Needless to say the roadmap for next year was one event at this year’s Nuxeoworld that was high on most people’s agenda, and it didn’t disappoint. After setting out a fairly ambitious stall at last year’s event, Nuxeo was eager to do the same this year.
Nuxeo in 2011
The first thing to be said about it, and underlined by Marketing VP Roland Benedetti and CTO Thierry Delprat who co-presented the session, is that nothing is set in stone -- their words, not ours.
It’s probably a good place to start in that a number of the projects that were mooted for 2011 never didn’t come to fruition, like the records management module -- too much work to do to start from scratch (although there are partners working on it now), or JEE 6, which has been postponed to Nuxeo 6, but it’s better to know where you stand than, in the case of some companies, being led up the garden path.
That said, according to both, a lot has been achieved over the year -- about 75% of what was intended and everyone seems reasonably happy with many of the non-runners now incorporated into the roadmap for 2012 (see diagram below).
Nuxeo Roadmap 2011 - 2012
2012 is also an ambitious year, with a number of things that are worth noting.
Nuxeo’s General Direction
Generally speaking, Nuxeo says it will maintain the overall global direction it has taken from earliest days in terms of platform orientation, particularly in respect of the development of new modules.
It says it intends to increase the number of modules and features and improve helper tools to ensure that less technically minded users can use the platform easier. This will also include an improved user-end experience through constant development of the UI.
Nuxeo also intends to keep up the technical development of the platform and says that it will be developed over the next year in such a way as to make the learning curve for SIs and developers considerably easier.
Nuxeo also says that there will be some major infrastructure changes and upgrades, none of which are going to be easy, but high on the list of priorities is:
- The removal of EJB3
- OSGi and Apricot alignment
- Web-layer technology stack update
Delprat, addressing the question as to why continue the move to the Open Services Gateway initiative framework (OSGi), explained the company's reasoning.
The OSGi is a module system and service platform for the Java programming language that implements a complete and dynamic component mode, and if anything, Nuxeo is staying components based.
We want the platform to be modular. OSGi is the only mature and dynamic component and service model in Java. OSGi is evolving and its tools have improved a lot, while it is also getting acceptance, even on the server side,” Delprat said.
The result of moving to OSGi , he said, is
- better development experience
- standard component model
- less XML
- the ability to leverage OSGi tools
WebLayer, Installer and Search
For WebLayer the main update will be the extended usage of HTML5 features, which will improve support for Rich Media, offer safe editing (via Browser local storage) and better compliance with mobile devices.
Another notable technical upgrade due in the coming months will be the area of search and the integration of SOLR as an external indexer. This will not replace the transactional built-in index, but will provide better semantic search, build complex search based navigation and leverage faceted search features.
The installer will also see some modifications in the coming year. The aim is to arrive at a situation where there is need for only one download for the platform (CAP), and then at the time of installation, users can:
- select feature packs at installation time
- install all products : DAM, DM, CMF
- install pairs: DAM + DM
- install additional features: DM + Social Collaboration
This, Nuxeo says, confirms it as a platform rather than a monolithic application.
There are other developments in the pipeline too that we are likely to hear more about over the course of Nuxeoworld. There will be more on Nuxeo in the cloud, as well as the provision of SDKs for Android and iOS that will enable the construction of a mobile content application on top of Nuxeo.
Social and Collaboration
It is impossible to cover all the things that Nuxeo hopes to do, but some mention must be made of social Nuxeo and the use of new features for Social Workplaces. Nuxeo plans to:
- Introduce Collaborative Domain as an alternative content model for collaboration.
- Bring social features to document management including activity streams, relationships, micro-messaging, aggregated view on Activity/Audit/Comment
- Digest notifications
- Rich profile management
Along with the social aspect of it, it also intends to add more collaborative features in document management as well. These will include:
- Added conflict detection
- Integrate diff/merge system
- Document type dedicated to collaboration
- Collaborative editing in the browser
- Extend usage of wiki markupdocument type dedicated to collaboration
- Improved widget library
Finally, there will also be support for Office templates so that users will be able to use Office templates with Nuxeo documents by associating a document with an office template file.
This means they will be able to generate an office file by merging template and meta-data as well as offer support for LibreOffice and MS Office.
While some of these upgrades are in the offering in 5.5, others won’t be along until v6.0 next year. However, the pace of development is being maintained and if it achieves 75% of its objectives for 2012 as it did this year, there will be some considerable improvements on the way over the next 12 months.