Last week open source document management vendor Alfresco released Version 4 of its (commercially-supported) enterprise edition package. As we've come to expect from Alfresco, it's long on buzzwords and interesting new directions, but a bit short on functional niceties and architectural continuity.
The key features and implications for what Alfresco calls its "Cloud Connected Content Platform" are:
There are various other changes too, but as you can probably make out, the big story seems to be around cloud. Alfresco plans to offer its cloud-based offering later this year, based on Version 4. Much of this is really new and by that I don't mean just in terms of technology. For example, their proposed integration with DropBox really tries to marry enterprise functionality with one that is consumer facing. We can't say how this will pan out in organizations but we'll keep watching.
Meanwhile, you should remain skeptical about anything that uses "Cloud" in any way and ask tough questions. Fortunately, there's help easily available. Check out this advisory paper: Are cloud-based file-sharing services too immature for the enterprise?
Document Management (ECM) Evaluation Stream looks at... Alfresco ECM Enterprise
"Although the software itself is freely available for download, when you factor in the inevitable services work required for a complex application, along with the relatively steep maintenance and support fees that Alfresco itself charges, an Alfresco-driven project may be no less costly than a commercial competitor's offering...."
Learn the real strengths and weaknesses of major ECM vendors from around the world, in our Document Management (ECM) evaluation research stream.
Tags: Document Management (ECM), Enterprise Search, Web Content & Experience Management, Cloud Computing, European Marketplace, Marketplace at Large, Open Source, Selecting Technology, Services Oriented Architecture, Software-as-a-Service, Alfresco WCM, Enterprise Edition
"Bottom line: I wholeheartedly recommend the ECM Research as a resource for end-user organizations -- and consultants who haven't worked with every solution listed would be well served to acquire a copy, as well."
Jesse Wilkins, Principal Consultant, Access Sciences
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