file.
  • build.finaluzedBy: With this command we can execute this plugin on build stage and not only on buildproperties.

It's time to add your properties files.

In the example we've created 4 filter file on keysFolderPath folder (configs/common/keys):

  • dev.properties
  • local.properties
  • prod.properties
  • uat.properties The content of these files are very similar (local.properties):
test1=Local

File name (without .properties extension) must be equals to environment folder on descFolderPath folder.

In the example we've created only one properties file on originFolderPath folder (configs/common/origin). But we'ld put more properties files and all of then would be copied and replaced. portal-ext.properties on configs/common/origin:

testKey=testValue test1Key=${test1}

Now you are be able to generated your portal-ext.properties filtered by environment with buildproperties gradle task, or standar build gradle task.

gradle buildproperties gradle build

This is a common log of process:

:buildproperties Build properties task...configs Settings: destination folder path: configs origin folder path: configs/common/origin keys folder path: configs/common/keys Parsing dev environment... Copying C:\dev\workspaces\devtools\liferay\portal-properties-test\liferay-workspace\configs\common\origin\portal-ext.properties to C:\dev\workspaces\devtools\liferay\portal-properties-test\liferay-workspace\configs\dev WARNING: Property not found in file portal-ext.properties on dev folder (${test1}) WARNING: Property not found in file portal-ext.properties on dev folder (${test2}) Parsing local environment... Copying C:\dev\workspaces\devtools\liferay\portal-properties-test\liferay-workspace\configs\common\origin\portal-ext.properties to C:\dev\workspaces\devtools\liferay\portal-properties-test\liferay-workspace\configs\local Parsing prod environment... Copying C:\dev\workspaces\devtools\liferay\portal-properties-test\liferay-workspace\configs\common\origin\portal-ext.properties to C:\dev\workspaces\devtools\liferay\portal-properties-test\liferay-workspace\configs\prod WARNING: Property not found in file portal-ext.properties on prod folder (${test1}) Parsing uat environment... Copying C:\dev\workspaces\devtools\liferay\portal-properties-test\liferay-workspace\configs\common\origin\portal-ext.properties to C:\dev\workspaces\devtools\liferay\portal-properties-test\liferay-workspace\configs\uat WARNING: Property not found in file portal-ext.properties on uat folder (${test1}) BUILD SUCCESSFUL Total time: 0.275 secs

You will see WARNING log when you have some properties on your original properties files and you haven't filter for these properties on your filter properties files.

You could review Liferay Test project in https://github.com/ironcero/devtools-liferay-portal-properties/tree/master/testProject/liferay-workspace

Ignacio Roncero Bazarra 2018-10-15T18:01:00Z
Categories: CMS, ECM

Liferay Screens meets React Native, the sequel

Liferay - Mon, 10/08/2018 - 11:01

First of all, for those of you who don't know about Liferay Screens. Liferay Screens is a component library based on components called Screenlets. A screenlet is a visual component that you insert into your native app to leverage Liferay’s content and services, allowing you to create complex native applications for iOS and Android very fast. Awesome, isn’t it?

BUT, Do you need to create the SAME application for iOS and Android, with the SAME features twice? Ok, with screenlets it does not take too much time because most of the boring logic is encapsulated inside the screenlet and you only need to connect the dots. But it could be fantastic to have only one project and share the code of the two platforms.

How can we make this possible? Have you heard about React Native?

Goals

As you may know, React Native is a framework that allows you to create native applications (Android and iOS) in javascript using React. This avoids the necessity of having to maintain two different codebases, one per platform. It’s based on components, so the screenlets concept suits very well in React.

Long time ago, when ReactNative was released, we made a first proof of concept with some of the screenlets available at that moment. Now, we have came back to this idea and we have made another proof of concept. This one will feature all our brand new and more complex screenlets and, yes, Android is supported too.

With this prototype we aim to provide a solution to make mobile apps development faster (yeah, even more!) with React Native, so we could use the screenlets the same way you would use any react native component, like a Button component. Great! Do you want to see how it works? Take a look of the next video, it shows you how to use our library in React Native.

As you can see in the video, the use of screenlets from React Native are very easy. You only have to instantiate the screenlet that you want to use, give it a style with height and width because otherwise the screenlet will not show; and if you consider it appropriate handle the events that the screenlet will send.

To handle an event you have to specify a callback function that manage the mentioned event. E.g., in LoginScreenlet you can handle the event onLoginSuccess to handle when the user log in correctly.

Of course, the attributes (known as props in React) of the screenlets depends on the screenlet that will use, so some screenlets will have required attributes, e.g., the UserPortraitScreenlet needs the userId attribute.
To use all of this functionality in your react project, you have to configure your project following the steps of this video. Also, in the project’s README you can find a description of main steps to configure your react native project.

What is the status of the project?

For now this is a prototype. Even so,  ALL screenlets are available in React Native. In total, we have 21 screenlets in Android and 22 in iOS (the fileDisplayScreenlet is only available from iOS). To play with them, we recommend use the most common screenlets, like ImageGalleryScreenlet which show an image gallery, the UserPortraitScreenlet, the CommentListScreenlet to show a comments list of an asset and, of course, the LoginScreenlet, but you can use whatever you want.
So you can explore and tinker with them. Here you have the project.

