Federated Search and Content Federation solutions for Alfresco

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Federated Search and Content Federation solutions for Alfresco

Alfresco Employee
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Alfresco TTL #134 presented a new product from Texter.ai to provide Federated Search in Alfresco.

SpeedySearch provides federated search by consolidating different content sources using an index-time or a search-time merging approach. The main goal of this product is to get results as quick as possible, that may be an issue when dealing with large repositories and consolidated content sources.

Gonçalo Abreu and Vitor Moreira did a great job explaining technical details of the product and describing the benefits from using SpeedySearch with Alfresco. If you missed that session, recording is available on demand.

Federated Search and Content Federation

Since Federated Search is very relevant for many organizations, Content Federation is one of the key factors for Content Services Platform in the near future.

Federated Search runs a user search query across different or consolidated content stores, combining search results under some criteria. This approach only support read capabilities, since creation or edition of content in third party repositories is not allowed.

Content Federation creates a single location to access all the content stores in the enterprise, enabling regular CSP operations across all repositories.

In the CSP landscape, several Content Federation strategies are applied:

  • Interoperability strategy allows to register third party repositories in the content federation automatically (like Alfresco and Nuxeo)
  • Tailoring strategy requires selecting which third party repositories should be registered in content federation
  • Syndicated strategy stores the content of every required application on the enterprise in a single CSP

By using a content federation strategy, the location of the content is transparent to the application using that content. Unlike a Federated Search solution, all the functionality of that CSP can be performed against the federated content. That means the user or application is not only able to read content or metadata but to write or update them in the original source repository


Let's review in the following points existing Federated Search and Content Federation products for Alfresco Content Services.


Alfresco Enterprise solutions

Alfresco Federation Services is an Enterprise module that provides search and manage operations on federated content that provides following features:

  • Federated search: content can be searched for across multiple content repositories and made accessible inside Alfresco Content Services. This means it doesn't need to be migrated from different content systems
  • Manage content in place: all content can be controlled, no matter where it's stored
  • Intelligent content migration: enables content migration to be completed in the background, with minimal disruption to your end users


Live demo for this product is available in Alfresco Federation Services - Product Demonstration


Partners solutions for Alfresco Enterprise

SpeedySearch is a Federated Search product for Alfresco Enterprise provided by Texter.ai, this product provides automatic suggestions and federated search capabilities with search response times below 2 seconds for any use case.

Simflofy Federation for Alfresco consolidates Alfresco Repository content and metadata in a Secure Search platform, that allows to find content within seconds with keyword mapping across multiple enterprise repositories (which can be both Alfresco and others).

Xenit Enterprise Search Connector integrates Alfresco Repository content and metadata in Lucidworks Fusion platform, that allows Federated Search for the enterprise and leverages searching capabilities adopting AI connectors and elements.

Community approaches

Alfresco Community has been also working in Federated Search approaches in the past, since there is still no ready-to-use addon for the plaform.

If you are looking for some inspiration, take a loot at these ideas:


About the Author
Angel Borroy is Hyland Developer Evangelist. Over the last 15 years, he has been working as a software architect on Java, BPM, document management and electronic signatures. He has been working with Alfresco during the last years to customize several implementations in large organizations and to provide add-ons to the Community based on Record Management and Electronic Signature. He writes (sometimes) on his personal blog http://angelborroy.wordpress.com. He is (proud) member of the Order of the Bee.