web project

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Member II

web project

hi

i am a beginner to alfresco community . i am doing a web project using alfresco community as a web content management ,i have to create web forms and web projects in alfresco .so, how can i create a web form  using alfresco community ?  how xsd and jsp of a web project are related ?. is it possible to edit text in jsp source code and deploy it in alfresco community?. is it better to use alfresco community or alfresco enterprise for wcm ? 

4 Replies
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Professional

Re: web project

Welcome to the community. I hope what I'm about to say does not discourage you from leveraging Alfresco for a project or participating in the community, but here it is: You do not want to use Alfresco for WCM.

If you simply need to create forms and store data there are far better solutions out there in terms of fit for purpose. This is not meant to disparaging Alfresco at all--I'm just a firm believer in using the right tool for the right job.

Alfresco is good for one thing: Storing office documents or other digital artifacts and facilitating collaboration around the creation, management, and publication of those digital files. If you are doing anything other than that, you are probably going to end up forcing a square peg into a round hole.

Perhaps take a look at Liferay or Magnolia, if you are trying to stay with Java, or if PHP is more your thing then Drupal or Wordpress are safe bets. I suppose if you are really set on using Alfresco for WCM you might look at Crafter.

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Member II

Re: web project

Hi Jeff..Thank you very much for your response. 

We are already using alfresco for document management to store files. We are doing some R&D in alfresco WCM.

Even though we know wordpress and drupal are there for content management but it is licensed. We are searching for freeware software and we heard that alfresco can use for Web content management.

My last question is, Is it possible to use alfresco for WCM?? Is there any challenges/bugs in alfresco to use as Content Mangement??

Thanks in advance.

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Professional

Re: web project

Drupal and Wordpress are both distributed under open source licenses.

Like any software, you can usually force it into a use case it wasn't designed for. Alfresco is no exception. But, as I mentioned, Alfresco was built for Document Management. There was a time, many years ago, when Alfresco had a WCM offering, but it was eventually abandoned. You may see references in old posts or documentation to "AVM". That was the name of the repository implementation that sat underneath their WCM offering. But it no longer exists in modern versions.

The Web Quick Start add-on module was another attempt at a very basic form of Web Content Management. The way Web Quick Start works is that you create a Share site that follows a certain folder structure, then use CMIS to query for content from a custom front-end. Like AVM before it, this has essentially been abandoned, has fallen into disrepair, and I suspect will be formally removed from the product at some point.

In my opinion, Alfresco lacks very basic functionality that would be necessary for WCM. For example:

* It lacks an extensive content modeler. Yes, you can define simple models in the UI, but it doesn't take long before you'll need to use XML to define your forms. If you do that, you'll have to use AMPs and deployments will require a restart.

* It lacks an extensive forms builder. Yes, in the content model UI you can do some basic layout of your simple content model. But if you get beyond a simple layout or you want to use anything more than basic field controls, you will have to do that work yourself using manual config and coding.

* It lacks out-of-the-box web publication workflows. It does have a workflow engine, and it ships with some out-of-the-box workflows for simple review and approval, but none of them have web publication semantics. That's up to you to develop.

* It lacks sophisticated rendition support. Yes, you can define your own renditions (multiple representations of a given piece of content) and you can define your own transformations to convert content from one format to another. But most WCM solutions I've used allow much more flexibility here. For example, Alfresco is much more about mapping transformations from one mimetype to another. In the real world, the source mimetype is going to be JSON or XML, and you're going to have N output formats. So the transformation shouldn't be mimetype based but instead should be content type based. Alfresco lacks this concept. You'd have to develop it yourself.

* It lacks a reliable way to deploy assets to the file system. Yes, it does have a "File Transfer" tool but it is rudimentary.

* It lacks front-end caching mechanisms. You'll have to add your own.

* It lacks front-end search. Yes, it has Solr built-in, but it is strongly recommended that you leave it alone. If you want to create a web-facing search for just your published content, you'll either have to roll your own using Web Scripts or, better yet, install your own Solr or Elasticsearch server and index only exactly what you want.

 * The underlying repository does not support branching and snapshotting. Okay, this isn't a "basic" feature, but if you have complex collaboration requirements around your web content you're going to wish you had the ability to treat your content more like a git repo than a document management store.

Those are just a few examples. To be clear, any or all of these can be addressed through custom development. But at some point you should ask yourself why bother doing that work when there are so many freely-available systems out there that already handle it.

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Member II

Re: web project

Thank you so much. This helps me.