Friday, June 08, 2012

Easy Configurations from Alfresco Share book

Many of the readers are wondering that if book is for Business users why there is a chapter of "Configuring Share". Indeed this is included to make users feel how easy it is to customize Share and technical expertise is not required for customizations. Even Non-Technical user can make some of essential configurations and can be benefitted by customizing Share on their own. Exposure of XML is required to get most out of this chapter. Alfresco Share can be easily configured and customized. You can configure various aspects of Alfresco share application like creating custom content, managing more aspects, editing metadata, customizing forms, configuring workflows, working on Share documents through Google Docs , managing number of actions on Document Library, defining new status indicators for the document ,configuring separate Alfresco share server for quicker restart etc. All such configurations can be found in chapter 'Configuring Share' of the book.
The default value for share configuration properties are defined in share-config.xml located at <install-application> | tomcat | webapps | share | WEB-INF | classes | alfresco. But the custom configuration files should be provided as extension and can be placed inside <install-application> | <tomcat> | shared | classes |alfresco | web-extension folder. The entire configuration related details could be added/modified in share-config-custom.xml.There is already share-config-custom.xml.sample file is placed in the web-extension folder ,which can be considered for reference and can prove advantageous for the customizations.
Through this article, you will learn how you can configure custom properties:
Rename the file 'share-config-custom.xml.sample' by removing the '.sample' from the extension. We have used the case study of a marketing site throughout the book. This case study is the basis of various concepts. The marketing site stores all sort of marketing materials like brochure, presentation, banners etc. in the Alfresco repository. For e.g while creating different banners for a site you want to store custom properties like color of banner , border or positioning of each banner .
Follow simple steps to create Banner with custom Properties:
  1. Create and register Content Model in Alfresco repository that defines properties of Banner.
  2. Configure Share to add banner and its properties by adding small code snippet in share-config-custom.xml.
  3. Refresh the changes by hitting the URL http://<server-name>/share/service/index and clicking "Refresh Web Scripts" Button
The details about the steps can be finding in "Configuring
Share" chapter. This is just one example of Share Configuration of various business needs. You will find many such examples in the book.





Thursday, June 07, 2012

Alfresco Share on PacktPub ,A new book, worldwide service, 10% discount.

Workflows in Alfresco Share

For any Business or Organization, the most important aspect is following a set of activities performed by relevant roles to achieve common business goal. These activities can be categorized into Business Process. Automation of these processes would help in managing business effectively and timely.  This need can be achieved through one of the prominent feature of Alfresco called as Workflow.
In this article you will learn about various workflow capabilities including start workflow, view task details , view workflow details , reassign task , save and close  and filtering of task.

New Inbox Dashlet

When you logged in, the first thing that is displayed is User dashboard. The dashboard is user configurable that contains many dashlet. If you don’t find My Tasks Dashlet, you can add dashlet using Customize Dashboard. In the below screen you may notice the new task listed in the My Tasks window. You can filter tasks on the basis of high priority, due tasks, overdue tasks, pooled tasks, assigned tasks. Additionally you can start workflow from this dashlet, can view details of task and can edit task.

You can also click on All Tasks to look in a more detailed page. In the below screen you may notice additional filters for Due date like filter on the basis of today, tomorrow, Next 7 Days, No date. You can also view workflow detail for a particular task.

View Workflow Detail Page

When you click on workflow details link, you can get information about the all tasks associated with that instance, you will know history of tasks, who all are reviewers for this document, what is the approval percentage, previous review comments, and most recently completed task. Additionally, you can edit task from here as well.

Reassign Task

For various business reasons you can reassign the task by clicking the Reassign Task button as shown below. Once you click the Reassign Task button, you will see the Reassign Task window as shown below. You can search for the users and reassign the task to an appropriate user.

Save And Close

At times it becomes important to save the changes as you may not have time or with any other reason you are not able to  complete information in one go. In this case you can save the changes of the workflow by clicking the Save And Close button. Next time when you open task details page you will find your changes. Suppose you don’t want to work on task at present, you can cancel the task by clicking the Cancel button. These two buttons are available in Task detail page.

Workflow Information in the Document Details Page

For a specific document in your space, you can find out the workflow details by clicking the document itself. You will be able to view Details page of the document.
The document's details page list down metadata, actions, version history, permissions and workflow details as shown below. If you click on those links, you will find workflow details associated with this document for your reference.


In this article, you have learned how to:  
  • How to start workflow and view task details
  • View Workflow Detail Page
  • Reassign Task
  • View workflow information from Document Detail Page
  • Use of Save and Close , Cancel button.

New Book "Alfresco Share" for Collaboration

For a while now, we have been hearing a lot about collaboration in Enterprise space. We speak day in and day out to our customers who have recognized the need to have a tool for use within the organization for better and efficient collaboration. The fundamental concept behind collaboration is that groups can achieve more than individuals. Collaboration allows individuals with complementary areas of expertise to create better results faster than before.

Alfresco Share has since evolved and has become a competent tool for collaboration functions within an enterprise. The impressive road map which Alfresco provides promises an exciting possibility it is created using completely open standards. Share is focused on Collaboration tasks and includes integration with popular Blogging, Wiki, and Forum/Discussion products out of the box.  It provides great interface into more traditional document management library With Share, users modify work spaces to fit their collaborative requirements inside or outside the organization. Peers can be invited to share and collaborate around the project and its content. Share offers users, developers and administrators a list of features. The simple and intuitive dashboard of Alfresco Share gives the users a bird’s eye view of what to expect. Site activities, site and user profile, calendars, RSS feeds etc. are available to the users.