How it works ?

We don’t want to bore you with technical details. Basically explained, we made a bridge, we built one side of the bridge in the native part, and the other side in the React Native part so it allows communication between them and render the screenlets.

What now?

Well, now it depends on you. You have the project to play with. We are open to suggestions and feedback. Honestly, we are very happy with the result for now.

Thanks for reading.

Luismi.

Luis Miguel Barco 2018-10-08T16:01:00Z
Categories: CMS, ECM

Listing out context variables 

Liferay - Mon, 10/08/2018 - 04:21
What's Context Contributor?

While developing a theme I was thinking how can I know all the variables that I can access in my free marker templates? Won't it be great if I can write a utility program which can list out all the variables and objects that can be accessed from our theme or other templates files? Context Contributor concept can be used for this purpose. Actually using Context Contributor we can write a piece of code to inject contextual information which can be reused in various template files. If you are not aware of context contributor please visit my article http://proliferay.com/context-contributor-concept-in-liferay-7dxp/ . 

How to create context contributor?

Using the Liferay IDE we can create the project structure. 

 

The Code: 

Our context contributor class has to implements TemplateContextContributor interface and we need to implement the below method. 

    public void prepare(Map<String, Object> contextObjects, HttpServletRequest request) {
    //The fun part is here 
    }

If we see the above code, the first parameter contextObjectcts is the map which contains all the contextual information as key-value pairs. We can iterate all the items of the map and write it to a file. Here is the complete code of the method.  This method writes a file in my D drive with a file name all-variables.html.Of course, you can change it the way you want. 

@Override
    public void prepare(
        Map<String, Object> contextObjects, HttpServletRequest request) {
        PrintWriter writer;
        try {
            writer = new PrintWriter("D:\\all-variables.html", "UTF-8");
            StringBuffer stb = new StringBuffer();
            stb.append("<html>");
            stb.append("<body>");
            stb.append("<table border=\"1\">");
            stb.append("<tr>");
            stb.append("<th>Variable Name</th>");
            stb.append("<th>Variable Value</th>");
            stb.append("</tr>");

            for (Map.Entry<String, Object> entry : contextObjects.entrySet()) {
                stb.append("<tr>");
                stb.append("<td>"+entry.getKey()+"</td>");
                stb.append("<td>"+entry.getValue()+"</td>");
                
               // System.out.println(entry.getKey() +" = =  "+ entry.getValue());
                stb.append("</tr>");
            }
            
            stb.append("</table>");
            stb.append("</body>");
            stb.append("</html>");
            
            writer.println(stb.toString());
            writer.close();
        } catch (FileNotFoundException | UnsupportedEncodingException e) {
            // TODO Auto-generated catch block
            e.printStackTrace();
        }    
    }

You just deploy the module and access any pages. This code will be executed and your file is ready. Now you have all the contextual information which can be used the theme development as well as writing ADT. 

The output of the code:

 

Have fun... Hamidul Islam 2018-10-08T09:21:00Z
Categories: CMS, ECM

Why I'm Flying South to LSNA2018

Liferay - Sat, 10/06/2018 - 20:10
or, How to blow a Saturday evening writing a blog post just because  the kids don't want to hang out with you

 

Here are the 5 reasons I am flying down tomorrow evening.

I've been to LSNA twice before, in 2015 and 2016. I remember the energy and the ambience. Some of the topics deserve waaaay more than the 30 minutes or hour that is allocated to them, but then the presentations are designed to leave you with just enough to take a deep dive on whichever topic interests you, and on that front, they absolutely deliver. So, here's to more of that.

Unconference. I've never attended one of these before, but the prospect has me interested. I mean, it looks like the attendees get to carve out the day's agenda. I'll be bringing my list of topics fwiw. Something tells me there'll be enough knowledge sharing to go all around. 

Speed consulting. I hope I get to reserve a spot. I have a half-baked design approach around a SAML-authentication requirement using the SAML connector plugin - just a lot of holes that need plugging. Hoping a 20-minute session will help clear things up for me.

Agenda topics: As always, great spread! Here's the top 5 items on my radar at this time:

  • Search (Oct 9, 10:35)
  • Securing your APIs for Headless Use (Oct 10, 11:00)
  • Extending Liferay with OSGI (Oct 9, 4:30)
  • Liferay Analytics Cloud (Oct 10, 10:20)
  • Building Amazing Themes (Oct 9, 3:50)

Food. I have on my to-do list to eat a bowl of authentic étouffée. I will have to seek out the best place for this.

Javeed Chida 2018-10-07T01:10:00Z
Categories: CMS, ECM

Adding 2FA to Liferay DXP 7.1

Liferay - Wed, 10/03/2018 - 12:09

We recently had a requirement to add 2 Factor Authentication support for a demo, so I am pleased to share our implementation with the community.

 

Login

On login the user sees a new 'Authenticator Code' field below Password:

 

 

The user populates their credentials, launches Google Authenticator app (or other 2FA app) on their phone and gets their code:

 

 

The user enters it on screen, clicks Sign In and hey presto, they have logged in with 2FA.

