Category: Document Management

Morpheus Drive – A Simple File Sharing UI for Alfresco that Solves the Dropbox Problem

Posted by on July 18, 2013

We all know that file sharing is necessary and much sought after by those in both the consumer and enterprise spaces. In fact, file sharing has become ubiquitous, meaning the ability to share files with anyone and anywhere with the availability of an internet connection, without the need to be inside a private network.

There are many reasons why people love ubiquitous file sharing. For one, it’s extremely user friendly and promotes high productivity – people aren’t wasting time trying to figure out how to use foreign tools. Good software is simple and doesn’t require much training, if any at all.

More importantly, what knowledge workers truly appreciate about these tools is the sense of freedom they get – the freedom to share files. Most people have probably experienced some common difficulties with file sharing in the workplace – from large file sizes, to file type restrictions, to inconveniences created by traditional file sharing methods (email, ftp, etc.) due to security policies in place that prevents document sharing outside the firewall.

The Dropbox Problem

As a result, users have turned to, and have become big fans of, tools like Dropbox, which give them the sense of file sharing freedom they desire. However, when presented in front of an organization’s legal counsel or CIO, these tools will often encounter resistance, fear, and ultimately rejection.

What’s so scary about tools like Dropbox? Here are two important reasons to consider:

  • Legal Issues – When you put your content up on a public infrastructure, you don’t really know where your data physically resides. This becomes an issue if you’re under contractual obligations or NDAs that disallow this.
  • Access Control Issues – What happens when an employee leaves a company and the content he/she uploaded is sitting out there? Or even worse, if that employee leaves under less than ideal circumstances, the problem is magnified because you don’t know what they could potentially do with the content. In the worst case scenario, those documents could be assets that affect your bottom line (e.g. internal strategy documents, intellectual property, etc.).

The above examples indicate real and serious concerns behind legal and CIOs’ reluctance to embrace the Dropbox’s and Google Drive’s of the world.

In addition, there’s also the issue of customization with these tools – you can’t just simply customize Dropbox. If you want something specific to your organization, then you’re pretty much out of luck going the Dropbox route.

Solving the Dropbox Problem

So how do organization go about to achieve ubiquitous file sharing without Dropbox?

The solution is Alfresco – an enterprise grade content management platform – that’s equipped with a variety of products that can help solve this problem with features such as an enterprise class repository, fine grained permissions, auditing, locking to help facilitate collaboration, versioning to manage content history, and workflow. Alfresco is also very flexible with its deployment options – it can be on premise or you can leverage Alfresco Cloud.

Alfresco in the cloud is a fully managed SaaS offering that helps organizations keep control of its content while providing users with powerful ways to access their content securely on any device, anywhere.

While Alfresco on premise allows certain content that needs to be kept behind a firewall to safely reside there, Alfresco Cloud provides the necessary freedom of access. However, given that a single piece of content’s lifecycle might require that it move in and out of the firewall, we don’t want to have to manage two distinct repositories.

The solution is Alfresco One, a hybrid cloud solution that enables an on-premise repository to maintain a bi-directional sync with a cloud-based repository. This solution also allows you to fully control permissions and access control for all your content in a single manageable store, allowing for content sharing across organizational boundaries without sacrificing internal processes.

 

CIO Approved Ubiquitous File Sharing

This hybrid solution meets all of your ubiquitous file sharing needs – large file uploads, consumer-like internet based file sharing – while also providing rich content services and eliminating the CIO’s and Legal’s headaches.

Organizations have the flexibility of picking and choosing what constraints to place on specific content, and content can now flow in and out of your firewall as needed.

As a web-based solution like Dropbox, you can easily interact with the system through two available web-based interfaces provided by Alfresco. Alfresco Share is a collaboration-based interface with a document library, calendar, and discussion forum, among other collaboration tools. The other option is Alfresco Workdesk, a configurable case management oriented user interface that enables organization of content into dynamic query-driven folders.

While these are great interfaces, they’re also tailored to meet specific user needs and aren’t always appropriate for all use cases – Alfresco Share is project oriented so all your content is boxed in this way, and Alfresco Workdesk is oriented around case management. Although it’s possible to customize in both cases, there are framework limitations imposed by best practices that maintain supportability and upgrade paths.

The Morpheus Way

Luckily there’s Morpheus Rivet, which gives users the best of both worlds by providing a highly customizable consumer-oriented, simple-to-use user interface without sacrificing any of the features of Alfresco.

Morpheus Rivet is composed of two components – Morpheus Drive and Morpheus IDE. Morpheus Drive is a simple, easy-to-use and customizable web-based user interface that communicates with the Alfresco repository to expose all of its powerful enterprise features. The UI is simple – similar to Dropbox and Google Drive – intuitive, and more importantly, is highly flexible for customizing the UI.

Morpheus IDE enables these customization by providing a development environment that allows users to easily customize Morpheus Drive to fit specific needs. The development environment allows users to code, edit existing Drives, preview and test the environment, and publish it out to a live Morpheus Drive.

With Morpheus IDE, you can also manage UI’s not only how it appears on a browser, but also on tablets, mobile devices, and virtually any channel you want to publish the interface to. This helps to greatly reduce costs from having a separate system for each channel.

With Morpheus Rivet, organizations can now achieve ubiquitous file sharing through a user-friendly interface, without compromising on security and customizability.

