Lenya Overview

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Lenya Overview

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The official documentation is at: http://docs.alfresco.com

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Lenya Overview - One Pager

What is it?

Apache Lenya is an Open-Source Content Management System written in Java
and based on open standards such as XML and XSLT.

Simple installer which provides out-of-the-box a web based WCM application
and Weblog application.

Features include Browser Editing, Revision Control, Scheduling, Search Engine,
seperate Staging Areas and Workflow.

Built with Cocoon.

High-level Features


  • Browser based WYSIWYG Editors
  • Page locking
  • Page revisions


  • Built-in workflow engine (configured in XML)
  • Simple approval workflows out-of-the-box
  • Schedule publishing and de-activation of pages
  • Workflow auditing


  • Multiple languages per page
  • Displays pages in default language if not available in required language


  • Content re-use - share amongst publications
  • XHTML + CSS templating
  • Navigation framework (automatically create menus, tabs etc)
  • Search engine friendly URLs

Site Management

  • Hierarchical site map - move, copy etc pages and parts of site
  • Page meta data, assets (images), workflow, access control, scheduling
  • Page arhiving
  • Trash can for retrieving deleted pages
  • Dublin Core meta-data (or other meta-data)
  • Link management - ensure links are not broken e.g. disable link to missing child, parent must be published before child
  • Serve sites from authoring server or seperate server or statically


  • SSL
  • LDAP integration
  • Users, Groups, IP Addresses, Roles
  • Control access to each page


  • Orginally came from Wyona CMS (Micheal Wechner, who is no longer active)
  • Apache Lenya 1.2.1 released December 29, 2004, 2.0 released Dec 2007
  • v3.0 Roadmap Includes JSR170 & WebDAV as required building blocks.  Comments on the mailing list in early 2008 indicate that JSR-170 is probably quite distant.
  • Documentation is lacking

Alignment with Alfresco Content Management Framework

DC's thoughts...

Lenya is starting with a different set of Applications to Alfresco

  • WCM Application
  • Weblog Application
  • Lenya's UI is simple, but needs work (Linton's visualisations just blow it away); it's all implemented as Cocoon XSP

Lenya architecture is the Cocoon architecture, but has added

  • authentication & authorisation service
  • editor integration
  • navigation framework
  • publication (I think is move from author to live site)
  • revision control (linear checkout/checkin only)
  • asset management (image and doc inclusion in pages)
  • link manangement (integrity, resolution - author / live site)
  • meta data (which is kept inside document)
  • multi-lingual content (ingrained into the core of Lenya)
  • workflow, tasks (can invoke ant), scheduling (quartz)

The above features are likely to be refactored into Cocoon blocks (components) thus allowing mix and match cocoon / lenya capabilities.  Collectively, this could be labelled the Apache CMF.

The Lenya Repository - does it exist or doesn't it?

  • Some preliminary JCR work was done in 2006 but it stalled.  The only real repository available is Lenya's home-grown filesystem-based one, with
    separate folders for authoring and live sites
    file copies for versioning
    an xml file is used to represent the version meta-data
  • there's mention of WebDAV and Slide, but they are both just experimental.
  • v3.0 roadmap talks of JSR-170 and WebDAV building blocks
  • these links also exist in the Lenya WIKI
    Repository Requirements
  • There's an interesting message in the following Cocoon dev thread which includes
> +---------------------------------------------+
> | Complex Lenya CMS operations                |
> +---------------------------------------------+
> | Lenya CMS API                               |
> +---------------------------------------------+
> | Cocoon repository API                       |
> +---------------------------------------------+
> | Whatever repository (e.g., JCR)             |
> +---------------------------------------------+

  • Lenya and Alfresco CMF in harmony?...
WCM Application (Lenya)
WCM Services (Lenya) - sitemap, navigation, assets, processes
Web Application F/W (Cocoon)
Transformation and Publishing (Cocoon)
CMF (Alfresco) - repository, search, behaviour
  i.e. versioning, trx., links, multi-lingual, meta-data, workflow

In summary, Lenya's architecture is gradually improving, but there is no aspect of Lenya that Alfredo doesn't already do much better, and there are so few active Lenya contributors that there should be little expectation of major improvements in the future.