Tag: DM

Alfresco is the Answer to Documentum’s Future Uncertainty

Posted by on December 13, 2016

Managing enterprise content is something that many organizations struggle with. Digital content is around us everywhere we go; enabling secure, enterprise-wide access to that content is critical for any business to remain competitive. Organizations often find themselves turning to Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solutions to help address these business challenges.

However, not all ECM systems are created equal. As the ECM and digital landscape have evolved, modern ECM solutions are offering many benefits that their legacy counterparts lack, including more out-of-the-box functionality, platform flexibility, ease of integration, open standards, and cost savings. If your existing ECM has become too costly to maintain or no longer aligns with your IT strategy, then it’s a good idea to start looking at alternative options.

In particular, if you’re a current Documentum customer, then you’re probably also aware of OpenText’s recent acquisition of Dell EMC’s Enterprise Content Division (ECD), which may have you wondering how the acquisition will impact you and your business. Will investment and innovation stall as Documentum products gets absorbed into a crowded portfolio of products? Will the people behind the products stay involved and remain there to help?

One alternative to consider is Alfresco, which provides a modern platform that can really help you to accelerate Digital Transformation initiatives and move from older technologies in a way that makes sense to your business.

Did you know that Documentum co-founder John Newton also co-founded Alfresco? While the two products have similar roots and both offer robust content management, collaboration, Records Management (RM), and Business Process Management (BPM) capabilities, there are also many differences that make Alfresco a more attractive option for better long-term ROI.

Here’s a quick breakdown of how the two platforms differ:

Alfresco Documentum
Technology
  • Modern infrastructure supporting open standards
  • Proprietary infrastructure relying on aging technology
Pricing
  • Software subscription model with no software purchase cost
  • No vendor lock-in: Flexibility in choosing system integration partners for solutions
  • Traditional software purchase fee with maintenance costs
  • Vendor lock-in: Solutions & add-ons can only be implemented through pricey Documentum consulting
Out-of-the-box Features
  • More robust set of features available out-of-the-box leveraging best-of-breed open source components
  • Integrated enterprise search through Solr and Collaboration through Share
  • Additional features available as add-ons for extra cost
  • Enterprise search requires additional installation & configuration; Collaboration available through third party integration offerings
Integration
  • Easy integration with third party systems through a variety of industry standard protocols (CMIS, REST, CIFS, FTP, WebDAV, etc.)
  • Difficult integration through a proprietary web services layer with limited functionality and lack of industry standards

Your ECM needs will continue to evolve, and the technologies you implement should be flexible enough to adapt to those changes. If your existing ECM no longer meets your business needs, then it’s time to consider switching to a solution that can help maximize the value of your content.

Alfresco Community Meeting in NYC 2009

Posted by on May 11, 2009

Last week I attended the Alfresco community meetup in New York City. The turn out was impressive. Nancy Garrity (Alfresco Community Manager) told me that the event was completely “sold-out” and that there was not enough room for everyone that wanted to come. I was sorry to hear that we were not able have everyone there that wanted to be there but it’s really great that there is so much interest in Alfresco.

The session got underway with Ian Howells, Alfresco’s Chief Marketing Officer, who reviewed the trends in favor of open source ECM, not the least of which is the accelerating demand driven by the global recession.

Michael “Uzi” Uzquiano, Product Manager for Alfresco WCM and Alfresco Network, then laid out a roadmap for Alfresco WCM, Surf and Alfresco Network. Some key highlights were:

• Repository harmonization. Alfresco provides two distinct content stores: the Web Content Management (WCM) repository, and the Document Management (DM) repository. Alfresco is bringing these two stores together at the API level and then consolidating many of the core capabilities.

• Clustering for the WCM repository (not just DM) is under development.

• New Forms Service: Alfresco WCM has long had a capability for defining forms. A user can install an XSD in the Data Dictionary. The XSD is then translated in to a Web form that provides a friendly user interface for reading, modifying, and storing XML. The DM repo does not have such a feature. Instead, within DM property sheets map to the underlying content model. Many users have requested both capabilities be available uniformly for both DM and WCM. Alfresco is responding to these requests with the new service. The new Forms Service will have a much more powerful persistence capability. I asked to find out if customers who already have XSD form definitions in play would need to change to a different format. I was told that these customers should be safe.

• Spring Webflow integration with Surf: Spring Webflow is the project in the Spring Portfolio that focuses on providing the infrastructure for building and running rich, Java-based web applications.

Uzi laid out a timeline for future Alfresco releases:

1. v3.2 Labs targeted for June

2. v3.2 Enterprise targeted for September 2009

3. v3.3 in early 2010

4. v4.0 later in 2010

In addition to Uzi’s presentation, a number of other presentations and demos were also given. I particularly liked the customer case study given by the Warren country Correction Center. They process a large volume of inmates in and out of the facility. Each time an inmate is processed in or out of the correction center a large volume of paper work is generated which must be stored for long periods of time. Warren country is now well on their way to eliminating the need to store large volumes of content in physical file cabinets. They have implemented an Alfresco based solution for archival and retrieval of inmate data. Electronic storage of the inmate information allows the correction center to quickly search and retrieve important information on inmate background, health, behavior and other important documents for both operational and legal functions.

Other demonstrations included
• Scanning best practices and an Alfresco-integrated Kofax demonstration.
• A walkthrough of Alfresco Share
• Digital tampering protection through an integration with Surety’s Absolute Proof.
• IMAP demonstration that allows your email bin and folders directly with Alfresco.
• A demonstration of a Flex UI for Alfresco.

I gave a presentation entitled “Leveraging Alfresco Share for Enterprise Content”. At Rivet Logic, we get a lot of requests for solutions to help authors manage deep, inter-related content types that need to ultimately be published to numerous channels, including the Web. In addition to the publishing requirements, enterprise class assets usually benefit from an authoring environment that includes social and collaborative capabilities like those found in Alfresco Share. To address this, we demonstrated a number of best practices and design patterns for managing enterprise content with an authoring environment plugged in to Alfresco Share combined with an instant Web preview capability. Based on the feedback, the approach seemed well received. Like many of our customers, members of the Alfresco community are quite interested in collaborative authoring environments for enterprise class content.

It was great to meet with everyone who was able to attend. These types of events are vital for the community. It’s a perfect time to give Alfresco feedback and for the customers and community to meet one another.