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Being able to capture, process, access, integrate, measure and store all documents and data in one location is the advantage of an enterprise content management solution. Capture all types of files from any physical location. Automate your process to increase efficiency. Access information quickly and easily from anywhere, anytime. Measure your progress with real time visibility into your document processes. Store all your information securely in one centralized location. If you are new to the industry of transactional enterprise content management, the terminology can be complicated and overwhelming at first.

Get your bearings on ECM with our easy and simple definitions, explanations, and concepts of the most common terms: business process management BPM , capture, document imaging, document management, dynamic case management, records management, software integrations, unstructured content, and workflow automation.

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Enterprise content management

Alfresco collaboration features provide the infrastructure, integration points, and tools required for accessing, sharing, and distributing content among users or [ 17 ] Introduction to Alfresco systems. Built upon industry-standard, open-source platforms, Alfresco helps you to quickly define and develop environments for teams project teams, associations, research, etc. Users can manage and collaborate on documents, web information, and forms within a single system through a consistent user interface.

A comprehensive security model based on individuals, groups, projects, and team spaces provides you with the highest level of control.

The solution leverages the existing infrastructure such as LDAP or Active Directory for authentication and authorization. A web-based rules engine enables business users to define the business and content rules appropriately without the help of programmers and IT staff.

Alfresco supports a graphical tool to define the workflow and business process management for content flow in collaborative environments. Users can discuss the content using discussion forums and discussion threads tied to the content. Users can subscribe to content and receive email notifications when content is added or updated. The solution supports both inbound and outbound RSS syndication to share content both inside and outside corporate firewalls.

by Cameron, Stephen

This enables bulk transfer of files between your local system and the central server repository. Users can use their favorite editors to edit the content that is mapped in the local network drive.

Build a foundation for successful business transformation

Knowledge Management KM refers to a range of practices used by organizations to identify, create, represent, and distribute knowledge for reuse, awareness, and learning across the organization. Search helps to locate information quickly, generate business reports, and helps to make business decisions. The following features of Alfresco will provide you an enterprise search solution. Going through these case studies will help you understand the type of applications you could develop using Alfresco. The current release of Alfresco is 1.

The Alfresco system will constantly evolve towards a broad-scoped Enterprise Content Management system. More Feature Enhancements It is planned to have Alfresco 2. Fullfeatured web content management is the key focus area for this release. Along with versioning, the web content management will provide additional features such as content publishing, virtualization and in-context preview, workflow, dependency management, and content deployment.

Content federation and federated search is going to be supported in this release. The web client user interface will be redesigned using AJAX to significantly enhance the browsing, searching, and contribution process through the web client. Records management capabilities will be enhanced to get DoD There has been so much interest from international organizations, governments, and multi-national corporations that translation seems a natural extension of the Alfresco model.

More languages will be supported out of the box. This release will provide publishing and multi-channel solutions against the Alfresco repository. The lifecycle aspect will be an additional feature. The lifecycle aspect can be attached to any object to provide lifecycle control of that object.

The lifecycle aspect will keep track of state and use the actions capability to provide alerts and manage workflows and location of the object. Better Support Options Alfresco comes with multiple support options. Firstly, it is supported by the company Alfresco, which gives users direct access to the Alfresco's engineering team and most recent bug fixes. This is currently the best way to get high-quality support for the Alfresco software.

However, as more and more people adopt the software, the options for quality support beyond Alfresco, the company, will improve.


With a growing community, you can always get help through Alfresco community forums, though the quality of support can vary. This support is provided to the company's customers using the Enterprise product. It includes direct access to the engineers who write the Alfresco code, the up-to-date bug fixes, configuration assistance, and a range of other services.

Free Upgrades For every new release, you will get free upgraded software. You might have to take care of your specific customization to upgrade to a later version of the software. It is important to follow best practices while implementing Alfresco, so that upgrades are easier and less expensive to handle. Implementing an Example Solution Using Alfresco Subsequent chapters of the book contain an extended example to help you implement your requirements using Alfresco.

The example is an attempt to solve similar content management problems to those that you would encounter in a typical enterprise. The example is something you can relate to. You see in the fictional example that decisions are made for particular reasons, and can contrast those reasons and thus the decisions with your own situation. Where do You get More Information? You can find the latest news and events, various training programs offered worldwide, presentations, demonstrations, and hosted trials.

Summary Alfresco is the leading open-source alternative for Enterprise Content Management. The open-source model allows Alfresco to use best-of-breed open-source technologies and contributions from the open-source community to get higher quality software produced more quickly at much lower cost. Alfresco provides key features for a scalable, robust, and secure Content Management System to deliver trusted and relevant content to your customers, suppliers, and employees.

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The simple out of the box installation is quite straightforward with preconfigured options that are aimed at having a complete, working content management system in no time. This chapter provides you with a basic understanding of Alfresco architecture, various installation options, and the key terminologies used. By the end of this chapter you will be well equipped with the information to make a choice on the suitable operating system, database, application server, and other software required for your installation.

This chapter is essential reading for anyone not already familiar with Alfresco. This will help you to make good decisions in selecting the suitable software for your business application. Installing and Getting Started with Alfresco Out-of-the-Box Installation Architecture The out-of-the-box deployment of Alfresco is a typical web application architecture consisting of client, application server, and storage layers as shown in the next figure.

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While the client layer is implemented as a web browser on the user's machine, the application server hosts the Alfresco application providing the presentation and domain logic. The storage layer stores the data in a relational database and file system. The layered architecture of Alfresco provides the benefits of an easily manageable, flexible, and highly scalable content management solution. Where is Your Content Stored? There is a reason for using both database and file system as content storage.

Any content within Alfresco consists of two elements, the content itself and information about the content metadata. The actual content and its related versions are stored as binary files in the file system. Storing content on a file system has its own advantages.