There were no fireworks, no fanfare or screams of "It's Here!, come and get it!". Last week, Alfresco very quietly released the newest version of their enterprise content management system. We here at CMSWire thought that was strange for such a well-known popular ECM.
So we contacted the folks over there. They told us that in a few weeks, Alfresco will officially, formally launch the release of Alfresco Enterprise Edition 2.2. Then they allowed us to grace the presence of their Chief Marketing Officer, Ian Howells, who taught us a few things about the impetus behind the release.
Driven by the rapid and innovative growth of electronic arts media, namely the games industry, Alfresco wanted to deliver a product that met the needs of their users by focusing on:
* Commodity: providing a CMS that is affordable
* Consumerism: providing a CMS that is easy to use
* Scalability: providing a CMS that allows simplicity of size
With these three goals, Alfresco set out to cater to the likes of the high-end customer -- the ones who have a constant flow of rich media on their site and a need to update large amounts of content daily; who work outside non-Java platforms and integrate user-generated content.
These are the customers whom Alfresco has deemed the drivers of the next generation of CMS.
Enhancements in 2.2
Users will find several big improvements in Version 2.2. With a continued focus on content management and collaboration, enhancements include:
* Web Application Preview and Test: provided users with the ability to preview in-context changes to any web application, including PHP, Ruby, JSF, Tiles, Struts, Groovy, and .NET
* Web Farm Deployment Configuration: supports advanced deployment rules for scalable, 3-tier web application architectures with partitioned, replicated deployment
* Site Templating and Branching: enable rapid creation of new sites from existing templates and the ability to baseline major site updates by branching existing site
* Asset Reuse: allows updates and sharing of content across web projects
* Email-based Collaboration: users can email directly into the repository and capture all discussions relating to a specific document
* Email Archival: ability to automatically capture and archive all attached files and email messages
* JMX-based Server Administration: JSR-160 support offers administrators access to Alfresco via a JMX console Search Within Sites Perhaps the most anticipated functionality is the ability to search within sites. While web projects were always indexed for search and the API supported it, users can now search for web content from within the user interface.
In addition, new advancements to the deployment mechanism from 2.1 now offer a GUI that allows developers to define deployments to push code or content to different environments.
With a real commitment to making the collaboration process easier and more effective, Alfresco's ECM 2.2 will appeal to those whose projects go beyond regular content management.
To learn more about release of Alfresco 2.2, readers can purchase the 19 page Alfresco evaluation or buy the whole 160 page report.