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1/27/2011
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Alfresco Introduces Social Enterprise Content Management

The open source Enterprise 3.4 release offers integration with social media through Jive and Liferay.

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Open source software provider Alfresco has released Version 3.4 of its paid-support Enterprise Content Management (ECM) product, offering a new focus on social content.

CTO John Newton said that after working with author Geoffrey Moore and bringing him in for a webinar, the company began refocusing the product to differentiate between what it calls "systems of record" and "systems of engagement."

The first includes all the content the company generates itself. The second includes content from the outside, used to create the company's changing position within the marketplace, he said.

"Social Content Management is where the capabilities of social business systems and traditional Enterprise Content Management meet," said Newton. "It is communication and collaboration with a business purpose and it requires a platform that can deliver content for discussion and engagement that then captures the results of that discussion."

"Alfresco Enterprise 3.4 is that platform -- delivered as open source with open standards like CMIS, JSR-168 and RESTful API's -- in order for developers, customers, and our partners to manage content and expose repository functionality inside of social business systems."

Jive and Liferay are among those partners. Through Jive, Alfresco customers can now gain access to the complete Twitter feed, a feature dubbed the Twitter Firehose. Liferay offers Web content management and an advanced open source interface.

The aim of the Jive and Liferay integration is to both manage internal social content and deliver a single coherent message to external social media.

Alfresco Enterprise 3.4 features a refreshed Share interface with status updates, content activity streams, and enhanced search capabilities, distributed content replication, and collaborative Web authoring. Share also now exposes workflows created with standards-based enterprise business process management tools.

Alfresco 3.4 also includes a DocLib portlet to enhance its JSR-168 support, which exposes a document library in standards-based portals like Liferay or Red Hat's JBoss Portal. Using the Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS) standard, Alfresco continues to integrate with Drupal, Lotus Quickr, and an expanding set of social business systems.

The idea is to bring intelligence from the outside inside the firewall, whether from the Web or from other Intranets, to massage that data, and finally to create a uniform market stance within a company, Newton said.

Alfresco has been on a roll lately, with its Business Process Management (BPM) product, Activiti, named one of the Open Source Rookies of the Year by Black Duck Software. The ECM product is much more mature and analysts consider it the firm's main "flagship" offering.

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