Alfresco is a brilliant Open Source Enterprise Content Management System, available in two major forms : an Enterprise Edition and a Community Edition. These editions have basically the same features, but Enterprise edition has some additional ones, is easier to manage and to configure, thanks to numerous entreprise exclusive tools. Beside of that, Alfresco Enterprise also offers a lot more flexibility regarding large deployments because of the clustering feature, unavailable in the Community Edition. Enterprise edition is also supported by Alfresco, whereas the free edition is community supported via forums, irc and blogs.
But lets stop talking about Alfresco Enterprise and focus on Alfresco Community, wich is the main purpose of this Blog. Eventhow i mentionned some big gaps between the two editions, Alfresco Community remains an outstanding, powerful and very solid product. We could not say the same for a lot of softwares community releases, wich are often more a demo rather than a usable product. Alfresco Community is the exact contrary. It certainly needs a lot of efforts and skills to configure it and to make it run properly, but it is absolutely reliable for production purposes.
Alfresco (the company) made some recent efforts to set up proper and easy to use developement tools and came up with the latest releases of the Alfresco Maven SDK 2.0 and 2.1. Mavenized Alfresco archetypes are a great way to quickly set up alfresco development projects. The product documentation kept growing better and better in quality and there are now a lot of ressources available if you want to dive deeper into Alfresco.
The Community is very active and there are new initiatives every day. I recently discovered an organization named “The Order Of the Bee“, an association of persons working for Alfresco, for Alfresco partners or simply active and famous members of the Community. The goal of this organization is to make sure that Alfresco Community remains a free to use and to distribute software. They also released they’re own fork of the project : Alfresco Community Honeycomb Edition, wich installation is puppet-scripted and shipped with some of the best free addons. It’s very interesting, regarding the fact that major IT companies make so much money those days, to see this kind of community Lobbies emerging to protect the rights of community end users and community developpers and administrators.
I could talk about Alfresco Community for hours, there is so much to say i guess. I’ll try in this blog to bring interesting news and info i find on Alfresco and to share some tutorials and tweeks i have gone through. I hope this modest work will help some people to discover this awesome content management system.