Alfresco DevCon Wrap Up

DevCon wrapped up at the end of October in sunny San Diego.   Conferences are always a great way to get “re-energized”, meeting new users to the Alfresco platform, spending time with existing clients, and getting excited about where the Alfresco platform is headed.  This post will discuss the roadmap and other thoughts from the conference.

Alfresco Keynote / Alfresco Roadmap

John Newton always gives great presentations, and the Alfresco Keynote was no exception.  A majority of Alfresco’s focus for the next year can be categorized into three main categories – social, mobile, and cloud.  Social Content Management has been a purveying theme since last year and is finally coming to fruition in the Alfresco 4.0 release.  The ability to create publishing channels such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr will be available, in addition to more social features in the Share Interface.

Scalability and the deployment in the cloud was also a major topic of focus.  Because of Alfresco’s relatively small footprint, deployment to the Cloud has never been a complicated task.  Given the underlying nature of document management repositories to be secure, it seems that most clients would opt to deploy ECM repositories on-premise or on private clouds.  However, allowing capabilities to replicate content for public consumption from internal repositories in a scalable manner should be appealing to organizations, acting as a building block to both mobile and social applications.  Frameworks like OpenMigrate may be used to allow Alfresco to be the content aggregator of content from internal Alfresco repositories or legacy systems.

Alfresco also recently released an iPhone/iPad application to allow browsing of an Alfresco Repository. John’s analogy of Cook (Laptop), Dine (iPad/Tablet), and Snack (iPhone/Smartphone) was perfect in regards to how users will consumer content on various devices.  A user’s laptop or PC will primarily remain the primary place in which content is created.  Tablets will be a primary interface to consume or read content.  Smartphones will be used primarily to look for something specific in a document or quickly review a document.  Tablets may go either way (I personally try to take notes via my iPad and occasionally respond to e-mails), but very close to how users may consume and create content based on the device.   Knowing this will prevail across the Enterprise, TSG has been developing an HTML5-based mobile application, showcasing document search capabilities on both iDevices and Android.  Look for a blog post in the coming weeks.

Case Studies

TSG had the opportunity to showcase two of our most recent Alfresco Case Studies – The New York Philharmonic and UCP myInfinitec.  A big thanks to Mitch Brodsky, the Digital Archives Project Manager,  for coming out to San Diego to talk about the case study.  NY Phil was able to leverage OpenMigrate to drive ingestion of content as well as publishing of metadata to Solr.  UCP was also a great case study in the educational sector, showcasing how Liferay and Alfresco can provide a robust platform for educators, providing on-line classrooms, resources, and downloads to assist children with learning disabilities.  Thanks to all who attended.

TSG is working with Alfresco to further showcase both of these great uses of the Alfresco platform in the coming weeks.

Alfresco Community

Coming away from DevCon further highlights what a great development community Alfresco has fostered.  We’ll be looking to extend the community in Chicago as well.  It is always fun to catch up with other partners and Alfresco “old timers”, but just as enjoyable to meet new faces and those excited to build the platform.