 

User setup

QR Codes are used to share the profile details with the end user:

 

 

These are shared with the end user by email, and for convenience  (e.g. for Demos & testing) the QR Code is available through the Liferay profile screens (on the Password tab):

 

 

Rollout

To simplify rollout:

  • QR Codes used to configure the 2FA app. (Alternatively the user can manually configure the 2FA app.)
  • Users created after the full set of application modules are deployed will automatically be assigned a Secret Key on account creation and will be emailed a link to the QR Code.
  • There is an optional activator bundle that will generate Secret Keys and email QR Codes to all users.
  • Administrators can bypass 2FA and a custom User Group can be created to allow certain users to bypass 2FA if required.

 

Source & Documentation

The source is available here: https://github.com/michael-wall/liferay-2fa including a readme with deployment steps and more information on configuration, limitations (e.g. storing Secret Keys in plain text) etc.

Michael Wall 2018-10-03T17:09:00Z
Categories: CMS, ECM

Upgrade WURFL's database into Liferay Mobile Device Detection Lite 

Liferay - Tue, 10/02/2018 - 10:02
Introduction

If you're reading this post is because you need to know which device currently access on your Liferay through Liferay Mobile Device Detection Lite. Specially, you can not explain why Liferay detects a different version of your modern, cool and super updated device!

Don't worry! I try to explain you what to do.

WURFL's database

Before to explain,  do you know the WURLF's database? If you don't, you can see this shortly video!

In order to detect your device, you already know to download and install the Liferay Mobile Device Detection Lite from marketplace

This app contain a WURLF's database prepopulated inside the bundle through an external service called 51Degrees. This database is populated only during the build of bundle and not at runtime.

processResources { into("META-INF") { from { FileUtil.get(project, "https://github.com/51Degrees/Device-Detection/raw/master/data/51Degrees-LiteV3.2.dat") } } }

code from build.gradle of this app

The result was a 51Degrees.dat file inside the META-INF folder and, as you can image, this file is the engine of the device detection process.

Currently the last release (build) of Liferay Mobile Device Detection Lite was one year ago on marketplace and now the devices data are very old.

How to upgrade this WURFL's database

You can see, on the following image, the configuration of Liferay Mobile Device Detection Lite (51Degrees Device Detection) and how is linked the WURLF's database.

Unfortunately this configuration check on file system only inside your bundle and we can't link an URL or set an absolute path of this data file put in other places.

The only way to add or replace files inside existing bundle is a fragment. Now we are use this way in order to add a new WURFL's database.

You can check here my project on GitHub where I have put the file under META-INF folder and through the bnd file we explain to Liferay to "put" this file inside the original bundle.

Fragment-Host: com.liferay.portal.mobile.device.detection.fiftyonedegrees;bundle-version="1.0.9"

At the end we can change the configuration and link the new WURLF's database and restart the server.

Conclusion

This database is not updated daily and you can check here the update status of this file. When you try to add a new file don't use the same filename but change it.

Davide Abbatiello 2018-10-02T15:02:00Z
Categories: CMS, ECM

The Indigenous Culture Will be Preserved for Years to Come with Alfresco

Alfresco - Wed, 09/02/2015 - 09:21

After an extensive search, the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) chose Alfresco One and Parashift, one of Alfresco’s Australian partners, to streamline and digitize their new ECM and digital asset management system.

AIATSIS was looking for a more robust solution to help digitize their repository of the materials relating to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait culture.

This is a very exciting project for the Alfresco and Parashift teams and everyone is excited to get started. AIATSIS holds a collection of nearly one million assets that are in need of digitization and it’s a race against the clock as many of these objects are fragile and at risk for deterioration.

Parashift Managing Director Kieren Fitzpatrick said the specially tailored solution will provide many benefits for AIATSIS, including freeing up teams to streamline their digitizing work. “The new DAMs/EDRMs will provide a single index for all of AIATSIS’ information – documents, digital assets and records – allowing for more collaboration across the Institute and more sophisticated workflows,” he said. “Automation will save people from emailing back and forth, or updating spreadsheets, freeing them up to focus on digitizing the collection, which holds approximately one million objects.”

AIATSIS Executive Direction of Collections, Lyndall Osborne, said, “our project team met with every business unit to form a detailed set of requirements. A number of the proposals were explored in depth and ultimately it was determined the Alfresco Digital Asset Management system (DAMs) / Electronic Document Records Management system (EDRMs) solution proposed by Parashift would provide the best possible outcomes for AIATSIS.”

Alfresco, along with Parashift, understand the responsibility that we have to not only AIATSIS, but all those that were a part of and are interested in the studying the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture. We are thrilled to start the digitization project so that these items are preserved for future generations.

Categories: ECM

Alfresco Takes Over San Francisco

Alfresco - Fri, 08/07/2015 - 13:42

We were thrilled to welcome over 100 people to our Alfresco Day San Francisco event – which took place at The Argonaut Hotel.

