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Media Viewers 2.6 Released

Posted by wabson Employee Oct 31, 2013
Hot on the heels of the Alfresco Enterprise 4.2 release this week, the Share Extras team have been busy pushing out an updated version of the Media Viewers add-on, which provides support for viewing documents, audio, video and code directly within the web browser in place of the standard Share previewer.

Screen Shot 2013-10-31 at 15.41.29

A key part of the release involved fixing up a few 4.2-specific issues and adding additional support for the new document library views in 4.2 such as the Filmstrip View. But users of any recent version of Alfresco should be able to benefit from some new features - such as a new Present Mode for PowerPoint and ODP files - and developers are also able to customize the toolbar using extensibility modules.

The full list of features is available from the releases page on the GitHub project. But what's also significant is that this is the first major release we've completed for a Share Extras add-on since we completed the migration to GitHub recently. The new process ensures that the release is tagged in the repo, and has binary artifacts available from GitHub and from our new Maven repo (I'm indebted to Gab Columbro for this, who helped to set it up).

I'll be at Alfresco Summit this year in Barcelona talking about what was involved in the migration, both from a project management and from a technical standpoint in my talk Lessons Learned from Share Extras. You can catch me in Boston too, and at both conferences you're welcome to book a time to chat about Alfresco Integrations, Share Extras or add-ons in general at the Alfresco Experts bar.

Automated Record Declaration

Collecting records within an Enterprise can be a challenging problem for a records management team.  They often have to rely on users understanding the details of their records management policy and how that applies to their day-to-day working practices.

Automating record declaration helps to relinquish this responsibility from the user, allowing them to concentrate on working with their content, whilst leaving record capture to the content managers and records management team.

In Alfresco RM v2.1 automated record declaration is achieved using Alfresco content rules.

Manage Rule UI ActionGenerally, rules can be defined on any folder within Alfresco and work in a similar way to the inbox filters you may have seen on your favorite email client.

This allows rules to be defined on a users content authoring environment that implement record capture polices and are imposed automatically without the user doing anything.

Possible examples of record declaration rules include:

  • all content created in a folder structure is automatically declared as a record

  • if content is tagged as 'important' then declare it as a record

  • when a case is closed then declare it as a record

  • once a document has been reviewed via a workflow then declare it as a record

Rule Definition

Now the flow of records into the file plan is automatic and guaranteed, with little or no impact on the users working practices!

case auto declared

So where do all these records go and how does the records management team cope with the new influx of records?

In part 3 we will take a look at how we manage Unfiled Records and how automatic filling is possible.

For more information or to request a live demo of Alfresco Records Management module v2.1 visit

In-Place Record Declaration

In Alfresco Records Management Module v2.1 it is possible to declare any document as a record from within a share collaboration site.

Declare As Record Action



The advantages of declaring records in-place include:

  • The content authoring environment is isolated from the records management environment.

  • There is little or no impact on the way users work with their content.

  • Users do not need to understand the details of the records management working practices.

  • Declared records are still available to users within their authoring environment, but the records management team has full control.

Once a document is declared as a record the user will see a change both visually and in the actions available.

Declared In-Place Record


The capabilities and permissions that the content user has on the newly declared record are automatically calculated by the records management services and reflect the users original read or write permissions on the document. These permissions and capabilities are selective and provide the user a restricted view of the record and parts of the file plan.

No upfront configuration or mapping is required from the collaboration sites to the file plan.  This ensures setup and management is simple and knowledge domains remain discrete.

Once declared the record enters the file plan, whilst retaining it's position in the authoring taxonomy.  From the file plan the records management team can file, request information, complete and finally cut off the record ready for disposition.

Unfiled Record

When the content user no longer wishes to see the declared record in their content authoring environment they can use the hide action to relinquish their view.  The record is then only visible to the records management team.

Alfresco content rules can be used to automate record declaration and further simplify the users working environment.  A topic we will cover in part 2.

For more information or to request a live demo of Alfresco Records Management module v2.1 visit
Sometimes you may need to have considerably large and complex forms that may not show best using the Alfresco out of the box form templates. In this post I present a generic solution template and the instructions on how to use it.

The code for the tabbed form template can be found at:


It’s composed of:

  • src/main/resources/alfresco/web-extension/site-webscripts/org/alfresco/components/form/tabbed.ftl The freemarker form template itself. This file contains all the logic for the structure of the form discussed in this document.

  • src/main/resources/META-INF/css/tabbed.css The CSS stylesheet for the elements used by the form template.

  • src/main/resources/META-INF/js/tabbed.js The client side javascript with the functions used by the form template mostly for the tabbed structuring of fields.


How to install it

For installing it (after extracting it locally as per just execute:


mvn clean install


This will generate a jar file in the target folder: tabbed-alfresco-form-1.0.0.jar

Copy it to the shared/lib folder of your tomcat install or inside the WEB-INF/lib folder of your share webapp (you can also make the jar part of your own extension amp). In the first case make sure your tomcat installation has been configured properly for loading shared libraries. In conf/ you should have set for that:




Restart your server and you should be able to use the new form template.


How to use it

The form template can be used for any form. Depending on where you want to use it and what you exactly need some tweaking on original code might be required. Here we will present the example of using the form template for editing the properties of a content type but the instructions will be still valid for whatever other case of Share form you may use it.

On shared/classes/alfresco/web-extension/share-config-custom.xml add it to the custom configuration (don’t worry into understanding it exactly for now) the same sample configuration as contained in the second config tag of

After any editing of the shared/classes/alfresco/web-extension/share-config-custom.xml  you don't need to restart the server just go to http://localhost:8080/share/page/index and refresh the web scripts, the share application configuration should be refreshed.