For more information about Morpheus Rivet, contact sales@rivetlogic.com.

Alfresco Cloud’s Key Capabilities

Posted by on March 15, 2013

SaaS Based Collaboration

The first aspect and most basic use of Alfresco Cloud is as a cloud hosted collaboration application for your organization.  Alfresco Cloud is multi-tenant and can host as many organizations (which Alfresco calls networks) and project spaces within each of those networks as is needed.

In the illustration below you can see two independent organizations each with several project teams working independently on the Alfresco Cloud.

 

If you need to spin up a simple collaboration environment for your department Alfresco Cloud is a great solution.  Alfresco Cloud is affordable and based on per user pricing.  There is zero software to install or setup and you get a ton of really rich collaborative features from document libraries to wikis, calendars, blogs and much more.

Cross-Organization Collaboration

Where things start to get really interesting, however, is with cross-organization.  With Alfresco Cloud you can manage content between organizations to enable B2B interactions between knowledge workers from the different organizations – again all with zero infrastructure setup.

In the illustration below you can see a project team from each organization collaborating with one another through Alfresco Cloud’s permissions which ensure that only that content which should be shared is in fact shared.

Alfresco One: Private – Public Cloud Sync

The thing is that not all content is meant to live in the cloud.  Organizations of all sizes generally have some content they still feel needs to be controlled and secured inside the firewall or as is often the case, there are integrations with critical business systems that are mandatory and those integrations are only possible between systems located within our firewalls.

With Alfresco Cloud this is no issue.  You can setup and host your own private infrastructure internally which serves as the system of record and hosts all of your content including those items which must remain internal and for content you want to collaborate on with organizations outside the firewall you can create a synchronization (using Alfresco One) with Alfresco Cloud and synchronize specific content between your organizations private infrastructure and the cloud to facilitate the collaboration.

In the illustration above we have a private infrastructure on the left and the cloud on the right. You can see that some project teams are working only against this internal infrastructure while others may work only against the cloud.   And we can see a secure, relationship between our internal infrastructure on the left with the Alfresco Cloud on the right.  This synchronization is enabling our teams to collaborate with one another regardless of whether they are working on public or private infrastructure.

Remote API for the Cloud

And finally Alfresco Cloud supports a remote application programming interface or API which is based on CMIS (Content Management Interoperability Standard) and a few additional Alfresco specific non-CMIS APIs.

This is a real game changer because it means that collaboration no longer has to take place through the user interface but as we can see here in the diagram we can enable applications and automated processes to participate in our collaborations – and because we have a sync between private a public cloud infrastructure we’re not just talking about cloud based content storage here – which is great in its own right — we also have a very powerful integration platform.

When you combine the API and the public/private sync what you gain is infrastructure akin to an integration bus.

 

 

 

Liferay’s Latest 6.1 EE Release Packs a Punch

Posted by on February 24, 2012

Over the years, Liferay Portal has transformed into a complete Web platform for social collaboration, Web content management, and development tools to create customized solutions.

The new Liferay Portal 6.1 EE features extensive updates to existing Web content management and document management systems plus new capabilities that are designed to provide more power to end users. Extensive user interface updates will make document management more productive and intuitive, with desktop and mobile access, live previews, and integration to external enterprise document repositories. Liferay 6.1 EE also simplifies the development and maintenance of rich websites, with sophisticated page templates and multiple site and page version editing. The new release also integrates with Liferay Marketplace, which will allow administrators to find and install applications to extend functionality directly from the portal.

“The new Liferay 6.1 EE release matures the 6.x branch with much anticipated implementations that in so many ways completes Liferay as an enterprise-grade product,” says Alaaeldin El-Nattar, Engagement Director and Certified Liferay Trainer at Rivet Logic. “Liferay 6.0 EE introduced several services that opened the door for the development of Auditing, Reporting, Workflow, and other enterprise features, while Liferay 6.1 EE takes Liferay as a leading and powerful portal framework and packages it into a fully functional enterprise ready portal solution. We have been waiting a long time for this release and are very excited about all the client needs that we will now be able to fulfill with relative ease. I am especially looking forward to making full use of Liferay 6.1’s new CMIS support, Document Sync, Website Management, and Mobile support. Cudos to the Liferay team on a job well done.”

To learn more, please visit www.liferay.com.

New Case Study: Liferay and Alfresco enables collaboration in education sector

Posted by on August 17, 2008

We just published a new case study on one of our projects in the public education sector. The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) does great work for advancing public education goals at the US Federal and State levels, and open source portals and content management from Liferay and Alfresco help them collaborate, find, and share critical information in support of many of their projects.

Learn more from our new Case Study: CCSSO Increases Project Efficiency Through Open Source Content Management and Collaboration.

New White Paper on Open Source Document Management

Posted by on April 11, 2007

Our latest white paper on Open Source Document Management is now available.

Register for it here.

In it, we talk about how open source ECM and portal software can help with fundamental document management requirements including:

  • Rules based repository that can replace shared network drives
  • Effective search and retrieval
  • Standards based interfaces, including WebDAV, FTP, CIFS
  • Library services
  • Forums and other ways to facilitate team collaboration beyond email
  • Workflow
  • Scanning and document imaging support
  • Records management
  • Security