The day-long event included presentations from Alfresco executives including VP of Product Management, Thomas Deo Meo and VP of Sales, Chris Lynch. The day saw presentations around the Latest Advancements of Alfresco One, How to Manage Compliance and Business Process Management with Activiti.

We welcome Alfresco customers Cisco and National MI to the stage and they discussed their use cases around Alfresco.

Cisco’s presentation, “Where Do I Put my Stuff?” was focused around how search and content management need to co-exist. After consistent employee survey results, it was determined that employees just couldn’t find anything on their intranet. That is when Cisco turned to Alfresco to deliver a consolidated content management system with highly engaged search.

National MI discussed their road to Alfresco. While looking for an ECM solution, they wanted a cost effective, efficient and scalable solution. They decided to look for Open Source candidates and found that Alfresco gave them what they were looking for.

Quoting one of the Alfresco Day attendees, “To see where Alfresco has come from, just makes it an even more viable candidate for enterprises to consider when choosing an ECM solution.”

I also can not forget to thank our wonderful sponsors for the event. Ixxus, Rivet Logic, Micro Strategies and Zia were among the many who presented at Alfresco Day San Francisco and exhibited their solutions in the expo hall.

Our Alfresco Day World Tour is just starting! Be sure to check out and register for a city near you!

Categories: ECM

Do you have your Alfresco University Passport?

Alfresco - Mon, 08/03/2015 - 03:00

Most of today’s leading companies either have an enterprise content management (ECM) system in place or are in the process of getting one.

In a recent AIIM Industry Watch survey, over half (52%) of participants said that they are working towards company-wide ECM capabilities, but only 14% said they are currently leveraging full ECM capability.

The biggest hurdle is user adoption.

Of those surveyed, 45% cited user adoption as the biggest roadblock when it comes to fully leveraging their ECM solution company-wide.

This was closely followed by challenges around consolidating multiple repositories (42%) to break away from data silos and an increase in the level of training (30%).

The best way to acquire the right skills for your team to deliver a successful Alfresco implementation is through training with Alfresco University. Alfresco is now offering an even more cost effective way to take advantage of this valuable training with the new Alfresco University Passport.

For just $3,250 per user per year, Passport will give you access to the entire catalog of eLearning and virtual instructor-led (vILT) courses available through Alfresco University for an entire year. With your Alfresco University Passport, you’ll enjoy:

  • Easy, self-service course enrollment for eLearning and vILT
  • The ability to enroll in as many courses as you like and attend the same course multiple times
  • Access to eLearning courses 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Access to Alfresco Certified Instructors during live webcasts of vILT courses
  • Access to hands-on lab exercises to gain practical experience, as well as student guides, lab guides and other rich media content in an electronic format
  • Access to exclusive content only available to Passport holders
  • A jump-start to acquiring the information you need to achieve your Alfresco Certified Engineer and/or Alfresco Certified Administrator certificate!

Passport holders can complete any courses in the current course catalog as often as they like during the subscription period in addition to accessing any new and/or updated courses that are released during the term of their subscription.

Want to learn more? Contact your Alfresco representative today to purchase your Alfresco University Passport or e-mail sales@alfresco.com. All major credit cards are accepted. Once your purchase is complete, please allow up to 24 hours for access to your Passport to take effect.

Categories: ECM

Alfresco Activiti 1.3 – Engagement Just Got Easier

Alfresco - Fri, 07/31/2015 - 04:16

It only seems like a few months since the last release of Activiti, and that’ll be because it was.  We’re still working at cloud speed to build out the smartest BPM product on the planet.  With Activiti 1.3, we’re really showing off its potential for building and delivering engaging business solutions: rich processes and forms with simple design and deployment, coupled with dynamic collaboration.

Did I mention any major performance improvement?  No, but it’s there, and you can find out more and who we’ve been collaborating with on it here: http://www.jorambarrez.be/blog/2015/07/20/the-activiti-performance-showdown-2015/

We’ve had a lot of requests for enhanced forms, so we’re giving you tabbed forms; variable numbers of columns on different parts of the same form; saving of forms for coming back to later or passing to someone else to complete; visibility control over whole groups of controls; and Form Stencils.  With these Stencils, you can define your own custom form controls through the UI – a topic worthy of a blog all on its own.

Some of the headline features include better integration to content repositories.  For Alfresco ECM repositories, you can now map metadata into Activiti process variables when you attach a document, or set metadata on content when it’s published to Alfresco ECM, on-premise or the cloud.  You can even choose different Process Apps for different sites in Alfresco One.  We’ve added Box to the list of integrations, allowing you to attach files from Box, or publish content from Activiti to Box.  And you can specify where in these repositories and by who.

A really natty capability is Document Generation from Microsoft Word templates, producing PDF or .docx files based on data collected in a process.  Couple that with the ability to publish to other content stores and you have a business solution with only a few clicks.

We’ve also added a bunch of enhancements for the user to take control of their task management.  First, there’s custom filters for the task and process lists, so you can create very specific views of tasks or processes.  Then, when you’re working on a task, as well as involving other people, you can add a Checklist.  So what? Well, a checklist is a set of smaller tasks you want to add to help you solve the main task, and because they’re tasks, they too can be assigned to other people with due dates.  Naturally, they too can have a Checklist added to that subtask and involve further people.  You can organically solve a problem by breaking away from the process, but it is all controlled and captured.  The other bit of magic is that you can attach any form from your Form Library to a task, so you could assign a Checklist item to someone and attach a form to capture their feedback or collect data.  All dynamically and as needed.

