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Alfresco mashable and integrable

The latest bulletin from our favourite Open Source CMS builder, Alfresco, has a couple of interesting tidbits:

1. They’ve released Alfresco Community 2.1. This is the as-you-find-it, community-driven, community-supported (as opposed to “Alfresco and partners -supported”) version. It’s less solid, less tested, and does not come with a support line (beyond community forums). It’s also more advanced and cutting edge that the more stolid Alfresco Enterprise. The focus is in integration and mashability: as CEO John Powell says on the bulletin, “Enterprise content in large corporations today tends to stay in silos, only accessible through proprietary user interfaces. With the emergence of Web 2.0, enterprises are demanding the same integration and mashup capabilities found on the Web be made available via their existing user interfaces. Users want to access information within the tool of their choice. The result is a shift towards the application of Web 2.0 concepts inside the enterprise.” In practice:

  • Access to all content and services from other applications, “Office, Portal, Website or Web 2.0 Property” simply accesing a URL
  • Lightweight scripting (without complex .NET or Java programming) to build mashups.
  • Massive scalability with a web-oriented REST style architecture
  • New native MS Office integration
  • New “Web 2.0” user interface
  • Integration with wiki (MediaWiki), blog (WordPress and TypePad) and enterprise portals (Liferay and JBoss Portal).
  • And new community-contributed functionalities, both built-in and optional.

2. They’ve said some sensible things. About the impact of Open Source in software development in particular. Quoting Mr Powell again: “As many in the community will be aware, there have been moves by the large proprietary software vendors to stifle the innovation of the open source community. The innovation seen in the software community over recent years has been made possible by open source software that allows developers to create new software services and applications without the huge licensing and penal royalty costs of the traditional vendor program.

In contrast, the open source movement allows innovators to build quality software cooperatively based on new business models, ensuring software cost of ownership is reduced and that there are no vicarious price increases from propriety vendors.”

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