Alfresco Software

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Alfresco Software
Alfresco Share Screenshot.png
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 releaseNovember 2005; 15 years ago (2005-11)
Stable release
201901[1] / 2019-02-04[±]
Written inJava, JSP, and JavaScript
Operating systemCross-platform
TypeECM, BPM, and Records Management
LicenseEnterprise Edition is proprietary; Community Edition is LGPL v3[2]

Alfresco is a collection of information management software products for Microsoft Windows and Unix-like operating systems developed by Alfresco Software Inc. using Java technology. Their primary software offering, branded as a Digital Business Platform[3] is proprietary & a commercially licensed open source platform, supports open standards, and provides enterprise scale.[citation needed]

Alfresco Software Inc. also provides open source Community Editions as free, LGPLv3[2] licensed open source software. These have some default restrictions in terms of scalability and availability, e.g. there is no built-in clustering support.[4] 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 an independent association, the Order of the Bee.[5]


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 Sapphire Ventures (formerly SAP Ventures), Accel Partners and Mayfield Fund.[6] The original technical staff consisted of principal engineers from Documentum and Oracle.

In July 2005, Alfresco released the first version of their software.[7]

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.[8]

In October 2009, the 2009 Open Source CMS Market Share Report described Alfresco as a leading Java-based open source web content management system.[9]

In 2010, Alfresco sponsored a new open-source BPM engine called Activiti.[10]

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.[11]

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.[12]

In January 2013, Alfresco appointed Doug Dennerline, former President of SuccessFactors, former EVP of Sales at, and former CEO of WebEx, as its new CEO.[13]

In September 2014, Alfresco 5 was released with new reporting and analytics features and an overhaul of its document search tool, moving from Lucene to Solr.[14]

In November 2016, Alfresco launched an AWS Quickstart[15] for building an Alfresco Content Services server cluster on the AWS Cloud.[16]

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.[17]

On February 8, 2018, it was announced that Alfresco was to be acquired by the private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P.[18]

On September 9, 2020, Alfresco was bought by Hyland Software for an undisclosed amount.[19][20]


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.[21] A multi-tenant SaaS offering is also available.[22]

Alfresco Content Services (ACS)[edit]

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)[edit]

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.[23]

Alfresco Governance Services (AGS)[edit]

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.[24]

Alfresco Community Edition[edit]

Alfresco Community Edition

The open source community edition of Alfresco Content Services.


Activiti is a separate open source product that is the community edition of Alfresco Process Services.[10]


Enterprise content management for documents, web, records, images, videos, rich media, and collaborative content development. In 2019 it implemented a programme to enable George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust to become paperless.[25]


Alfresco is capable of the following:

Records management with Alfresco

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Alfresco Community Edition 201901 GA Release Notes". Retrieved 2019-07-06.
  2. ^ a b "Open Source Licensing". ECM Architect Blog. October 17, 2012. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
  3. ^ "Alfresco Releases Digital Business Platform to Speed App Development". CMSWire. February 28, 2017. Retrieved August 22, 2017.
  4. ^ a b Potts, Jeff (May 24, 2015). "What's going on with Alfresco clustering?". ECM Architect Blog. Retrieved February 25, 2014.
  5. ^ Corti, Francesco. "The order of the Bee. Something is happening in the Alfresco community". FCORTI. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  6. ^ "Alfresco". Crunchbase. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
  7. ^ "Open source CM". KM World. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
  8. ^ "Top Web Content Management Team Joins Alfresco Software". Press Release. Alfresco Software, Inc. May 22, 2006. Retrieved February 25, 2014.
  9. ^ "Alfresco". Open Source CMS Market Share Report 2009. Simpler Media Group, Inc. p. 62. Retrieved February 25, 2014.(registration required)
  10. ^ a b Long, Josh. "Alfresco Announces Activiti Project, an Apache 2 Licensed BPM Engine". InfoQ. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
  11. ^ Roe, David (July 8, 2011). "Alfresco, Ephesoft Partnership Offers CMIS-based Open Source Capture-to-Workflow Technology". CMSWire. Simpler Media Group, Inc. Retrieved February 25, 2014.
  12. ^ "Alfresco releases Version 4". KM World. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
  13. ^ Bort, Julie. "What I Learned From John Chambers And Marc Benioff". Business Insider.
  14. ^ Murphy, Tim. "Alfresco Aims Higher as it Launches v5 #AlfrescoSummit". CMSWire. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
  15. ^ Preimesberger, Chris. "Alfresco Offers Early Availability for Its AWS Deployment". eWeek. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
  16. ^ "Alfresco Content Services on AWS". Amazon Web Services. Retrieved 18 September 2017.
  17. ^ "Alfresco Introduces New Digital Business Platform". KMWorld. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
  18. ^ "Thomas H. Lee Partners to Acquire Alfresco Software". Business Wire. 8 February 2018. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
  19. ^ "Query Builder | Acquisitions". Crunchbase. Retrieved 2021-04-06.
  20. ^ "Hyland, a NE Ohio software company, buys Alfresco". Retrieved 2021-04-06.
  21. ^ "Alfresco Content Services on AWS". Amazon AWS. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
  22. ^ Roe, David. "Alfresco Offers Its Platform as a Managed Service on AWS". CMSWire. Simpler Media Group. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
  23. ^ Backaitis, Virginia. "Alfresco Primes Its Activiti Pump". CMSWire. Simpler Media Group. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
  24. ^ a b "JITC Records Management Application Product Register". Joint Interoperability Test Command. Retrieved August 22, 2017.
  25. ^ "Alfresco helps George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust begin its paperless journey". Building Better Healthcare. 17 January 2020. Retrieved 12 March 2020.
  26. ^ a b c d e f "Supported Platforms". Alfresco Services. Alfresco. Retrieved 22 August 2017.

External links[edit]