There’s quite a few other things too, especially for anyone working with REST interfaces, but I’ll leave you to discover those yourself.  As always, I feel excessively proud of the Activiti team that has brought this release to fruition.  But we’re not done yet.

Get the trial download here: https://www.alfresco.com/products/activiti/trial

Categories: ECM

Next-Gen ECM Webinar: Your Questions Answered

Alfresco - Thu, 07/30/2015 - 16:53

Earlier this month, Alfresco hosted the webinar Next-Gen ECM. More than 1000 people joined us for a discussion on the trends that are reshaping ECM requirements and a why a new approach to content management is needed.

The webinar generated lots of interest and dozens of questions. We didn’t have time to address everyone’s questions live, so I’ve answered several of them in this blog post. We are also following up individually with anyone who asked a question.

If you missed the webinar, it’s available on demand here. Registrants also receive a copy of my white paper Next-Gen ECM: Why the Time is Right for a New Approach to Enterprise Content Management.

Q: Is Alfresco being used to replace legacy ECM systems? If so, what are the typical drivers for this change?

A: Our customers want value, flexibility and accessibility from their ECM systems, and they don’t want to spend more for a big brand. Often, they keep their most sensitive and important content on premises, but want to store some content in the cloud to support collaboration. This makes Alfresco’s hybrid cloud ECM platform very appealing. Other top drivers for ECM migration are improved search and regulatory compliance. We provide the easiest, most effective platform for their requirements.

Q: How do you see Alfresco competing againstor do you compete against—file sharing services like Box?

A: We generally don’t compete with enterprise file sync and share vendors like Box, but we are often complementary. Some companies use Alfresco to manage their most important business content and Box to manage casual content that can be shared outside the organization. Although there is some overlap in functionality, our use cases tend to be very different. With our process control, high level of security, rules and rich metadata, Alfresco sits at the heart of business processes. In contrast, products like Box and Dropbox are used for more collaborative interactions. Some of our partners have created integrations between Alfresco and these services.

Q: What are the main differences in terms of ECM between Alfresco and SharePoint? Can you give us some examples of how the two applications could be integrated?

A: The main difference between Alfresco and SharePoint is that SharePoint is primarily a content portal, while Alfresco is focused on the integration of ECM and BPM. Alfresco supports rich business processes, a much richer data model, dynamic searches, much higher scalability and robustness as well as integrated records and digital asset management. In addition, users generally find the navigation and searching experience to be easier in Alfresco.

Some customers use Alfresco and SharePoint together. A partner like SeeUnity provides archival capabilities from SharePoint to Alfresco and Web Parts for accessing Alfresco content in the SharePoint portal.

Q: Is it possible to manage confidential information in Alfresco? Is it really secure?

A: Absolutely. Alfresco is trusted by organizations that require the highest level of security. Military, intelligence and civil government organizations use Alfresco to manage highly sensitive information. Alfresco is also used by large corporations to store confidential intellectual property that is subject to export controls.

Q: Large multinational organizations often face local jurisdictional rules that prohibit the transfer of information across borders. How would you handle this in Alfresco with deployment models and search capabilities?

A: Alfresco gives you a few deployment options. It sounds like you are asking the question from a central repository perspective. In this case, each part of the repository can have different access controls. Our search capability through Solr evaluates all documents for relevant security controls so that users see only the information that they have the right to access. In a distributed model, you have a great deal of control over what gets replicated from one repository to another. This means you can set up and enforce policies that only authorized content is replicated.

Q: Does Alfresco in the Cloud offer data center failover capabilities (e.g., with data centers on the East and West coasts of the U.S.)?

A: Yes. Alfresco in the Cloud uses Amazon Web Services (AWS) for data storage. AWS has multiple data centers in each region, but we also have disaster recovery in the West Region. Over time, we will add new Amazon and European regions, with government regions a high priority for us. This is contingent on our rollout of new cloud-based applications.

Q: Legacy document management systems like Documentum were hard to implement from a “business change” perspective. Can you shed any light on how easy it is to implement Alfresco? Issues like content clean up, end user training, new business processes, etc.

A: There are two fundamental concepts in Alfresco—Aspects and Rules—that make organizing information much easier. Since I was involved in the design of Documentum, I can say we made a fundamental mistake in assuming that the information architecture would be predefined. After all, that’s how a database works. But content is different. You want to load up the content and then figure out what to do with it. Aspects are like Lego-blocks of metadata that can be added after the content is loaded, so you can figure out what data is needed dynamically. Rules use content context—folder, file type, even data in the document— to apply Aspects, move content around and protect it with the right level of security. This is all done automatically, without the user having to figure these things out.

Q: How do you sell metadata to people who are used to a folder-based interface?

