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Alfresco Content Services (formerly Alfresco ECM) is a free enterprise content management system for Microsoft Windows and Unix-like operating systems. It comes in three editions: Alfresco Community Edition is free software, licensed open source. Alfresco One is commercially & proprietary licensed open source, open standards and enterprise scale. Its design is geared towards users who require a high degree of modularity and scalable performance. Alfresco in the Cloud is the SaaS version of Alfresco, billed as suitable for relatively smaller teams that don't need the customizability available in Alfresco One.
Hyland acquired Alfresco in October 2020. Alfresco Content Services and Alfresco are now supported by Hyland, as a Hyland brand.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Document storage with metadata
- Document versioning
- Document workflow
- Check-on and Check-out
- Rest API for integrations
- Easy customization
- Fine-grain-level role and permission
- Vibrant community support
- User interface is not intituve
- Customization of user interface
- Dependency on partner solution for common use cases like content capturing and imaging (e.g., OCR).
- Alfresco Content Services is well suited as a backend document management service where the front end is different and Alfresco Content Services is used as DM.
- Alfresco Content Services can be leveraged for document storage, metadata management of document, and document searches based on content or metadata.
- Alfresco Content Services provide many customization options, making it usable for different scenarios.
Moreover, it's cheaper than Microsoft SharePoint.
- Document management i.e. it promotes a paperless office
- Cloud solution i.e. ability to access content outside your work zone
- Collaborative web content
- It also brings content and process together
- Ability to scan directly using Alfresco scan features
- Ability to integrate with social network platform.. i.e. upload and share to Facebook or Instagram
- Interface should be much more user-friendly and light
- Archival and search and retrieval functionalities.
- Organization and metadata applications for content processes and orchestration.
- Scaling to serve more use cases and larger content stores and archives, as well as migration to the cloud/hosted environments.
- Alfresco Process Services and Alfresco Application Development Framework integration makes for best functionality/application of ECM.
- Use case alignment - Marketing content and documentation of specific business requirements and user stories being available as reference material/documentation.
- Integration with multiple silos for content.
- The UI is intuitive, clean, and friendly. Users have required little training for basic functionality.
- We have been pleased with the overall system performance of Alfresco Enterprise Content Management.
- Our greatest need for Alfresco ECM is the functionality to generate public URLS for content. We've accomplished this through our Drupal integration, but at times, it would be very useful to be able to make Alfresco content publicly available without this added layer.
- Many of our other concerns have been addressed in the latest version and we look forward to that implementation.
- It facilitates real-time updates to manage content throughout the website without any code drops.
- It helps with digital marketing to customers.
- It also has good mobile support when it comes to managing content.
- Enrichment of current content is not so easy, we have to reload the content to do so.
- There is no support for XQuery.
- Content transformation is absent.
- Document Management - The ability to store documents, manage custom aspects and metadata. Plus full control over versioning of documents with the ability to check in and out.
- Custom API's - Alfresco supports multiple API's both internal and external and pretty much allows you to customize and integrate with any application
- Searching - Lucene and SOLR which are integreated into Alfresco offer a multitude of ways to find documents/folders.
- Auditing - They have a fairly powerful (although somewhat confusing) auditing system that lets you audit almost any action or service.
- Documentation can be challenging -There can be pages of documentation on features and api methods, but they often lack real world examples and are quite often out of date
- Early adoption of features can be problematic - Alfresco seems to change quickly and often trying to use newer features can be frustrating. Especially when they keep tweaking/modifying functionality between versions. There has been cases (IE: Records Management) where they've completely re-worked how it works.
- Customization of share interface seems cludgy and sometimes limiting
The users vary from Sales, HR, Legal, Records management, IT etc, to store employee records, legal documents, project specific documents.
Main business problems Alfresco addressed were:
- We had to replace Documentum system which has 70 TB of content and more than 1000 active users in a shorter time. Alfresco licensing is affordable and we implemented ECM with Alfresco.
- Integrations with the third party are easy and flexible, ex: SFDC, Reporting tools, external publishing systems.
- The workflow is so flexible and can develop small to big complicated business processes. The business users can have a single user interface to finish the workflow having interacted with other third-party tools.
- The organizations demand a hybrid approach, running the same software applications on-premise and on-cloud with the same architecture. The local which can act as a master, can be synced with the cloud. This allows collaboration between internal and external users with selective privileges and access control.
- The Workflow architecture is quite robust and scalable platform. The business users can create business processes easily without any technical knowledge.
- The service integrations comprised in BPM paves the way to develop complex BPM solutions.
- ECM and BPM have different licenses and different user interfaces. The users often gets confused about which one to use and it plays a bigger factor in deciding the ECM platform. The workflow engines in Alfresco are redundant, the inbuilt ECM has workflow engine and Alfresco offers activity product as BPM.
