Alfresco, open source enterprise content management, have recently announced the release of the final version of Labs 3.0. This is a land mark release for Alfresco and includes many enhancements. Probably two of the key areas of functionality of Alfresco Labs 3.0 is its integration to other open source software and its implementation of the CMIS Specification. CMIS is the The Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS) specification and has the possibility o doing what SQL did for databases. Overall a standard created and accepted by all of the major players (Alfresco, EMC, IBM, Microsoft, Open Text, SAP, Day Software and Oracle) should only be good for the user community. The CMIS has not been finalised so Alfresco’s implementation is based on the proposed specification.
From the Alfresco blog:
CMIS is the proposed standard for content management interoperability. You can learn more about it on the Alfreso wiki. In short, this standard would allow developers to write applications that run against any CMIS-compliant content management system. It has been likened to SQL but for content management.
The other area of interest is the continued integration to other well known open source products such Joomla (Content Management) OpenOffice.org (Office Suite) and MediaWiki (Wiki software used by many companies including Wikipedia and Alfresco)
Joomla the very popular Content Management system for building websites will be able to access the back end repository of Alfresco for enterprise document management allowing Joomla users to control large amounts of content efficiently while still be able to collaborate on their Joomla website. Details of the Joomla Module for Alfresco can be found here.
From version 2.1 Alfresco has concentrated on Integration to the Microsoft Office suite which is understandable given its current market dominance and Alfresco’s implementation of the Microsoft Sharepoint Protocol meant even tighter integration. This had unfortunately left OpenOffice.org behind for a while. But with the release of the Openoffice.org plugin for Alfresco similar functionality is now available. Functionality as follows:
- Easy Installation
- Browse the Alfresco repositary
- Extensive search
- Access document properties and metadata
- Access to Alfresco workflow
- Access to ‘MyAlfesco’
See example screenshot:
As with a lot of open source software Alfresco has also not been slow to use social media for marketing and communication. As well as the required blog(s) Alfresco has a podcast, a Facebook Group and are on Twitter (OK they were a little slow on Twitter as they are @alfresco1 as someone else bagged @alfresco).
There is now even integration between Alfresco and Facebook. Jeff Potts has put a video showing this integration on youtube:
Other useful links
Alfresco Labs is open source software under the GPL License v2