Open source enterprise content management vendor Alfresco (news, site) really doesn't strike you as a vendor that likes to stay in the shadows. Quite the contrary actually. And the work they have been doing on CMIS — the Content Management Interoperability Specification — proves it. Their goal — and they aren't being subtle about it — is to the first Enterprise CMS that is fully CMIS compliant.
There From the Beginning, Almost
Although the first official announcement regarding the new proposed CMIS specification came from Microsoft, IBM and EMC, Alfresco was there almost from the beginning. And they have been the most vocal about what they have been doing to implement the proposed standard:
- Alfresco Offers First Implementation of CMIS in Alfresco Labs 3
- Alfresco and Drupal Content Integration via CMIS
- Alfresco Packages CMIS Developer Toolbox
- CMIS Update - First Integration Modules Appearing
- CMIS Update: A Public Review Expected Late Spring
- eZ Conference: CMIS Integration for eZ Publish and Alfresco
Lots of Examples
Alfresco has certainly demonstrated their CMIS implementation by providing examples of integrations with a number of other content management vendors including EMC, Drupal, Joomla, eZ Publish and more recently Confluence.
The following slideshare presentation shows how Alfresco, Nuxeo and EMC integrated with AIIM's iECM.
What's Coming in Alfresco Community 3.2?
With Alfresco Community 3.2 close to release, we are hearing more about how far Alfresco has gone with CMIS. According to the Alfresco CMIS blog, Community 3.2 will be fully compliant with CMIS 0.61, the latest version of the proposed standard.
In fact, Alfresco points out that not only have they implemented all the mandatory components of CMIS, which include offering both a REST interface and a Web Services interface, but they also have most of the optional capabilities as well."Not only is it complete, it’s solid too, as experienced by an ActiveVOS engineer, who simply commented “Alfresco CMIS Service just works”."
Their CMIS client test harness contains over 100 tests that cover all aspects of the specification. This is something they expect to contribute to the Apache Chemistry project.
What's even more interesting is the level to which they have taken to implementing the CMIS spec in their platform. For example, Alfresco has embedded the CMIS SQL query language capabilities into not only via the CMIS binding but also into all of their search APIs.
Although the specification hasn't been finalized, according to John Newton, CEO and co-founder of Alfresco, they are very close to freezing it and making it available for public review (Newton is a part of the OASIS technical committee).
What's After 3.2?
Now that they have implemented the CMIS spec on the backend, the next step is start investing in CMIS clients and tools. They mention changes to Alfresco Share as part of this process.
Taking Interoperability to the Bank
To spend this much time and effort on being the first to implement the CMIS specification must mean something. In our interview with John Newton on the 3.2 release (which we can't share the details with you just yet), Newton made the comment that the more a company can replace Alfresco, the more he believes they will use it.
It seems Alfresco is expecting that interoperability is becoming a critical requirement for enterprises in their selection of an ECM. What better a vendor a to select than one that seems to have gone out of their way to implement and openly demonstrate their achievement of this via an accepted standard?