Alfresco announced the availability of Alfresco Community 3.4 for download on October 4th 2010. Alfresco 3.4 introduces Web Quick Start, which provides support for web site deployment and content integration with enterprise portals for Spring developers. This builds on Alfresco’s strategy of offering a content platform based on open source and open standards-based content management platform.
John Newton, Alfresco CTO, described the announcement, “The demand for collaboration and social sharing around enterprise content is rising—and content that was once meant just for the intranet is now being repurposed for the public web, external portals or even to destination sites across the web. Through our implementation of CMIS as a core standard and new features in Alfresco 3.4, our content services platform can now manage and deliver enterprise content to any internal or external application in a way that traditional, monolithic ECM products can’t enable without significant time and expense.”
Key product capabilities for the Alfresco Community 3.4 release include:
- Collaborative Web Authoring: Alfresco Web Quick Start is a set of out-of-the-box templates for building content-rich websites on top of Alfresco Share. Quick Start combines Alfresco Share for web team collaboration, with content authoring and publishing services like in-context web editing.
- Office-to-Web Framework: Using Microsoft’s Office SharePoint Protocol and CIFS (shared file drive), along with a new API integration with Google Docs, users can now author documents in their native office suite, collaborate in Alfresco or Google Docs, transform and re-purpose if required, and then publish straight to the web—even with sophisticated approval workflows.
- Web Content Services for Spring: Built using the popular Spring and Spring Surf frameworks, Alfresco now offers content management services that can be accessed via OpenCMIS and integrated into any web application. A combination of standard development tools and lightweight scripting gives Spring and Surf developers many options for building content-rich apps.
- Integration with Enterprise Portals and Social Software: The new DocLib portlets allow integration with enterprise portals like Liferay, Quickr and Confluence. Using Single Sign On (SSO), the portlets provide access to both content and project repositories from within any JSR168 compliant portal.
- Distributed Content Replication: Native support for content replication allows organisations to run federated content repositories. Key documents can now be replicated to remote offices, enabling greater sharing of information, quicker access, reduced wide area network traffic and removes the dependency on a single system.
The Community Edition as usual predates an update to Alfresco Enterprise Edition. In Bloor’s view this is a major update that Alfresco are releasing and is putting them at the forefront of ECM development at this moment in time.