- The UI development is little complicated, the knowledge of UI framework is required. These are not simple java technologies to learn.
- Documentation of Alfresco really sucks. There is no single place to refer the architecture, development/deployment guides. The information is scattered across multiple websites with different login credentials.
- Companies which look for content management solutions with simple to complex workflow requirements.
- Companies which don't look for complex functionalities in content creation like DITA, web authoring, co-authoring etc.
- Fast deployment, easy adoption, and scalable teams can look into this.
- Dynamic content publishing, co-authoring, and collaboration.
- Alfresco is able to handle a very large number of documents without requiring huge server capacity.
- Alfresco is able to connect to the cloud solution and to share documents with an external organisation without security issues.
- Alfresco implements standards like CMIS, and provides very simple integration points.
- Alfresco is a bundle of technology packaged together, so this solution requires a lot of expertise if you want to customize a lot your solution.
- One of the standout features available on this enterprise digital document management system is the workflow and collaboration options it includes. This solution lets you easily share files with certain members of your team. You can also route documents to certain individuals for approval or review.
- Alfresco also offers social tools. You can view an activity feed and see what is happening with content. You can also “like” and “follow” certain creators or content. Additionally, Alfresco offers the ability to publish your content directly to certain websites and social media networks.
- Alfresco provides all of the necessary features for finding, editing and storing documents. You can open existing documents and edit them. Version control options are available, allowing you to access and view the most recent and previous versions of a document. There are also document imaging capabilities and the option to store your files and documents on the Alfresco cloud.
- Additionally, this enterprise content management software is accessible on mobile devices. You can view content on these devices and even make changes. This is a valuable tool that makes working on the go much easier and more enjoyable.
- This enterprise CMS does not provide backup capabilities and it is lacking several support resources including FAQs and live chat.
- Alfresco Share platform is good but to create pages , using dashlets is a tedious task in Surf platform. Some automation similar to Liferay Studio is required.
- Alfresco Backup/Restore strategies needs improvement.
- Alfresco Customization/Extension process needs improvement.
- Tools to access documents, edit files and share data
- Easy for customization and integration
- Open source, knowledge sharing, etc
- Performance monitoring and tuning
- Solr search capability to handle very large content repository
- Alfresco workflow capabilities which is easy to impelent and provides all kind of serial and parallel workflow implementation.
- Alfresco CIFS implementation which allows us to implemente business rules for importing scanned documents directly in alfresco through CIFS location and process it based on busines rules.
- Alfresco webscripts allows us to integrate Alfresco and liferay portal.
- Alfresco Mobility
- Alfresco Cloud
- Basic workflows are easy enough for casual users to set up and utilize.
- Cloud sync capability provides a great way to share documents with third parties and to use as a backup system for critical documents.
- Alfresco mobile app makes it easy for those on the road to access, approve and share documents.
- Folder rules are easy to set up and make assignment of metadata easier to automate.
- When users are members of 1000 sites or more, certain features such as sites dashlet do not work properly.
- There isn't any integration between Alfresco and Microsoft Outlook for Mac. IMAP integration has flaws that can cause loss of email.
- Mobile app doesn't have a site search feature. this is problematic when you have thousands of sites and you need to access one where you have not saved it as a favorite.
- The out of the box Alfresco is very good.
- Easy customization.
- Support from Alfresco is great.
- Using YUI (Yahoo User Interface) for id's makes my job in Quality Assurance tough.
- Collaboration - it is an excellent tool for collaboration and makes it very easy for several people to work on projects together.
- Scripting - If there is something that Alfresco does not do natively, you can use their custom API to do almost anything that you want.
- Interface - The interface of the application is nice and neat, and is very easy to use and understand.
- Workflows - I believe that creating workflows from the API is a little cumbersome. I think that they could package a few more generic workflows or it could be a little easier to create one.
- First of all, Alfresco is newly developed compared to old content management systems, so it has adopted some of the best practices and it has avoided the problems faced by earlier systems.
- Alfresco is open source so it is very easy to find problems if any and to extend it. The cost of licensing Alfresco is very less compared to other systems.
- Alfresco does very well in performance, design, API design and has lot of great features such as auto PDF conversion, auto compression, etc.
- The customer support and community support is very good.
- Some more APIs can be added although the existing APIs very well provide the required features.
- Their other tools such as collaboration, etc need to be marketed well so that companies adopt Alfresco as a whole package.
- Alfresco needs to be on the lookout for immediately introducing any new functions provided by other competitive products.
- Easy to develop Workflows
- Simple and controlled Web Content Management for HTML based websites
- Good in Document Management System
- Web Content Management should be matured
- Internal Search
- Workflow customization with external applications