Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Alfresco WCM article on Packt website

A nice article about Alfresco's WCM features is at:

Alfresco 2.1 (the new release) includes many enhancements to Web Content Management module.
Alfresco Enterprise CMS Implementation on First Alfresco book, worldwide service, 10% discount.

Alfresco Book Review by EMC Documentum expert

Pawan Kumar, Principal @ doQuent, and the author of "Documentum Content Management Foundations: EMC Proven Professional Certification Exam E20-120 Study Guide" has done a review of Alfresco Book.

Summary of the Review:

This book is definitely a must-have for anyone implementing a solution using Alfresco. It is a handy reference for performing various tasks on the Alfresco platform. If you are new to content management in general then you may need additional resources to make effective use of the information available in this book.

I liked the changes he had suggested in his review. I will follow them in the next update.

Read the complete review at:

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

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Alfresco Case Study - Presto

Presto's unique digital delivery system is a combination of Presto Service and the HP Printing Mailbox. It allows users to receive email, photos, and newsletters from a variety of well-known publishers without the need for a computer or an Internet connection.

CIGNEX Created a Flexible, Easy-to-Use Content Management System to power newsletters for Presto's printing mailbox service. The Presto CMS is developed on top of Alfresco, an Open Source enterprise content management platform. The architecture supports high availability, high performance, and replication support across multiple servers.

Read the case study at

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

Monday, March 19, 2007

Learn, Customize and Use Alfresco ECM in 60 minutes

It’s happening! The Open Source Content Management System (OSCMS) Summit is being sponsored by Yahoo! The OSCMS summit takes place on March 22nd and 23rd in Yahoo Campus in Sunnyvale, California.

As an Author of the book Alfresco Enterprise Content Management Implementation, I am presenting a 60 minute packed session covering the complete cycle of planning, implementing and customizing your ECM installation. My colleague at CIGNEX, Harish Ramachandran is helping me out with the live Demo.

Our presentation is on this Thursday (March 22nd, 2007) from 1:45pm to 2:45pm.

Alfresco offers true Open Source Enterprise Content Management (ECM) - Document Management, Collaboration, Records Management, Knowledge Management, Web Content Management and Imaging. Unlike most other open source CMS which offer only the web content management, Alfresco provides a wide range of solutions to Enterprise customers with an impressive roadmap.

The topics which are going to be covered are:

  • Working with users and membership accounts
  • Using Alfresco as a Smart document repository; working with automatic version tracking and control, and accessing the repository from the Web, shared network folders, or CIFS
  • Making content easy to find using search, content categorization, and metadata
  • Automating document management tasks with business rules and complete workflows
  • Working together using Alfresco’s collaboration and syndication features to create effective working groups
  • Customizing the user interface, creating your own dashboard layouts; presenting content in custom ways relevant to your business
  • Implementing Imaging and Forms Processing

With real-life examples from CIGNEX project implementations.
If you are attending the conference, hope to see you in the conference.

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

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Alfresco Book Code Download

If you have already purchased the Alfresco Book, please check if you have downloaded the code samples and files from the Book's download page.

There are about 60+ hands on exercises illustrated in the book and it is going to more convenient for you if you have access to the sample code and the example files.

The entire code bundle with sample files is a 6.5 MB ZIP file. It contains two folders:

1. chapter_downloads
2. full_downloads_alf14

1. chapter_downloads

Contains various sample scripts, images and content files are used in each chapter of the Alfresco Book. In some of the chapters you will also find information to edit various configuration files. The "chapter_downloads" folder contains sub-folders for individual chapters containing all the required files. Read the individual README.txt file present in each sub-folder to get more details.

2. full_downloads_alf14

This folder contains all the files required to bring up the complete DEMO site as per the Alfresco Book. Read "README.txt" file in this folder for more details. The demo files present in this folder are applicable ONLY to Alfresco 1.4 Release.

Hope you enjoy the samples provided in the book.

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

Monday, February 12, 2007

JavaRanch Promotion Winners

We recently had "Alfresco Book" promotion week in JavaRanch website (Feb 6 - 9, 2007).

JavaRanch is a friendly place for Java greenhorns. This is the place where all the JavaRanchers go to replenish their inventory, and learn a few new tricks. Not only are there all the answers to frequently asked questions, but also further links to WhereYouCanGetStuff you don't find here. There is also a list of JavaEvents, and JavaRanchInTheNews, they put the newspaper cutouts on the wall.

I really enjoyed answering to questions related to Alfresco technology in the Forum. At the end of the week there were 4 winners who received free copies of the recently published Alfresco Book.

If you are a serious Java Developer, I recommend you to visit this cool website.

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

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

How flexible is Alfresco workflow?

Alfresco includes two types of workflows out of the box. One is the Simple Workflow which is content-oriented and the other one is the Advanced Workflow which is task-oriented.

The simple workflow features of Alfresco enables you to define a simple approve- reject workflow for your documents. The email templates and notification business rules are helpful to notify all the concerned people involved in the workflow process. You can also implement complex workflows by chaining the spaces with multiple approve and reject steps.

The complex task-oriented workflow requirements can be handled by Advanced Workflow features. You can create a task, attach multiple documents and send it to multiple people for review. Using the dashboard views, you can view all the tasks assigned to you and all the tasks you have assigned to others. You can track the tasks to closure using the web client user interface.

