DEMO : Alfstore – Alfresco Portlet for IBM WebSphere Portal

March 14, 2011

Alfstore has just released the version 2.0 of the Alfresco Portlet for IBM WebSphere Portal.

For more details on the portlet features, visit Alfstore module webpage

WATCH THE PORTLET DEMO


1 reason to choose Alfresco vs Quickr for document management : scalability

January 26, 2011

More and more people are asking me the same questions about IBM Quickr vs Alfresco Document Management solution.

Basically:
– what are the main technical and/or functional differences between Quickr and Alfresco ?
– When should I use Quickr, when is Alfresco more appropriate ?
– What is the best solution for document management ?
– etc.

I have already published a few blog post about this topic (see list below), but to summarize:
– Alfresco is a Document Management system, Quickr is not.
– Alfresco is a scalable solution, Quickr is not.

OK…let me give you more details 🙂

– Alfresco is designed as a highly scalable document repository, and can store huge volume of documents, Quickr cannot.
– Alfresco has a very light and robust software infrastructure, which allow to support a lots of concurrent users. Quickr is much more limited.
– From the hardware point of view, Alfresco can run on a very small server, with a few CPU/RAM resources. Quickr relies on a portal application architecture, so it is a quite heavy solution.
– Quickr is primarily a collaboration tool, Alfresco (now with Alfresco Share) also offers collaboration capabilities.

As you can see reasons seem more technical than functional, and that’s true.

If you study the respective DM features of each product, a high level functional analysis might show that these 2 solutions seem to offer the “same” level of service (versioning, security management, checkIn-Out, tagging, etc).

OK, but what if your end-users request (in the middle/long term) more advanced features like workflows/BPM, automated rules, archiving, etc…Then Alfresco will be more adapted.

If you are already using Quickr for document management/collaboration, for a limited number of users, and with a *very* small volume of data (50 GB, 100 GB ?), then you might think that switching to Alfresco does not make sense (due to cost of migration) in the short term…

OK, but I’m almost sure that your volume of document is growing quickly each day…right ?
(Even if it is not the case, just from the infrastructure cost perspective, you should consider Alfresco to reduce your hardware budget…).

So one of the main reason to choose Alfresco is its capacity to manage a huge volume of documents.
Scalability is the key argument. Be sure that, whatever the DM system you will implement in your company, people will very quickly adopt it (just because so far they had no other place to store their data), and the number of documents in your repository will grow faster and faster. Not only documents, but also images, videos, blogs, wiki, etc.
So sooner or later (but most likely sooner that you would expect), you will have to deal with hundreds of gigabyte of data or terabyte of data…and this is clearly not something Quickr is able to support.

Finally, I’m not saying that Quickr is not a good solution. My point of view here is that it is more a portal/collaborative solution, than a DM system.
So IBM Quickr could be an appropriate solution, for collaboration use-cases, portal integration, etc, but not as a document management solution.

Related posts:

Quickr and ECM relationship

Quickr and ECM integration

IBM and Alfresco partnership : Portal, Collaboration and Social Networking


Alfresco Portlet for IBM WebSphere Portal (JSR-286)

October 17, 2010

 

Alfresco document management features now available for IBM WebSphere Portal

 
Alfstore (www.alfstore.com) is proud to announce the release of a new Portlet for Alfresco that has been certified to run on IBM WebSphere Portal, and other JSR-286 Portal containers (as Liferay).

The treeview portlet exposes the content of an Alfresco space in the tree-view way. It provides all in-line editing features for documents and folders.

The user can then easily access to his/her documents, through a portal, using an ajax-style view. Only the common document management operations are exposed, to make the interface as simple as possible:

Actions on documents:
– Create (upload), Update, Delete,
– Edit : user can edit and save a document directly online from the portal (using the CIFS or the WebDAV protocols).

Actions on folders:
– Create, Delete, Refresh, Rename.

An advanced configuration mode allowing flexible appearance and functionality tuning. For example, the CIFS protocol can be disabled, and the user can select a specific space as the “root folder” to start the navigation.

So the “complexity” of the Alfresco standard interface is hidden, and this Portlet can really be used by none advanced users.

The Portlet layout is light and small so it can be integrated on a multi-column page with others portlets.

Technology:
– This Portlet was written for the IBM’s WebSphere Portal first of all (and fully tested on it), but does not use any WebSphere specific functionality, so it can run on others JSR-286 portals.
– The Portlet uses the standard Alfresco Web Service, and is compliant with Alfresco DM v2.x, 3.x.