A: You can sell metadata as the ability to search and find things more easily. Folder Rules allow metadata to be added to content without forcing people to adopt a new way of working. When the user adds a document to a folder, the metadata is automatically added with rules to be found in searches. Using the Office integration in Alfresco 5.0, it’s also possible to add metadata directly in the Office file and pick it out just as SharePoint does.

Workflows are another great way to submit files. A simple form can capture the information you need, and the workflow automatically handles the metadata. The user doesn’t have to do anything at all.

Q: What do you think about the trend to integrate more and more content in the application? In the past, the idea was to integrate the application into the content.

A: Content is the moveable part; the application is not. There may be some context in the question that I’m missing, but it’s something I have been thinking about. Content can exist in multiple places at the same time: on premises, in the cloud, in an enterprise app or social web site, on a desktop or mobile repository, and so on. ECM is key to keeping track of content, ensuring that it’s in sync and handling conflicts.

Applications can be anywhere, and on mobile devices they will be harder to integrate into the content. But content can be moved where it is needed and transformed into a format that the application can use.

Q: What capabilities are available for personalized content delivery?

A: Alfresco supports the templating language Freemarker, which runs in the repository and has the full capability of the Alfresco data model. This allows Freemarker to modify and assemble complex, dynamic content as needed.

Q: What capabilities does Alfresco provide for indexing proprietary binary data, assuming that data structures are known or that access APIs exist?

A: We support the open tokenizer and schema capabilities of Solr and have an open architecture for metadata extraction. With these two capabilities, you can add the ability to extract searchable information from binary data. Alfresco Consulting Services can provide assistance with this, if needed.

Q: How will you interoperate with Big Data technologies like MongoDB, HBase, HDFS and graph databases?

A: The Alfresco community and our engineering team have been experimenting with Big Data technologies, particularly MongoDB and HBase. Alfresco lends itself to storing information in these technologies quite well. We are also doing some experimentation with Cassandra—although, we’ve actually been able to scale higher and have full transactional control using new in-memory relational databases. It may be a matter of using different databases for different purposes. As for graph databases, these would be used for very different purposes like keeping track of relationships and deducing connections between users and content for recommendation purposes. This is a longer-term project.

Q: What is Alfresco’s integration proposition for Atlassian products?

A: Partners have created integrations with Atlassian products, including Jira and Confluence. Click here for a full list of partner solutions.

Thanks to everyone who joined the webinar and submitted questions. If you’d like some hands-on experience with Alfresco, I encourage you try one of these options:

Categories: ECM

Alfresco Drives Digital Content Experience for Award-Winning Canadian Museum for Human Rights

Alfresco - Mon, 07/20/2015 - 12:36

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights (the Museum) recently won four MUSE Awards from the American Alliance of Museums, one of which was a Gold Award for its digital infrastructure. Alfresco One, our enterprise content management (ECM) platform, facilitates the Museum’s digital content experience, which includes 6,500 images and over 100 hours of high-definition video, all complete with metadata. In cooperation with solutions provided by Technology Services Group and the Museum’s digital platforms team, our technology supports all aspects of digital storytelling, including creation, cataloguing, exhibition, web and mobile dissemination, and archival storage.

This digital experience is core to the Museum’s work. It is the first museum in the world solely dedicated to the evolution, celebration and future of human rights. It is designed to encourage reflection and dialogue, and therefore provides visitors with a unique interactive experience including a large digital collection of recorded oral histories and dynamic, multimedia technology exhibits. Because of this, the Museum is one of the most digitally advanced cultural institutions in North America.

I believe Alfresco is perfectly suited to support the Museum now and into the future. By its nature, the Museum is open and ever changing. We founded Alfresco on these principles as well – creating an open architecture that can adapt to unforeseen changes. Our technology is in line with the spirit of the Museum and its mandate of transparency and collaboration, and allows the Museum to continue to evolve with different technologies.

Congratulations to the Museum on winning these prestigious awards. We are proud to help you provide an exceptional digital experience to your visitors and we look forward to working with you as your needs and use cases evolve in the future.

Categories: ECM

Updating the Enterprise Content Management Strategy for the Federal Workforce

Alfresco - Tue, 06/16/2015 - 13:04

I was recently asked to submit a byline to Government Computer News, one of the top government technology trade publications, on how agencies need to think about ECM in light of the many new challenges they are facing. The experience of the federal worker is undergoing a dramatic transformation, as older employees are retiring and are being replaced with a younger demographic that is on the forefront of the rise of mobile, social and cloud technologies. The younger work force expects to be productive anytime, anywhere, using any device or application. This requires that agencies develop systems that deliver easier access to content, or employees may resort to consumer-grade applications that fail to meet compliance and records management mandates.

At the same time, many legacy Enterprise Content Management (ECM) systems have been in place for a decade or more, requiring major upgrades or replacement. They have been architected for a different era, and therefore these outdated applications have been left behind by current working and computing environments.

