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2019

In this blog post I would like to share the upcoming changes to the contribution process for Alfresco components. In short, the well known ALF project (https://issues.alfresco.com/jira/projects/ALF) in our Jira is going to be archived.

For quite a while the ALF project was serving as a home of all the contributions from Community members, accommodating the feature requests, bug descriptions and patches. The world around it has changed and the project is no longer the easiest way for us to listen to Community and for Community to talk to us. We would like to propose to use GitHub as the place for collaboration, to be as close to the code as possible.

This is how it can look like.

The process will include a smaller number of steps to make the contribution easier to submit and approve:

 

How to find the right repository?

 

Alfresco Content Services has a lot of components, so it might be quite hard to find the right one to submit your issue. The following list contains all of the relevant repositories and short description of each of them.

If you are unsure which one to select if you experience an issue in Alfresco application, you can use one of the packaging projects to raise the issue. If you know exactly where the issue occurs, please create an issue in the relevant project instead of packaging projects. Needless to say that it is a lot easier for us to review and approve the PR with exact changes than reacting to an issue description without any points to code. Although we will try our best to pay attention to all of them.

Please keep in mind that this list may change over time.


If the feedback will be positive, we will gradually make the following changes:

Here's a brief overview of the new Alfresco Transform Service that is being introduced as an option for Alfresco Content Services (ACS) 6.1. It also includes evolutionary changes to the ACS Repository.

 
For those that missed DevCon 2019 you can also refer to following slides Transforming Transformers in ACS 6.1 and beyond.
Transforming Transformersfor ACS 6.1 and beyond !Jan VonkaArchitect & Product Owner@ Alfresco
 
The video can be found here:
 
I will try to come back and update this blog post with links to other related slides & videos such as:
 
If you've been closely following the ACS reference deployment projects, you may already have noticed the new Transform Service. This is available now alongside the ACS 6.1 release.
 
Helm Deployment Components
 
The Transform Service is an optional component that is enabled by default in the ACS reference deployments, whether using Docker Compose, Helm / Kubernetes or the AWS EKS stack.
 
  
Alternatively, you can access via ACS download trial.
 
Overview of the Transform Service
 
The following overview is extracted from the documentation. Thanks Adelaide Nxumalo.
 
The Transform Service handles the essential transforms, such as Microsoft Office documents, images, and PDFs. These include PNG for thumbnails, PDF and JPEG for downloads and previews.
 
The following diagram shows a simple representation of the Transform Service components:
  

This shows an example implementation of how you can deploy into AWS, using a number of managed services:

  • Amazon EKS - Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes
  • Amazon MQ - Managed message broker service for Apache ActiveMQ
  • Amazon EFS - Amazon Elastic File System
You can replace the AWS services (EKS, MQ, and EFS) with a self-managed Kubernetes cluster, ActiveMQ (configured with failover), and a shared file store, such as NFS.

The main components of the Transform Service are:

  • Content Repository (ACS): This is the repository where documents and other content resides. The repository produces and consumes events destined for the message broker (such as ActiveMQ or Amazon MQ). It also reads and writes documents to the shared file store.
  • ActiveMQ: This is the message broker (either a self-managed ActiveMQ instance or Amazon MQ), where the repository and the Transform Router send image transform requests and responses. These JSON-based messages are then passed to the Transform Router.
  • Transform Router: The Transform Router allows simple (single-step) and pipeline (multi-step) transforms that are passed to the Transform Engines. The Transform Router (and The Transform Engines) run as independently scalable Docker containers.
  • Transform Engines: The Transform Engines transform files sent by the repository. Here are some example transformation for each Transform Engine (this is not an exhaustive list):
    • LibreOffice (e.g. docx to pdf)
    • ImageMagick (e.g. resize)
    • Alfresco PDF Renderer (e.g. pdf to png)
    • Tika (e.g. docx to plain text)
  • Shared File Store: This is used as temporary storage for the original source file (stored by the repository), intermediate files (or multi-step transforms), and the final transformed target file. The target file is retrieved by the repository after it's been processed by one or more of the Transform Engines.

For more details, please refer to the Transform Service documentation:

 

 

Please try out try out ACS 6.1 reference deployments with the new Transform Service.

 

We look forward to your feedback. Please free to contact Preeti Nirwal or myself.

 

Thanks,

 

Jan Vonka & the INT team (Integrations n Transformations)

 

 

Motivation

Alfresco 6.0 switching to container deployment is a good thing, but Docker has efficiency issues on Mac. What's wrong with a well configured stand-alone Alfresco Community 6.0? Nothing!

 

Download Three Files

The attached Bash script automates the installation of Alfresco Community 6.0. It looks for 3 downloaded files in the same folder of the script or a folder specified as the script's first parameter.

The above links are for Tomcat 8.5.37, ACS 6.0.7-ga, Search Services 1.3.0.

 

Run The Install Script

Create an empty folder into which a stand-alone Alfresco Community will be installed. Be sure to set the environment variable JAVA_HOME. Then run the installation script, assuming everything else is in the parent folder:

mkdir 6.0.7-ga
cd 6.0.7-ga
../install-alfresco-6x.sh

The script will install all three archives, create or modify configuration files and startup scripts, download MySQL JDBC driver and the missing PDF renderer for Mac, start Solr6. It also applies the Share module for alfresco.war, which will ask you to press a few keys in between.

 

Create Your MySQL Schema

The script creates file tomcat/shared/classes/alfresco-global.properties with these MySQL database settings:

  • Schema name:  alf607ce
  • User name:  alfresco
  • Password:  alfresco

Here are the MySQL commands to create the schema:

$ mysql -u root
create schema alf607ce default character set utf8;
grant all on alf607ce.* to 'alfresco'@'localhost' identified by 'alfresco' with grant option;

 

Start and Stop Alfresco

./alfresco.sh start
./alfresco.sh jpda start # Start with debug
./alfresco.sh stop

 

Start and Stop Solr 6

The install script already starts Solr 6 for you. Subsequent start and stop commands are:

search-services/solr/bin/solr start
search-services/solr/bin/solr stop

 

Other Versions of Alfresco

This install script also works for 6.1.1. There is a bug in 6.1.2-ga that prevents alfresco.war from fully deployed and run in Tomcat. Just don't use it.

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