This book is a beginners  guide and explain how   Alfresco Share is useful for collaboration. .Reading a book will help you in taking various strategic decisions for the Business.It also explains how  Share can be customized according to Business need  through  configurations and provides user an idea  of  how Alfresco Share is built  using Spring Surf Framework.Using this book one can learn features of Alfresco Share and a way to customize Alfresco Share easily. This book is must for   readers who want to explore Alfresco Share capabilities and also act as  base for performing heavy customization in Alfresco Share.

 This book will take you to following features:

  • Understanding the architecture of Share will help in extending and configuring Share. You will learn about how content is stored in Alfresco repository and is fetch using Web Scripts.
  • Managing Users and Groups through Alfresco Share.  Implementing and Understanding the underlying framework behind the Alfresco security model. The Alfresco security model is flexible and allows you to choose either its built-in security or an external security model defined by your organization, by using systems such as LDAP and Active Directory.
  • Site in a Share is a way to collaborate within the team or specific project or some tasks. Learn about managing and configuring site will help you set up environment similar to various teams working in various project and collaborating within each other.
  • Understanding of collaboration tools that come as a  standard built-in capabilities of Alfresco Share like wikis, blogs, data list entries, manage calendar, link and discussion.
  • Managing content through Document Library is possible. How Documents are stored in a hierarchical folder structure and can be versioned and associated with metadata.  Users are able to comment on and apply tags to documents to categorize and organize them.
  • Implementing workflows for simple approval process or a complex business process management. Also, Business rules can be applied to documents within the document library to automate the movement of documents through business processes.
  • You will learn how various components of Share that can be configured and various deployment approaches to be used for customization.


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Congratulations to JavaRanch Alfresco3 ECM Book Winners

This week, all the authors of the book (Munwar Shariff, Vinita Choudhary, Amita Bhandari, and Pallika Majumdar) were on JavaRanch to promote the book "Alfresco 3 Enterprise Content Management".

This promotion was held in the EJB and other JEE Technologies forum which can be found here:
The winners who received a free copy of the book are:
Jessica Sant (21685)
Paras Jain (93558)
Navin Porwal (213234)
Alaa Nassef (164104)

Congratulations to the winners.
More details can be found at:
Alfresco 3 ECM Implementation on A new book, worldwide service, 10% discount.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A New Book on Alfresco 3 Share is released

Packt and CIGNEX are pleased to announce a new book that guides readers to customize, use, and administer websites using the Alfresco CMS platform. Written by a team of four Content Management experts from CIGNEX, Alfresco 3 Enterprise Content Management Implementation gives users a clear understanding about how to integrate external applications such as Liferay Portal, Adobe Flex, iPhone, iGoogle, and Facebook to meet their Content Management needs.

Alfresco is one of the most popular Java-based Content Management System. Alfresco 3 is its upgraded version which includes Alfresco Surf, a new N-Tier Architecture, which delivers scalability and accommodates more users on existing hardware resources. Alfresco 3 offers true Enterprise Content Management (ECM) by providing an Open Source alternative to Microsoft SharePoint, Documentum, and Interwoven.

This book guides users through creating smart, collaborative content repositories and shows how to use Alfresco 3 to create more elegant document sharing, better collaborative working, and reliable automated workflow processes. The book explains how administrators can set up Alfresco 3 for multiple business units as a single-instance multi-tenant environment.

Readers will learn to work and co-ordinate with membership accounts, including LDAP integration and single sign-on. Using Alfresco 3, readers will be able to automate version tracking and share network folders. They will also be able to manage business documents with version control, library services, content organization, and advanced search. Though this book is not a developer guide, various examples in the book will help developers to extend Alfresco functionality and to integrate Alfresco with external systems.

This book is designed for system administrators, experienced users, and business owners who want to install and use Alfresco in their teams or businesses. It assumes a degree of technical confidence and does not require specialist system administration or developer skills to get a basic system up and running. This book is out now and available from Packt. For more information, please visit: book website.

Alfresco 3 ECM Implementation on A new book, worldwide service, 10% discount.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

It's time to UPDATE the Alfresco ECM Book

For the past 25 months (since the first version of this book is released), the open source content management software has entered into mainstream business.

The adoption of Alfresco has grown exponentially with over 1.5 million downloads of the software, with over 50,000 live sites and with over 150 applications in Alfresco Forge to download.

The book was written for the version 1.4 and since then the software is upgraded many times. The Alfresco product is matured and improved with lots of new and exciting features. The current version 3.0.1 and the upcoming version 3.1 offer new concepts which are very significant to the end users.

I think it is a high time to upgrade this book.

We (at CIGNEX) implemented Alfresco at many large enterprises such as Activision, Sesame Street, Medco, Electronic Arts and Cross Country Healthcare. Some of these Alfresco deployments serve over 10 TB of data to millions of users in a clustered and high-availability environment. We have integrated many 3rd party applications with Alfresco.

Documenting our experience & expertise on Alfresco implementations will be a great value addition to the book.

We will provide updates about the upcoming book...VERY SOON.

Alfresco Enterprise CMS Implementation on First Alfresco book, worldwide service, 10% discount.