This has intensified the pressure on federal IT teams to update their ECM strategy or face the control, security and compliance issues that are created by user-established technologies, but are unacceptable in the public sector environment. Devising a new approach to ECM will help agencies overcome shadow IT and adhere to required standards. IT teams looking to update their ECMs while meeting the needs of both federal workers and federal mandates should take note of these four content management necessities. Here are some of the observations I shared in my GCN byline:

Support New Ways of Working
Today’s federal workforce has been shaped by the use of apps like Instagram, Snapchat and Uber. Modern ECM needs to embrace the applications and devices people use every day, taking cues from consumer apps so that the user experience is fresh, engaging and intuitive. Thirty-seven percent of the world’s workforce is predicted to be mobile in 2015 – and this reality is felt in the federal market as well. This highly mobile, very connected employee wants IT solutions that allow them to work regardless of location, network, or device.

Prepare for the Emergence of the Extended Enterprise
Agencies are no longer stand-alone entities. Instead, they are often an inter-connected web of employees, contractors, suppliers and constituents, extending far beyond the traditional boundaries of the agency, and certainly beyond their network firewalls. This makes the ability to share content and process across the extended enterprise an imperative for modern ECM. Legacy ECM systems were architected at a time when users and content stayed behind the firewall on servers and PCs, but that simply isn’t feasible to support today’s federal worker. Modern ECM needs to support the easy, controlled sharing of content and process both inside and outside of the agency.

Plan for the Explosion in Digital Content
With so much content being created on an ongoing basis, it can be harder than ever for government users to find the information they need quickly. If content is not adequately managed, governed, or secured because it is “in the wild” – spread across network drives, mobile devices, laptops, email, USB sticks and consumer file sharing sites – then it raises security, compliance, operational and other risks. Modern ECM needs to use contextual data – comments, preferences, geo-location data – to drive business processes that move content to the right person at the right time within the right application. This will enable content to be put into context so that people and processes work more efficiently and effectively.

Embrace Today’s IT Infrastructure
Agencies must adopt a strategic platform for meeting the often conflicting needs of users – who want to work remotely and with people outside of the agency – and IT that must ensure that content is secure and managed in accordance with governance and compliance policies. Unfortunately, Legacy ECM platforms are generally not built for cloud scale and offer only limited mobile support. Federal agencies have shifted to a hybrid storage approach, storing content both on premises and in the cloud. This requires seamless syncing between the two locations. An agency’s ECM approach needs to recognize the need for control and compliance and must be able to support traditional on-premises deployments, virtualized environments, private cloud deployments, full-fledged public-cloud SaaS deployments and everything in between. Agencies will need to figure out which content is appropriate for sharing in the cloud and which should remain on premises behind the firewall.

ECM plays a vital role in storing, managing and controlling the content that keeps the federal government moving. Agencies must address the need to allow people to work where and how they want, enable information and process to flow across the extended enterprise, develop a system to handle digital content management and make deployment an easy process for IT teams across the IT infrastructure. Keeping the current workplace in mind when crafting an updated ECM strategy will empower federal employees to do and share great work.

Categories: ECM

Alfresco Wins Omega NorthFace ScoreBoard Award for Outstanding Customer Service

Alfresco - Fri, 06/05/2015 - 18:21

At Alfresco, we love to tell prospects, customers, analysts, prospective employees, anyone really, about how we are a company of more than 375 (and counting) employees who truly want to deliver great experiences to our customers and partners. We can talk about this with confidence because there is a certain truth in business: You cannot fake a passion for delivering great customer experiences.

Today, we want everyone to know how incredibly fortunate we are to have a team who engage with our customers and partners every day and truly embrace that passion for delivering great customer experiences. Here’s why: We just received notification that our Customer Support and Premier Support Services Teams are among a very prestigious group of recipients of the 2014 Omega NorthFace ScoreBoard Award! This award is the only award of its type and is a highly regarded customer service industry award based upon an independent audit which comes exclusively from the evaluation of our customer measures and customer feedback. In Alfresco’s case, that means our customer satisfaction survey which measures the level of satisfaction expressed by our customers each time a support case is closed.

There is no better recognition for this hard work than when it comes directly from the customers they serve every day and gets further acknowledged by an organization like Omega. At Alfresco, we truly believe that having the best technology alone is not good enough for a leading global company like ours, because at the core of our business are our customers. How we work with them on a daily basis—ensuring that they get prompt, effective and courteous service and that they are meeting their business goals—is what drives our team. Customer service is at the forefront of everything we do.

The Omega Management Group first initiated this program 15 years ago. It is the first of its kind in the service industry to recognize organizations who not only offer exemplary service to their customers, but who center their very existence on a deep commitment to being customer centric. It is widely recognized as the most prestigious award for customer service excellence.

And the process is not easy. Omega reviews customer satisfaction survey results each year from over 500 companies on average to determine their qualification for the honor. First, each organization’s customer satisfaction survey must meet Omega’s rigorous qualifications and criteria, which includes mastering both the experience and satisfaction that customers want from their service providers, just to be considered. The journey includes a quarterly review of the survey process and results, and a Customer Satisfaction rating of 4.0 out of 5.0 (or an equivalent rating system) over a 12-month calendar year.

