Functionality

Alfresco platform is developed using Java technology. Freely distributed version, Alfresco Community, functions only on free platforms: application servers Apache Tomcat and JBoss (WildFly), DBMS Apache Derby, MySQL, PostgreSQL and HSQL. Commercial edition, Alfresco Enterprise, supports corporate class software:

  • Support server OS: Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Windows Server, Sun Solaris, Ubuntu, Suse;
  • Corporate DBMS: Oracle, SQL Server, DB2 etc.;
  • Support application servers of corporate level: WebLogic, WebSphere etc.;
  • Integration with proprietary applications and client’s add-ins.

Using comfortable web interface of Alfresco, you can access content from anywhere in the world via secure connection. You can access the system using your smartphones and tablets.

Alfresco is an open source and open standards software. So, Alfresco’s functionality can be modified to meet the needs of the company. Clients get full rights on platform modification.

Alfresco standard release offers:

  • Virtual working spaces for collaborative work with data, enabling access permissions, which is very convenient for organizing project work. All information is uploaded into a single electronic repository.
  • Versioning support of data objects and viewing history of working with them. As a result, you can always see who changed what and when, as well as roll back to the previous versions.
  • Business processes builder for creating scripts of automated routing and data processing.
  • Collaborative work with corporate knowledge base using Wiki approach. Knowledge base consists of plenty of articles, linked with each other (like wikipedia.org). Also there is no need to know wiki-markup. Pages are created via comfortable web editor.
  • Discussions are some kind of a forum, where every employee can start a new discussion, and the others can take part in it, leaving messages. It is very convenient in situations, when you need the discussion process to be “recorded”, and in the future you will have a chance to find information about the course of discussion and its results.
  • Blogs that enable company’s management to inform employees about something at fixed time.
  • Calendar of events. In calendar you can note events in the company or project events, which particular group of people (e.g. project team or department) needs to know about.
  • Web content management – fully functional CMS system, which is comparable with Drupal/Joomlа. Any number of sites are supported, as well as automated clustering, virtualization, building site copies and others.

User starts working in Alfresco from Dashboard, which shows main tasks for the moment. From it you can get to the other parts of the system. Dashboard is divided into blocks, known as Dashlets, and can be fully customized. User can always switch on the blocks they need or switch off the ones they don’t need.

Let’s have a more detailed look at the main functional blocks of Alfresco:

  • Document library
  • Wiki
  • Blog
  • Calendar
  • Links
  • Discussions

Document library enables working with corporate documents. After being uploaded, documents get an internal name, description, tags and are put into particular folder. Permissions are assigned for the documents. After the documents have been uploaded into the Library, you can view them, edit or add comments to them. Later you can add an updated version of the document. If needed, you can view the older versions of it, or roll back to one of them. The workflow of document processing can be created. For example, the routing of document approval.

Catalogs of the Library can be presented as folders of shared access in Windows domain. Apart from that, there are special plug ins for Microsoft Office and OpenOffice, which allow managing document’s features right from the applications.

Wiki module is created for quick forming of common corporate knowledge base. Due to wiki language and build-in editor, adding and editing articles are quick and easy. Every article can have one or several tags, which allows easy content cataloging and convenient  searching. Hypertext links are often used in wiki articles. As a result a numerous ways of reading the article can be introduced. Apart from this, just like Document library, Wiki supports versioning of articles.

Blog is a web site, main content of which is posts in back chronological order. Blog can be a tool for communication between a narrow group of writers and a wider group of readers. Classical example of such communication inside the company is a connection between administration and staff. Administration can use blog to inform staff about something with a particular time reference. For example, change in legislation, internal regulations, corporate party announcements etc.

Calendar allows to put information about upcoming meetings and other events into the same system, where corporate data is. It allows to reach sort of a synergetic effect. For example, when participants of the meeting are directed to some particular documents, the subject of the meeting can be easily set. Participants get ready for the meeting, viewing documents, associated with the event in Calendar. Calendar can be viewed by days, weeks, months or as a general overview.

In the Links section, users can store links to the documents and Internet resources useful for work. Instead of every employee keeping their links separately, all links of the staff are stored in one place. This allows to reduce data redundancy.

In Discussion sections you can find subjects, which require wide discussions. For example, the common line of acting should be developed with the participants from all the interested sides. Moreover, discussion is expected to be uneasy and hot, and its participants are in different geographic locations. Instead of face-to-face meetings and expenses associated with them, the discussion is moved to Alfresco. This provides with great advantages, starting with economy of resources and finishing with ready protocol of the discussion.

Summing up the advantages of Alfresco framework:

  • In Alfresco architecture only open technologies are used, which allows functionality modifications and new modules being created.
  • Unlimited number of working stations: all employees of the company can work in Alfresco plus external counteragents.
  • Low requirements to IT resources: possible integration into any IT infrastructure of the company.
  • Highest performance: tests showed an average uploading speed of 140 files per second. Total number of uploaded files was 107 million.
  • Access to documents is possible from  Microsoft Office, OpenOffice, corporate portal, available from anywhere in the world.
  • High level of security.
  • Simple solution, that doesn’t require complicated and expensive implementing.
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