Now just make sure to add for a certain document in any site the aspects:

  • Emailed

  • Effecitivity

  • Dublin Core


If you edit now the properties of the document you should see something like this:




If you click on Extra tab above:



Now let’s discuss how our configuration of the form template before led us to get this.

About the field-visibility tag on the configuration there’s nothing much to say except to specify all fields you want to see on the form.

Then on edit-form tag we specify our template:


<edit-form template='tabbed.ftl' />


On the appearance tag is where all the logic of the form templates comes in action.


The tabs

First we specify our tabs we want our form to be structured. In our case we just have two:


               <set id='Zgeneric' label='Generic' />

               <set id='Zextra' label='Extra' />


Note that we use the id for both cases starting with a Z. This is important. And after on the label the name we want to show for each tab.



The tab major layout

Afterwards we specify the major layout columns for each tab.


             <set id='generic1' parent='Zgeneric' label='' />

               <set id='extra1' parent='Zextra' label='' />

               <set id='extra2' parent='Zextra' label='' />


So we are specifying 1 single major layout column for the generic tab (look at the parent attribute for each set) and 2 major layout columns for the extra tab.



Here the exact id given to each set is not important. It’s assumed that any primary child set of a a tab set (Zgeneric and Zextra) are always specifying the number of columns of the tab layout.


The Group Sets

After we specify the groups in which we want to gather the fields (they are surrounded with a blue line and the corresponding label group). This allows for more structuring on our forms.


               <!-- generic group -->

               <set id='Ggeneric' parent='generic1' label='Generic'/>

               <!-- dates group -->

               <set id='Gdates' parent='generic1' label='Control'/>

          <!-- dublin group -->

               <set id='Gdublin' parent='extra1' label='Dublin'/>

                <!-- emailed group -->

               <set id='Gemailed' parent='extra2' label='Emailed'/>

                <!-- effectivity group -->

               <set id='Geffectivity' parent='extra2' label='Effectivity'/>


So we can see that for the single column of the first Generic tab we have two group sets: Generic and Control. The id here is important and it should start by a G. The labels are also going to be used on the representation of the form. Note that the parent is always the column tab layout they belong to.



For the 2 columns of the Extra tab layout we have 3 groups: Dublin, Emailed and Effectivity (corresponding to the aspects we have added to the document). The Dublin one we represent on the first column of the tab, while the other two in the second.



The table like structure of group fields

For each group before we can specify a fairly complex table like structure for the distribution of the fields in order to get the best look and feel we want. In our example we just use this capability in full for the groups Generic and Control of the first Generic tab. But it should be enough for understanding the template logics for others usages.

So lets look first to the generic subgroup in the first tab:



              <!-- name -->

               <set id='110Ggeneric-0-0' parent='Ggeneric'/>

               <!-- mimetype -->

               <set id='110Ggeneric-0-1' parent='Ggeneric'/>

                <!-- description -->

               <set id='121Ggeneric-0-2' parent='Ggeneric'/>

               <!-- title -->

               <set id='211Ggeneric-1-0' parent='Ggeneric'/>


Each one of these set tags is specifying the cell distribution (row and column span and break of lines) for the subgroup Ggeneric. This is done through the id first 3 numbers. The rest of the id just has to guarantee that the id is overall unique and we use a convention based on the subgroup name and the row and column within the row, but it is not interpreted by the form template.

  • The first number specifies the column span of the cell

  • The second number the row span of the cell

  • And the third number specifies if the row ends (1) or continues to the next cell/set (0).


So for 110Ggeneric-0-0 we are specifying the name cell has a row and column span 1 (so no span) and the line continues.

For the 110Ggeneric-0-1 of the mime type the same.

For 121Ggeneric-0-2 of the description we are specifying there’s no column span but there’s row span, so the cell spans to the row after. As you can check looking the form screenshot.

Finally for the title 211Ggeneric-1-0 we do the opposite, spanning the columns but not the row. As again is visible on the screen shot.

If we look into the next subgroup Control:



The structure is much more simple and now we probably don’t need to explain the configuration:


               <!-- creator -->

               <set id='110Gdates-0-0' parent='Gdates'/>

                <!-- modifier -->

               <set id='111Gdates-0-1' parent='Gdates'/>

               <!-- created -->

               <set id='110Gdates-1-0' parent='Gdates'/>

               <!-- modified -->

               <set id='111Gdates-1-1' parent='Gdates'/>


For the Extra tab the table structure for each subgroup is the simplest possible with no row or column span and each cell occupying a full row. So all ids start by 111.

So far we just described the set tags that define the layout but haven't discussed the field tags yet. The fields tags are needed and through the set attribute it’s how we map each field with the set/cell it belongs to:


               <field id='cm:name' set='110Ggeneric-0-0'>


                       <control-param name='style'>width: 150px;</control-param>



               <field id='mimetype'  set='110Ggeneric-0-1'>

                  <control template='/org/alfresco/components/form/controls/mimetype.ftl'>

                       <control-param name='style'>width: 200px;</control-param>




But aside that there’s nothing particular about the field tag settings when using the tabbed.ftl form template.

This post is a quick follow-up to my original article Homebrew: Share thumbnails and previews on OS X.

Some additions to the file were introduced as a bug-fix to 4.1.6 Enterprise Edition and subsequently 4.2.d Community and all newer versions of Alfresco. The additions were:




As ImageMagick installed via Homebrew uses a slightly different folder structure, we'll need to override these three properties in in order to restore thumbnail functionality in OS X.

# Overrides for




That's it!


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