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.
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.