January 20, 2009 – Alfresco
Alfresco is an open source enterprise content management system and development framework. It was started in 2005 by a team of senior developers from Documentum and rapidly gained adoption, with over 1.5 million downloads in the last few years and tens of thousands of companies using the system. Since the initial release focusing on Document Management, other components have been added focusing on Records Management, Web Content Management and Collaborations. One of the secrets of this rapid innovation is use and reuse of other open source frameworks, such as Apache Lucene, Spring Framework, Hibernate, EHCache, Yahoo UI Ajax Toolkit, MyFaces, JBoss JBPM, OpenOffice, Freemarker, TinyMCE, and many others. Alfresco features a modern modular architecture based on modular services.
In this talk, we will take a look at the capabilities Alfresco provides, and more importantly go through the technical architecture to understand how an enterprise scale system can be developed fairly rapidly if you have a good set of foundational capabilities you can draw upon with open source. We will trace the different open source frameworks that enable some of the key capabilities, such as Lucene for search, JBPM for workflow, Openoffice for advance document transformations, etc. In addition to the out of the box capabilities Alfresco provides, many developers use it as a building block for their own custom content-oriented solutions, thus using it as an abstraction in what we call “Content As a Service” Scenario. In that use case, they expose the capabilities they care about through a lightweight layer of RESTful interface, which frees them to integrate any technology they want, including .NET, PHP, Ruby in addition to Java.
Outside of Alfresco, will also review some other relevant projects for working with content, such as Apache Tika, and a few Apache SubProjects, such as Apache Nutch, that allow searching content.
Jean Barmash is the Director of Technical Services at Alfresco Software, the Open Source Enterprise Content Management Company. His responsibilities include architecture and hands-on development of content centric solutions, training, and working with open source and Alfresco partner community. Jean brings a wealth of experience in different areas of technology creation. Most recently, he worked as Sr. Consultant and Trainer at several Wall Street Firms. Well-versed in both .NET and Java, he is interested in the innovation going on in Web 2.0 and bringing it into the Enterprise. He is a frequent speaker on technology and architecture topics at user groups and industry conferences.