Tag: 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.