This document is no longer valid, and is replaced by the 2011 Roadmap
Over the past few years, Alfresco has built a feature rich, scalable and reliable ECM solution that benefits from the experience and learning of a seasoned team of ECM experts. Drawing on lessons learned from Documentum, Interwoven, Vignette and a number of other related technologies, Alfresco's engineering team has innovated to provide a modern and robust approach to ECM, based entirely on open-source and open-platform standards.
During 2010 we plan to continue this innovation as we build out our product offerings so as to provide the industry's most competitive and cost-effective ECM platform and application suite.
You can also find information about previous releases, along with links to release notes, here.
The 2010 roadmap builds on the 5 years of development which provides an enterprise-class Enterprise Content Management platform and applications suite that continues to dramatically lower the cost of acquisition and ownership over legacy and proprietary offerings.
We will expand our existing platform capabilities to enhance performance, scalability and data management and address new content applications. Tools and services will be provided to support the management of large scale deployments in mission critical applications for both on premise and cloud deployment.
In order to achieve this, Alfresco will be focusing on the following core and application areas:
The Alfresco Enterprise Repository is the core of the Alfresco infrastructure. It presently provides a rich data modeling container, replete with auditing, workflow and collaboration capture. Designed for high performance and high scalability, the Enterprise Repository is a single, trustworthy engine upon which your business applications and processes can run.
Alfresco Document Management consists of repository services and applications to provide a powerful document collaboration experience. Alfresco's applications integrate to the desktop and take full advantage of user permissions, workflow, notifications, email integration, auditing and all other aspects of the underlying Alfresco repository.
The applications provided for Alfresco Document Management include Alfresco Share, Alfresco Explorer, Microsoft Office Integration and Microsoft Sharepoint Connector.
Alfresco provides a scalable, standards-based repository and accompanying services that provide end-to-end Web Content Management (WCM) capabilities.
Throughout 2010, Alfresco will continue to invest and provide Enterprise class Web Content Management with emphasis on website production and dynamic content services. Alfresco 3.3 will build on CMIS and REST based services, that can be utilized for developing highly interactive web applications.
The applications provided for Alfresco Web Content Management include Alfresco Explorer and Alfresco Surf.
Alfresco Records Management runs on top of the Alfresco Enterprise Repository and brings the full wealth of Repository features to your RM applications. Alfresco Records Management brings together several features of the Alfresco Repository including aspect-driven behaviours, auditing, content object modeling, a strong security model and business rules to provide a unified treatment of your documents, policies and work items.
Collaboration Services are collaboration focused features of the Alfresco Repository which span multiple products within the Alfresco Suite. Implemented in the Alfresco Repository, these services are available to applications to enhance the collaborative experiences of end users.
The below details projects that will be delivered outside of an Alfresco release cycle prior to Q4 2010.
The WCM Quick Start will provide a production-strength, end-to-end best practice implementation of an Alfresco managed website. The primary purpose of the Quick Start is to allow simple product evaluation of Alfresco WCM, and serve as a quick start platform for content editors, developers and architects alike.
The WCM Quick Start is designed as an add-on to Alfresco 3.3 (Community and Enterprise) to provide an editorial environment for managing content along with a delivery web application (website). The website will be built using Spring MVC, Spring Surf and CMIS.
Portals typically provide rich capabilities for collaboration, integration, aggregation and personalization. However, they do not provide the rich depth of content services provided by Alfresco. Alfresco will provide a portlet version of the Alfresco Share Document Library (repository and site views). Features will include:
An XAM compliant content store allowing content binaries to be stored on content addressable storage (CAS) devices such as EMC Centera.
This allows CAS storage devices to be used seamlessly with Alfresco to support fixed content applications and retention management for governance and compliance.
Focus: Reliability, Availability & Serviceability
Enhancements to search in Alfresco Share providing advanced search capabilities including fulltext, type, aspect and custom property based searching.
New advanced workflow user interface for workflow initiation, task inbox, task and workflow management using embedded jBPM workflow engine.
Alfresco introduced the Web Editor and Web Editor Framework with version 3.3 to provided in-context editing capabilities. The Web Editor Framework provides an open, extensible framework that allows developers to easily plug-in new tabs, buttons and components to meet their editorial requirements.
The 3.3 release of the Web Editor provided basic edit capabilities and enhancements are planned for the following areas:
Hibernate replaced by native database mapping and caching. This allows for improved control of database queries and caching leading to enhanced repository performance and serviceability.
New functionality will be added to Alfresco Share to allow administrators to configure and manage 'Content Replication' jobs. Designed to be used within a Document Management environment, it will be possible to configure the replication of documents from one repository to another (read only destination) repository on a scheduled basis.