There is a dedicated Chapter in the book titled "Chapter 9. Workflow", which explains you the concepts such as :

· Enable simple workflow on documents
· Create email templates and set email notifications
· Extend workflow with multiple approval steps
· Implement a complex workflow scenario for digital asset management
· Start an advanced workflow from the list of predefined workflows
· Assign priority, due date, reviewer, and documents to the workflow
· Take ownership of a task
· Reassign a task
· Change the workflow state
· List tasks assigned to you and tasks completed by you
· Cancel or abort the workflows you have started
· Create your own custom advanced workflow

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

Selecting a CMS is very important for the upcoming websites

Some one asked me a question in JavaRanch about Alfresco, whether it is a good choice for upcoming websites (starting small and grow over a period of time).

Alfresco is for upcoming web sites as well. For all the websites which are going to evolve over a period of time, you should seriously consider the following things:

1> How easy it is to scale the functionality?

2> How simple, cheaper and seamless it is to upgrade to newer versions of the software?

3> Does it provide a strong and impressive roadmap for the CMS product so that you can leverage the features as and when available?

4> Can you get enough SUPPORT (help) when required?

Alfresco scores 100% in all above aspects.

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

Monday, February 05, 2007

ECM implementation fails due to lack of planning

Kshipra Singh of Packt publishing asked me the following question about my recent book Alfresco Enterprise CMS Implementation,

In Chapter 3: Planning, you talk about Follow Best Practices to implement a project using open-source software. Give us a sneak preview about it.

Most of the Enterprise Content Management projects fail not because of technology, but because of lack of proper planning.

Planning is the most critical phase of any implementation project. During this phase, most of the decisions are made to customize specific features in a particular way. You define the security framework, custom-content types, folder structure, categories, workflow, reporting, business rules, and collaboration. During planning phase, you will scope your implementation, prioritize the requirements, and finalize the project plan. This chapter provides you information required for your planning exercise before implementing your system using Alfresco.

Click here to read the complete interview.

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

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Open Source Imaging Solution

You can extend the value of your ECM investment by implementing imaging and automated forms processing solutions, as per your organizational requirements. Increasingly, electronic document images have the same legal status as a paper document.

Alfresco integrates with various image capturing systems to provide flexible and intelligent form processing. This results in greater control and management of crucial information and documents, within and outside the firewall. These joint solutions enable you to include forms and the captured data as content types that can be version controlled, repurposed, and integrated into workflows, and managed by the ECM environment. This simplifies compliance with enhanced archiving, and audit capabilities. You can also reduce costs of printing, storing, and distributing paper forms.

You can implement various solutions by leveraging the Alfresco's content management and business process management features. Some are listed below for your reference:

  • Order fulfillment
  • Claims processing
  • Underwriting
  • Loan origination
  • Contracts management
  • Accounts payable managing checks and invoices

More information about the solution is covered in Chapter 13, Implementing Imaging and Forms processing of the recent Alfresco book.

This chapter helps you to implement an end-to-end solution by collecting the paper documents, and forms; transforming them into accurate, retrievable information; and delivered into an organization's business applications. The information then, is full-text searchable, and goes through the various approval workflows, based on the organization's defined business process management.

By the end of this chapter you will have learned how to:

  • Connect scanner to network drive, and map it to the Alfresco's space
  • Specify a business rule to automatically extract metadata from the scanned document
  • Define and execute a workflow process for scanned documents
  • Bulk upload scanned documents into the Alfresco repository
  • Integrate OCR utilities into Alfresco
  • Integrate and use Kofax Ascent Capture
  • Integrate Alfresco with eCopy-enabled scanners

It is nice to know that we have an open source based, Enterprise Quality, Feature Rich and Highly Scalable imaging solution available at cheaper price.

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

Monday, January 15, 2007

Alfresco Top Brass on UK National Radio

John Powell and John Newton, the founders of Alfresco, discussed open source in general -- and their project in particular -- on BBC's Radio 4 yesterday evening.


Peter Day talks to some of the rising stars of the new revolution and finds out how the computer industry is changing yet again.

The world’s biggest computer companies are being threatened by a host of new start-ups powered by open-source software, strings of inexpensive computers,and ‘mash-up’ websites which combine information in innovative ways.

Other projects discussed: Zimbra, Platial, Open-Xchange, ActiveGrid.

You can read more about the program, and listen to it (until Thursday) on the BBC web site here.

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

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

3 Ways for Alfresco ECM and BPM to work together

Ishmael Ghalimi at IT|Redux posts about methods for integrating ECM systems with BPM systems, and cites three main ways in which they can usefully work together.

1. Use the CMS features to manage document life cycles that form part of process instances. You could manage document lifecycle in the BPMS, but a CMS will be simpler, more elegant, more flexible.

2. Use a CMS to store the process model artifacts. Programmers might say CVS is better, but for the business managers who see these artifacts as documents and want them treated as such (and pay the bills), a CMS is better.

3. Use a BPMS process design tool to take care of advanced processes involving CMS documents.

Ishmael cites Intalio as already working on the first two with Alfresco, but doesn't mention the 3rd. Perhaps Alfresco's built in workflow tools already negate number 3!


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

Book Out Now! Alfresco Enterprise Content Management Implementation

The very first copy of Alfresco Enterprise Content Management Implementation arrived in the Packt office yesterday. We are now shipping copies to everybody who pre-ordered.

From now on, orders will be shipped within a day or two of being placed. So buy your copy now.

There is also a PDF ebook version available, which is cheaper and available for download immediately after ordering.

Buy on worldwide service, 10% discount.

Here are some blurry pictures of me holding the proof copy.