I'm pleased to announce that the Alfresco Community 5.0.b release is planned within the next few days. This will be the second Alfresco Community 5.0 release and is based on very latest public community code-line.
Alfresco 5 is built with maven. All artifacts are available on the Alfresco nexus.
Here are some of the exciting new features and improvements that you will find in 5.0.b. Many of these features have improved since 5.0.a, so it is recommended you read the Alfresco Community 5.0.a post first if you have not already done so!
Search is an area we have improved greatly since Alfresco 4 and even more improvements are present in 5.0.b. Firstly a big step forward - Solr 4 is now the default search and indexing sub-system in Alfresco. I know this has been a long time coming but it is worth the wait! There is some great new search functionality we have been able to expose because of Solr 4, and there will be more in future releases.
Since 5.0a the instant search results feature (Live Search) has been improved again and is now more reliable and able to show Wiki and Blog items as well as Documents, People and Sites in the list.
[caption id='attachment_245' align='alignnone' width='226'] Instant results as you type in Live Search.[/caption]
Filtered Search Results
We first showed an early version of Filtered Search Results in Community 5.0.a built using Solr 1.4, but now with Solr 4 this is faster and more configurable. An administrator can use the interface to add/remove/configure facets, including size and date ranges, Site, Tag and your own custom property filters.
[caption id='attachment_241' align='alignnone' width='632'] Select and configure the filters to display in the search screen.[/caption]
Suggest, Spell Check and Did you Mean?
The search experience continues to improve in 5.0b with the addition of Solr 4 features 'suggest' and 'spell check/did you mean'. The 'suggest' feature performs real-time matching of the current phrase against text phrases extracted from the name, title, description and content of documents.
[caption id='attachment_246' align='alignnone' width='640'] Suggestions based on the search text.[/caption]
Suggest in combination with Live Search mean that exploratory searching is now genuinely useful and fun in Alfresco! The 'spell check' and 'did you mean' features will help the user correct simple spelling mistakes and suggest possible results from the index if no results for the specified query were found.
[caption id='attachment_240' align='alignnone' width='532'] My spelling is not good and didn't match a thing, but Alfresco is going to help me out here![/caption]
[caption id='attachment_243' align='alignnone' width='537'] Did you mean this?[/caption]
If you can't find what you want now in Alfresco, it probably isn't there! As well as inline actions which appeared in 5.0a, document content can now be previewed directly in the search results page without navigating away. It's worth mentioning that even if you do leave the results page, the various filters, settings and sorting features you have applied are fully bookmarkable in your browser and you will be able to navigate back as needed.
[caption id='attachment_244' align='alignnone' width='640'] Inline HTML5 document previews - without leaving the search results page.[/caption]
Alfresco Surf 5.0 and Aikau framework
Alfresco Surf is now part of the main Alfresco HEAD codeline and built as part of core Alfresco maven build. Surf has had a number of performance and memory usage improvements. All of which are easier to manage going forward now it is part of the main Alfresco build. The Aikau framework continues to improve - the new search results page and components are built using it. Developer docs are starting to appear and there are plenty of blog post tutorials also.
Activities are now generated by Share when a user previews or explicitly performs a Download action. This generates quite a lot more activities - so the number that can be processed by the repository has been improved and in the Share Activities dashlet a roll-up of similar activities now occurs. Also similar activities are rolled up in the notification emails that are generated.
[caption id='attachment_242' align='alignnone' width='632'] Read and Preview activities - roll-up in Activities dashlet.[/caption]
A taster of the forthcoming analytics features in Alfresco can be found in this version with two new Share dashlets; Site File Type Breakdown and Site Contributor Breakdown. A lot more will be coming around analytics in future Alfresco releases.
[caption id='attachment_239' align='alignnone' width='414'] Pretty graphs, you love pretty graphs right?[/caption]
In Alfresco 5 we have made a big push on upgrading dependent libraries - a lot of developers have been asking for this. As well as moving to Solr 4.9.1, we have upgraded to Spring 3.2.10, myBatis 3.2.7, OpenCMIS 0.11.0, Activiti 5.16.2 and many more. The bundled JDK is 7.0.67 and office document transformation quality and performance is improved using LibreOffice 4.2.5.
Various UI tweaks and improvements, including Share header area clean-up.