Content replication is designed to assist geographically distributed organisations where limited bandwidth is available. Benefits include:
Various CMIS enhancements including authentication and date processing.
The Transfer Service is used for transferring content between Alfresco repositories. Enhancements to the Transfer Service to support Content Replication (see above) such as deletions and status tracking.
Focus: Content production: Content Authoring and Content Publishing.
Web Producer will provide a WCM specific user interface within Alfresco Share. Currently Share allows users to create and manage two site types - Collaboration and Records Management. For project Swift, Alfresco will introduce a new site type specifically for Web Content Management i.e. 'Web Site'. Upon site creation, or site opening, the user will be taken into the Web Producer dashboard.
Web Producer will house key WCM editorial features that provide access to Work Packages, Content Libraries and Deployments, and will serve as the WCM editorial interface for Alfresco moving forward.
Work Packages will form a key concept of the Alfresco WCM editorial experience allowing collaboration and management around content assets. With WCM scenarios, it is typical that changes to the web site(s) may be made up of several content assets. Work Packages will provide the ability to manage collections of content assets as a single entity, enabling content that is created, updated, and (importantly) deleted to be automatically captured against a work package. The Work Package can then be subjected to workflow and deployed as required.
Within Swift, the Work Package features will focus on workflow-driven content production. For example, a content editor may create a new Work Package, add some content such as a press release, an accompanying image and perhaps a video file. The user may then decide that this particular Work Package should be collaborated upon by another editor who can be 'invited' in to the Work Package. The Work Package may then pass through workflow to be reviewed (using preview), and then finally published to the live website environment.
For Swift the appropriate initial Work Package API and Share-based user interface will be provided.
When editing associations, the user needs to be able to search and browse through the repository for the content item they want to associate with. An example of this within a WCM scenario is to associate a press release with an image, or perhaps an MP3 file with a blog article. The planned enhancements intend to make this process as simple as possible from a user interface perspective within Alfresco Share.
The Rendition Service was added within Alfresco 3.3 and provides a central service for re-purposing content. For example, I may wish to create a PDF version of a MS Word document, or an HTML version of an XML document, or resize an image. The planned enhancements are to provide additions to the Alfresco Share user interface to allow users to view and manage renditions of a particular content item. Manual creation of ad-hoc renditions is also planned.
Provided extended user interface within the Forms Service to be able to group (or 'segment') properties to control how they are presented to the editor. This will be particularly useful for large forms and will allow very task-orientated forms to be defined.
Composite content is something that is regularly required within WCM scenarios and, indeed, in scenarios where Alfresco is used as a general data repository. Composite content allows content models to define nested, repeating elements, each one holding a group of properties. The planned enhancement is to provide native Composite Content modelling facilities in the core Alfresco repository.
In WCM in particular, there is often a need to associate one content node with another in such a way as to imply a dependency between them. An example of this scenario is the link between a news article and an image. The image is a separately managed asset, but the news article relies on its existence. When the news article is published then the associated image must also be published. The planned enhancements are to provide the ability for a content item to be marked as 'dependent' on another, and therefore adhere to the dependency logic.
Within WCM scenarios, is useful for node or peer associations (one of many types of associations) to be ordered. This kind of association is used to create lists of assets, such as related articles, featured products, categorizations, etc.
It is often the case that people want to model a property such that its allowable values depend on the value set on another property. For example, the values allowed for the 'country' property depends on the value selected for the 'continent' property. The planned enhancements are to provide this ability as part of the Alfresco native content model.
Introduced within Alfresco 3.3, the Transfer Service enabled the transfer, or deployment, of content between Alfresco repositories. For example, within a WCM architecture, the Transfer Service can be used to deploy content from an authoring environment to a delivery environment. Planned enhancements include:
Focus: Repository reliability and scalability, easy application development, ease of use.
Swift will include a variety of usability and functional enhancements to the existing Share page components these include:
Simplify creation of application specific sites and spaces and enforce standards though site and space templates. Create Sites based site templates to allow sites to include predefine spaces, content and rules. Allow spaces in the document library to be created from space templates that include other spaces, content, rules etc.
Site Directories provide the ability to assign categories to sites and allow navigation and search via hierarchical site directory structure.
User interface enhancements to Alfresco Share to provide out of the box capabilities for managing digital assets such as video and audio.
Enhancements planned include:
Continued enhancements to the Alfresco CMIS implementation including:
Improved integration and protocol support options such as OpenID.
Focus: Distributed cloud and on-premise deployments
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