Alfresco has just announced the third incarnation of its Enterprise Content Management System. Alfresco Enterprise 3 is what Alfresco CTO John Newton refers to as the completion of the Product Suite that had been envisioned since the company began.
A Busy Year for Alfresco
These days the team over that Alfresco has been very busy. They have managed to weave their ECM into a number of other products. Products like Quark, Acrobat.com, CAStor and Adobe LiveCycle are just a few to mention who have incorporated the ECM into their product in some way.
In addition, Alfresco spent the summer releasing Alfresco Labs 3 which included a version of their new collaboration solution, Alfresco Share and Surf - a new development platform. From there they spent time performing extensive testing to prepare for the release of their latest enterprise version.
The enterprise version is the certified build of Alfresco — the one that is sold to production environments for companies and government organizations that want a stable, supported solution. Alfresco currently has over 700 organizations using the enterprise version.
And here it finally is…
Alfresco Enterprise 3 - An Alternative to SharePoint
Alfresco Enterprise 3 is a collaborative enterprise content management system. With it you see the tight integration of document management, web content management and collaborative Web 2.0 technologies like wikis, blogs, discussion forums, social networking and more through the addition of Alfresco Share. It also includes a draft implementation of the new proposed CMIS specification and Microsoft Office SharePoint protocol support.
Alfresco Document Management
The ECM is built on the new Surf platform, a lightweight User Interface development framework that leverages the Alfresco Web Scripts technology and templating capabilities.
Alfresco Activity Feeds
Alfresco Share Features
Alfresco Share combines content management and collaboration:
- Document Library: New features include thumbnails, the ability to preview a document using a Flash Viewer, commenting and tagging
- Search: Search for people and experts in addition to content
- Virtual Teams: Create virtual teams for projects and communities. Teams can include both internal and external people
- Activity Feeds: Keep track of what is new or changing in content and people
- Personalized Dashboard: Configure a customizable dashboard or site based on roles or projects
- Content Creation Tools: Create content in wikis, blogs, MSOffice
- Calendar: Track deliverables and import the information into your personal calendar using iCal
Alfresco Virtual Teams
The Benefits of Alfresco
John Newton has no trouble outlining the benefits of Alfresco Enterprise 3 over solutions from other vendors like Microsoft, IBM and EMC. Obviously he sees the biggest benefit being cost.
In an interview with John Newton, CTO of Alfresco, he called Alfresco Enterprise 3 similar to SharePoint, “but more scalable”. The Alfresco repository can handle up to 100 million documents, can run more people on a single machine and uses the natural clustering and caching capabilities of web architecture.