IBM and Alfresco partnership : Portal, Collaboration and Social Networking

January 14, 2010

IBM and Alfresco started to work together to provide integration solutions between their respective products.

I do not have more technical details for the moment, but this has been just announced and will be soon at Lotusphere (January 17-21).

As far as I know, the approach is to use the Alfresco DM capabilities to manage the persistency of data created
through IBM UI (Lotus Quickr, Lotus Notes, Lotus Connections and WebSphere Portal). So web UI is provided by IBM software (like Quickr), primary meta-data are stored in IBM layer also, and the document binaries are stored in Alfresco repository. Integration is achieved through REST protocol.

This integration will be available in the spring of 2010.

I think this is a very good opportunity for Alfresco, to be part of such a strong Portal, Collaboration and SN (social networking) set of solutions.

This is also a good news for IBM/Alfresco customers (as we are) because they can leverage their software investments and get the benefits of both world:
– IBM Lotus has a very complete offer in term of “2.0” softwares (Websphere Portal, Lotus Quickr for collab., Connections for SN), but none of these solutions really provide a very highly scalable data repository (as Alfresco do) to store terabyte of documents.
– On the other side, Alfresco is still a young product and is not able (yet) to address SN or portal features. Its web UI are still quite basic, but its core repository is designed to scale up to more than 100 million documents.

I don’t know if IBM also plan to integrate Alfresco with their Portal WCM solution (IBM Lotus Web Content Management)…but this will be a good idea…

As John Newton said at Lotusphere:
“I think the combination of Lotus and Alfresco provides a real SharePoint killer as well. With the combination of the two, there’s nothing that Sharepoint can do that we can’t.”
“It’s an opportunity for IBM as well to have a set of capabilities where Filenet might be too large or complex for a customer”, he added.

Another well known SN competitor is Jive editor. A tighter collaboration between Alfresco and Jive would surely make sense….No doubt that Alfresco is already working on this…

For more info about Alfresco/IBM integration:
Alfresco Content Services for IBM Lotus

Alfresco ECM gilds IBM’s Lotus suite

Alfresco Enterprise CMS Cozies Up With IBM Lotus

Also, if you are interested about integration of Quickr IBM product with other ECM vendors, this is something I have already discussed on my other (portal) blog:

Quickr and ECM relationship

Quickr and ECM integration

Alfresco DM and Share web client roadmap

October 25, 2009

Last week we had a conf-call with Mike Farman (Alfresco Product Manager) and we got some infos about the web client roadmap:

– First we have mentionned our need for a more user-friendly web UI (better than the JSF client)…
– We told that the new Share UI is a good improvement ; however the problem is that document uploaded through Share are managed in a “Site” structure in Alfresco DM, which is not the expected design (we would like to manage a standard DM structure). Also, Share is not aligned with DM in term of capabilities…
– Mike told us that the current client (JSF based) will still continue to be supported in the long term (no “retirement plan” for this client, still minor enhancement and bug fix supported).

– Also Mike told that:
– In the “middle term” (starting v3.3 to v4.0):
    – Alfresco plan is to implement more and more core DM client capabilities into Share.
    – The target is to fully align Share capabilities with DM client capabilities.
    – Features that are currently under “migration” are advanced worklfow, actions, etc.
    – We have mentionned that our biggest priority is to align security management (role, user-group) between DM and Share.
– Long term roadmap (v4.0 or higher ? ; early 2011 ; very rough estimate ; no commitment on this deliver date can be done for the moment):
    – Alfresco has a plan to deliver a “Share like UI” on top of DM repository.
    – This new UI will be a “Repository view” (currently Share provide a “Site view”).
    – So the DM structure will remain unchanged (like “Company Home/MyRootSpace/MyChildSpace),
    – The internal name for this project “repository doc lib”.
    – This seems to be exactly what we are looking for….but once again : v4.0 or higher ; early 2011 ? ; no commitment on this deliver date….
– Custom web UI implementation:
    – If customer is willing to implement a custom web UI, recommendation is clearly to use SURF and webscripts.
    – SURF and webscripts are the target for any web UI (used for Share), and will continue to be supported.