Alfresco, an Open Source Content Management framework (also termed as CM repository and CM system at various places) released on Monday, 27th June. It is being touted as one that will shake up the Open Source Content Management space, especially since the company has been founded by long time CMS veterans. John Newton, co-founder Documentum, and John Powell, former Business Objects COO, have a lot of experience, expertise and industry backing. This differentiates them from many other CMS systems that have no background and are mostly run by community effort.
I downloaded the preview release and played around with it a bit. Here are some of my initial thoughts:
1. It is much faster to get up and running with it as compared to other Open Source systems. I just unzipped the tomcat bundle and started the batch file. There’s no major configuration and things like that.
2. The default installation has only 7 tables which is way less than any other CMS that I have seen!! That makes it fast, efficient and simple. However, I wonder how customizable it will be?
3. The interface is clean and simple.
4. It is not limited to Web Content Management. There are document management capabilities as well.
However, I am confused by its branding. Is it targeting Portal space, ECM, collaboration or everything?
It is still a preview release. The documentation is shallow – I found only a user guide. I would like to see more on how to extend the framework, How to define custom content types, create custom workflows, create my own portlets and so on. I would also like to see if it can match biggies like Vignette, Interwoven etc? For example can I deploy it in a typical dev-staging-production environment so that I can publish the site to multiple destinations and so on.
I guess we’ll have to wait till a more detailed documentation is available.