I have been working with WCM & ECM for over 7 years. Designing and developing solutions for my customers. I have worked with customer of all sizes from large corporate and fortune 100 companies, to Federal Agencies, and smaller companies. This blog will be dedicated to helping others in the CMS industry find solutions that are sometimes outside the box. Having worked for a large ECM vendor for several years it has been nice to not be as restricted in the solutions that I provide.

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Saturday, June 30, 2007

Alfresco 2.1 (Community 10 minute review)

I would like to think that I am so good that 10 minutes is all I need to tell if something is good or not, but to be honest this 10 minute review will take a little longer. I'm starting with a fairly clean Fedora 7 Install.
The download of the Alfresco-Community Linux install version is still going, so another 5 minutes and I will be able to get started. I will not deduct this from my 10 minutes.

While the download is finishing let me say that I have been looking forward to this release for a while. I believe this will be a release that will either set Alfresco ahead of the competition, or it will be one that just misses the mark. It's bad to think that it could be one or the other, but to be honest think it could. I have liked where Alfresco is, and appears to be going, but coming from a software vendor before I realize that it's often difficult to please everyone.

Some of the newer features of Alfresco that I'm looking forward to are:
  • Web Scripts
  • Search for WCM
  • Content Launch and Expiration
I should state that I primarily work on the WCM side, so there are lots of other features that you should check out for both WCM, and ECM: http://wiki.alfresco.com/wiki/Release_2.1

Ok the download has finished... It is now 10:56 pm let's see what happens, ok my boss IM'ed me for something. Ok I am back. It's now 11:15 pm... so restarting the clock.

I will include some screen shots of the install:

Now let's do the WCM Install...

Ok, now to read the Readme for mysql... I dislike reading and would rather just turn it on, but sometimes you need to read the instructions. There is a configuration for changing the Database to mysql.

- custom-repository.properties

I did not have to touch this file, but it's in the readme so check on yours:
- custom-hibernate-dialect.properties

Let's start it up:

Let's try it out now... it's been more than 10 min... i can blame it on the snapshots, so let's assume the above would have taken 5 min, without the screen shots... In reality it's 11:30 now.

So far so good, now issues with the startup:

Creating a test project:

The rest of the wizard looks like normal. Doing a bulk upload to get me started...

My Alfresco with the WebForm Web Script. I do like this. It shows you the forms (if I had any) and the modified files.

Preview opens the code view... I don't like that. Would be nice to see the world icon and do a real preview, but perhaps this is something I will try to do later on...

File submission, and notice the content launch and expiration. These features will be very nice.

Web Script of Tasks. I like this one, but again it needs the preview link. If you click preview here it shows the source code. It would be nice to show a real preview. You can click manage task
and see the preview which is nice.

The manage task window also displays the launch date.

Displays as pending submission. Which is nice as well.

In conclusion... I like what I see so far and like the direction. On search I am a little confused. It says "Search: Provides asynchronous indexing of the latest Staging snapshot to support search in web apps being built and managed in Alfresco. Designed for easy use within web scripts so that deployed web pages can quickly generate lists of items published via Alfresco." in the release notes. I was under the impression that Open Search would also be able to search the content in a Web Project. This is something that is critical to general users. Most of my users if they have a search box in the U.I. they are going to wonder why their content does not show up, and then you have to say oh it will, just not yet. So hopefully I am wrong and this is something that can be turned on or a simple web script developed. Either way I'll have to look into it.

More later...


P.S. My 10 minute review turned into an hour...