We are proud of this achievement not because it’s another trophy for our lobby. More importantly, it is the result of the commitment and care that we take to make sure our customers meet their business objectives through the Alfresco platform. Not only does Alfresco create an amazing product, design and implement great solutions for customers using that product, and educate and train those customers to be successful, we back that delivery up with a world-class, and now AWARD WINNING support organization that cares deeply about ensuring our customers have consistently great experiences.

Congratulations, team, to a job very well done.

Categories: ECM

Three extended enterprises embracing the collaborative economy

Alfresco - Mon, 06/01/2015 - 04:42

Businesses are being reshaped by an exponential growth in connected activity and information flow. There are few stand-alone entities these days. Instead, companies are often an inter-connected web of companies, contractors, suppliers, partners and employees. And the challenge for IT is only going to increase as companies begin to take advantage of new economic models such as the Collaborative Economy.

The Collaborative or Sharing Economy involves using technology to connect people to make better use of products, services and resources – reinventing the way we consume and disrupting all aspects of the value chain. According to Jeremiah Owyang, for every car that is rented through a car-sharing service such as Zipcar, the manufacturer loses on average $270,000 as this reduces car ownership by 9-13 vehicles. This then has a knock-on effect on the rest of the value chain (insurance, fuel, parts etc).

Some companies have already recognized these shifts and are exploring how their business models could change forever.

GE has partnered with product crowdsourcing service Quirky investing over $30m to create Wink, a ‘microfactory’ for connected home products which is currently generating over 4,000 new ideas per week. Wink selects a small number of these to take to production and are then sold by retailers such as The Home Depot.

Barclaycard Ring, from Barclays PLC is a credit card service designed and run by its community members. Members propose and vote on new ideas to make the service better. Barclays shares the financial impact that these ideas might have and the Giveback program gives members a share in the profits.

US Government agency NASA launched a contest asking data scientists on crowdsourcing site Kaggle to create new uses for the agency’s wealth of earth sciences informational material and data. The competition uses the NASA Open Earth Exchange platform. NASA has some of the smartest people on the planet, but competitions on Kaggle are often won by people with little subject-matter expertise but who are great at building predictive data models.

Managing the digital content and workflow associated with such a dramatically different extended enterprise requires some careful thought.

Firstly, you will need to design business processes that can extend beyond your organization and that can be adapted on the fly. Secondly, it is vital to use collaboration tools that work as well with your partners as they do inside your organization. Finally, content needs to flow easily between the different parties involved in the process. But in some cases, there could be significant security concerns so think about how to safeguard your critical content, whilst still delivering the content that partners need in the cloud.

For more information:

Check out and download the Modernization of ECM Whitepaper here.

How Alfresco is solving these types of business process and content challenges.

Categories: ECM

Alfresco Furthers Modernization of ECM and BPM with New Analytics and Multi-Media Tools

Alfresco - Tue, 05/19/2015 - 12:52

The ECM and BPM markets continue to advance at ever increasing speeds, and customers are seeking simple and smart solutions to solve information and content-driven challenges. As we continue to redefine the ECM and BPM markets, Alfresco is leading the charge to bring business insights into unstructured content and associated business processes. We just took another step in that direction, announcing two new tools for Alfresco One – Alfresco Analytics and Alfresco Media Management – as well as key enhancements to our BPM software. These updates highlight Alfresco’s commitment to providing businesses with innovative, easy-to-use solutions to manage all their content needs.

The Alfresco Analytics moduleTM for Alfresco One provides new insights and reporting capabilities on content, process and people-related events. This gives new visibility into how content is being managed and shared, including:

• Who is accessing which documents
• How often content is being shared and accessed
• What tasks are being completed by which employees

The Analytics module allows businesses to use information about unstructured content to influence business processes and enable process improvements, including the ability to identify star performers, bottlenecks, and resource needs and usage.

The Alfresco Media Management moduleTM is designed to make it easier for companies to store and manage a range of rich media files, such as high definition video, without a separate system. The new components allow end users to view, conduct lightweight editing and transforming of photos and videos within our platform, removing the requirement to download the files and use specialist media editing or viewing software. This saves serious time and removes complexity. It also makes it easier transcoding video files from one format to another (HD to mobile or streaming formats) or to transform media files from one format to another – for example transforming high-quality print-ready images to lower resolution for inclusion on a company’s website. This new media-handling component enables companies to easily repurpose rich media files to further drive digital business.

We also made significant upgrades to our Alfresco Activiti 1.2 BPM solution, including:

• Integration with Alfresco ShareTM – Alfresco’s group collaboration tool – effectively merging the worlds of BPM and ECM through one simple-to-use application
• New process and forms designers aimed at line-of-business users
• Additional languages to support global deployments
• A PDF process audit to capture to help meet compliance needs
• A process heat map to help analyze and improve process efficiency
• Improved forms layout
• Ease of integration with other line-of-business applications.

Alfresco now makes it possible to analyze and act on vast amounts of information in ways never before possible. By continuing to push the boundaries of the definition of “content” and how companies use it to drive digital business, Alfresco enables organizations to advance well beyond traditional ECM benefits – and instead experience an enterprise-wide modernization of business processes.

I am truly excited about these advancements today, and how it will empower our users. Please check them out and let us know what you think.

Categories: ECM
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