Content Circles, Alfresco Team for Simple but Robust Doc Collaboration.jpg
Content Circles (news, site) keeps right on connecting. The company burst onto the scene not too long ago with their innovative, server-free collaboration solution. Shortly after the debut, they released a Xerox DocuShare connector which allows DocuShare users to share documents with a specified team, sans server. Now, the company is expanding their circle again by adding a similar connector, this time with Alfresco Software.

Who needs an internet connection? Not Content Circle users. The new connector enables Alfresco ECM users to share, collaborate, track and manage content offline or online.

Get In This Circle

If this is the first time you’ve heard of Content Circles and their server-free diet plan, here’s a little recap:

Content Circles uses a Web/peer-to-peer hybrid approach to collaboration. Though ultimately controlled by the owner, each 'Circle' is backed by team work. The tool synchronizes content across a team by allowing documents and files uploaded into the designated 'Circle' to be replicated and delivered to all members, even when they’re offline.

The newly announced bridge to Alfresco brings these capabilities directly to Alfresco ECM users and external team members by reportedly allowing participants to keep track of all activity on content originating from Alfresco.

Work It

To start, an Alfresco user must first download and subscribe to Content Circles (bust out your wallets). The user then creates a workspace known as a ‘Circle’ and invites others to collaborate. The game of drag and drop (from the Alfresco repository to the Circle) begins, and the so-called “sophisticated content management capabilities” of Content Circles take care of the rest. Users can reportedly track the movement, edits or changes to these documents as they are synced to the original copy, still sitting happily in chez Alfresco.

"Governance, retention and compliance will be key themes for content management in 2009,” said John Powell, CEO of Alfresco software. “With this solution, Content Circles offers a secure Alfresco bridge to provide organizations with inter-repository auditability and compliance in a peer-to-peer environment. The open source distribution model is allowing us to become ubiquitous with customers and partners building applications on our open content-services platform," continued Powell. "Alfresco is committed to dramatically growing this ecosystem and we see Content Circles as a great example of a new breed of content services applications."


The already inexpensive Content Circles is promoting! Just like it was for DocuShare, the Alfresco Connector will be offered free of charge to all Content Circles and Alfresco users for a limited time. As always, anyone can register for Content Circles and collaborate in a Circle without spending a single penny. Creation and management of Circles requires a paid subscription, and pricing information can be found here.