Open source enterprise solutions provider Liferay is updating its Liferay Sync document sharing/synchronization tool for mobile usage, while also introducing version 2.0 of its Alloy Java script framework.

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In response to growing popularity of the Sync data management/collaboration solution among Android and iOS users, Liferay is providing new mobile Sync capabilities. These include the ability to rename files and folders, open and edit files and folders with external apps, update and delete multiple files, add files and folders to favorites and display metadata. Sync also provides real-time versioning, revision tracking and information-sharing so multiple users can collaborate on documents.

Alloy Goes Beyond Liferay

Alloy is the established JavaScript framework supporting Liferay. However, Liferay is expanding the scope of Alloy in the new version 2.0 so it can be used as a framework for non-Liferay projects. Currently in preview release, Alloy 2.0 features a new website with a redesigned look and feel based on Twitter Bootstrap. The site was developed using a NodeJS static generator and all documentation is written in Markdown.

In addition, Liferay is shifting from the Ant build system to the Shifter and Yogi build systems, which Liferay says are faster than Ant. Liferay also says the AlloyUI is now based on the fastest CDN available by adding a url to a <script> tag. Other improvements include a 10 MB repository, down from a nearly 800 MB repository in the original Alloy, and a total of 20 components, down from a previous total of 73. It also offers a uniform API. Liferay expects Alloy 2.0 to move from preview to full release soon.


Liferay Opens Up

As an open source technology provider, obviously Liferay does not close itself off from the marketplace, but recently the vendor appears to be trying to maximize the reach of its solutions. In addition to making Alloy a framework suitable for all projects and not just those based on the Liferay platform, in December 2012 Liferay inked a deal with cloud management and marketplace solutions provider Standing Cloud, making Liferay’s portal available on more than 15 public clouds.

As a result of the deal, users will be able to try-out Liferay for 30-days before signing up. After the trial, they can then choose whether to go ahead or not. Users will also be able to add capacity easily -- with development flexibility and stability also guaranteed through its pre-configured packages. The result, according to Standing Cloud, is that by making it easy to access the portal and configure or upgrade it, Liferay should be in a position to dramatically expand its customer base.

Watch Out for YAFS

Alloy 2.0 is one of many Java frameworks to hit the market in recent months. According to a July 2012 article in Smashing Magazine, the current state of new frameworks frequently popping up is called “Yet Another Framework Syndrome” (or YAFS).

Whilst innovation is of course something we should welcome, YAFS can lead to a great deal of confusion and frustration when developers just want to start writing an app but don’t want to manually evaluate 30 different options in order to select something maintainable,” states Smashing."In many cases, the differences between some of these frameworks can be very subtle if not difficult to distinguish.”

Liferay needs to ensure Alloy 2.0 is unique enough and provides enough benefits to stand out in an increasingly competitive niche.