Support:
– A free (not supported) open source version can be downloaded on Alfresco forge (http://forge.alfresco.com/projects/alftree-portlet/).
– A basic SSO mechanism is provided, so Portlet can be easily tested.
– The Enterprise version will be available shortly (end of Oct. 2010)for Alfresco customers.
– The Enterprise version will be fully supported by Alfstore and will be updated in lock-step with new versions of Alfresco and/or WebSphere Portal.

Enterprise version:
– Along with a professional support, the commercial version will include more advanced features, like:   
– Support for Enterprise SSO solutions (SSO CAS, IBM, Siteminder),
– Search features (search Alfresco documents from Portal),
– Multi-file upload,
– etc.

Learn More:
– Please feel free to contact us (info@alfstore.com) for more information.
– The detailed roadmap of this component will be updated on the Alfresco wiki.
– A webinar will also be presented in the near future.
– Company website : http://www.alfstore.com


Alfresco Share “DocLib” Portlet for Liferay and JSR168 Portal

October 10, 2010

 

Our company (www.alfstore.com) is about to release a new Portlet for the Alfresco Document Management software (next week).

Our new component will especially be tested and supported with IBM WebSphere Portal (and of course Liferay), and will be JSR286 compliant.
The v1.0 open source version will be delivered next week in the Alfresco forge, and the supported (commercial) release is scheduled end of October.

I will describe our Portlet for IBM WPS soon in a next blog post, but before that I would like to present the “Share Portlet” recently published by the Alfresco team: Alfresco Share Portlets for Liferay and JSR-168 Portal

The “Share DocLib Portlet” is already well documented by Alfresco (see all links at the bottom of this article), so I will only give you the main principles:

Functionnaly the purpose of this “DocLib Portlet” is to expose the Share interface into a Portal.
As per the webinar presentation, it seems that almost all the rich document repository browser capabilities of Share have been “portal enabled” so far.

So the Share Portlet is a good choice if you want to fully expose the Share features and look & feel into a portal page (full window view).

Please note that some Share features are not “portal enabled” for the moment, like blog, wiki, etc. Also, as far as I know there is no search feature exposed.

Technically the Alfresco Share Document Library (and surf webscripts) have been “portletized” and can be deployed as a Portlet (.war file) into the Portal runtime.

The Share Portlet is not based on CMIS, but uses the existing Share webscript, because with CMIS it is still not possible to manage advanced feature like versionning, preview, etc (which are exposed in Share UI and in the Share Portlet).

The “DocLib” Portlet will be available for the following Alfresco version:
– Alfresco server components installable against Alfresco Enterprise 3.3.1 (already available).
– Alfresco Community 3.4.x (I think it will be included only in 3.4.c ?).

Initial Supported Stack:
– It will be supported by Alfresco only for Liferay Portal CE & EE 5.2.3 (Others TBD),
– As per the webinar it is not tested on other Portal (like IBM WebSphere), but it seems to mostly works on Weblogic.

SSO:
The current version use use the standard Liferay ability to pass the portal UserID to Alfresco, and a special authenticator on Alfresco side accepts the credential passed by Liferay.

The webinar demo of the DocLib Portlet was really impressive, and the Alfresco team has done a great work ! Hope you will like it (more info below in the Useful links section).

==============================
Useful links:
Alfresco Share Portlets for Liferay and JSR-168 Portal
http://www.alfresco.com/products/integrations/liferay/

Read wiki documentation
http://wiki.alfresco.com/wiki/Portlets

Watch video, Portlet Installation and Configuration
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypw7oCjUPKo&rel=0&hd=1

Webinar recording:
http://www2.alfresco.com/l/1234/2010-09-21/O1ZM3

New Portlet Development Options for Alfresco!
http://blogs.alfresco.com/wp/luissala/2010/02/24/new-portlet-development-options-for-alfresco/


Alfresco Share repository integrated into a portal (Liferay)

June 11, 2010

These 2 screenshots show how Alfresco Share repository view can be integrated into a portal (Liferay):

http://twitpic.com/1vm25b/full

http://twitpic.com/1vm25x/full

It is probably “just” an iFrame Portlet, but I think this gives a good idea of how simply expose the Share document management features into your portal…

Posted by mike hatfield