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Screenshot of a contract document in Alfresco's user interface, Share, showing the built-in viewer and metadata display
|Developer(s)||Alfresco Software, Inc.|
|Initial release||November 2005|
|Type||ECM, BPM, and Records Management|
|License||Enterprise Edition is proprietary; Community Edition is LGPL v3|
Alfresco is a collection of information management software products for Microsoft Windows and Unix-like operating systems developed using Java technology. Their primary software offering, branded as a Digital Business Platform is proprietary & a commercially licensed open source platform, supports open standards, and provides enterprise scale.
Alfresco also provides open source Community Editions as free, LGPLv3 licensed open source software. These have some default restrictions in terms of scalability and availability, e.g. there is no built-in clustering support. Quality assurance by Alfresco is limited and bug fixes are only issued for the current versions. There is a community support for the Community Edition including and independent association, the Order of the Bee.
John Newton (co-founder of Documentum) and John Powell (a former COO of Business Objects) founded Alfresco Software, Inc. in 2005. Its investors include the investment firms SAP Ventures, Accel Partners and Mayfield Fund. The original technical staff consisted of principal engineers from Documentum and Oracle.
In July 2005, Alfresco released the first version of their software.
While Alfresco's product initially focused on document management, in May, 2006, the company announced its intention to expand into web content management by acquiring senior technical and managerial staff from Interwoven; this included its VP of Web Content Management, two principal engineers, and a member of its user-interface team.
In October 2009, the 2009 Open Source CMS Market Share Report described Alfresco as a leading Java-based open source web content management system.
In July 2011, Alfresco and Ephesoft announced a technology partnership to offer document capture and Content Management Interoperability Services brought together for intelligent PDF capture and search and workflow development.
In October 2011, Alfresco 4.0 was released with improvements to the user interface. The new Alfresco moved additional features from Alfresco Explorer to Alfresco Share, as Alfresco Explorer is intended to be deprecated over time.
In March 2017, Alfresco 5.2 was released and rebranded as the Digital Business Platform. This included the release of the Application Development Framework with reusable Angular JS(2.0) components.
On February 8, 2018, it was announced that Alfresco was to be acquired by the private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P.
Alfresco's core Digital Business Platform offering consists of three primary products. It is designed for clients who require modularity and scalable performance. It can be deployed on-premises on servers or in the cloud using an Amazon Web Services (AWS) Quick Start. A multi-tenant SaaS offering is also available.
Alfresco Content Services (ACS)
The enterprise content management (ECM) capabilities that have been a core part of Alfresco’s business since its founding. It includes a central content and metadata repository, a web interface named Share, the ability to define automated business rules, and full-text indexing provided using Apache Solr.
Alfresco Process Services (APS)
The business process management (BPM) capabilities stemming from the open source Activiti project. It includes graphical design tools, business rules editors, and data integration to external business systems.
Alfresco Governance Services (AGS)
Formerly known as Alfresco Records Management, AGS is an add-on software component that provides records management functionality to address information governance requirements. Alfresco Governance Services is DoD 5015.02 certified for records management.
Alfresco Community Edition
The open source community edition of Alfresco Content Services.
Enterprise content management for documents, web, records, images, videos, rich media, and collaborative content development.
Alfresco is capable of the following:
- Document management
- Records management, including 5015.2 certification
- Image management
- Digital asset management
- Learning content management support for learning management systems (e.g. Moodle)
- LOR Learning Object Repository (edu-sharing)
- Integrated publishing
- Repository access via CIFS/SMB, FTP, WebDAV, NFS and CMIS
- Automating business processes with the embedded Activiti BPM engine
- Solr search
- Federated servers
- Multi-language support
- Portable application packaging
- Multi-platform support (officially Windows, Linux and Solaris)
- Browser-based GUI (official support for Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Apple Safari, Microsoft Edge)
- Desktop integration with Microsoft Office (available in enterprise version only) and LibreOffice.
- Online integration with Google Docs
- Clustering support
- Pluggable authentication: NTLM, LDAP, Kerberos, CAS
- Multiple database support: MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle Database (Enterprise Edition), IBM DB2, Microsoft SQL Server (Enterprise Edition), MariaDB, Amazon RDS -MySQL, Amazon Aurora.
- List of content management systems
- List of collaborative software
- List of applications with iCalendar support
- Cloud collaboration
- Document collaboration
- Document-centric collaboration
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