Open source content management provider Alfresco has announced the latest community release of their platform, Alfresco Community 4, at JavaOne and it’s packed with new features.

A New Release with Lots of New Features

In true open source spirit, Alfresco collaborated with its customers, partners and users to determine what enhancements should go into the latest incarnation of the platform, and they apparently had lots of suggestions. Alfresco has made a number of improvements to the user interface and tooling that allows users to support popular technology trends like cloud-computing and social.

Alfresco has separated it content indexing processes from content management and replaced its homegrown indexing with the popular open source enterprise search platform Apache Solr. This change should offer significant performance improvements to Alfresco, especially as content sizes grow. Alfresco users who upgrade to the latest version can also look forward to performance improvements due to enhancements to software’s clustering capabilities and added support for clustered CIFS.

In addition to performance improvements, Alfresco 4 includes a new service to publish content and status updates to social sites likes YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Flickr and SlideShare. Given the intersection of public social media and the enterprise, a lot of Alfresco adopters will likely welcome the new feature.

Other enhancements users can look forward to in Alfresco 4 include:

  • Integrated workflow -- the platform now offers integrated support for Activiti, an open source Java-based BPMN 2.0 business process server
  • HTML5 support
  • Enhanced support for video, audio, Adobe Creative Suite & Apple iWork documents -- Inline preview and metadata extraction now available for more file types
  • Social Features -- Users can now be ‘Followed’ and content ‘Liked’ similar to public social networks
  • Cloud Collaboration -- Use Google Docs integration to collaborate in real time
  • Mobile Support -- New, free iOS apps available now from iTunes, along with continued support for WebDAV and CMIS standards for new mobile use cases

Getting Your Hands on Alfresco 4

Full documentation for version 4 is available on the Alfresco wiki if you would like to read more about the release. It’s great to read about new technology, but it’s always more fun to play with it, right? Alfresco Community 4 is available for download from the Alfresco community site. If download it and take it for a spin, definitely let us know what you think.