The official documentation is at: http://docs.alfresco.com
Table of Contents
- 1 WCM Deployment Enhancements
- 2 AVM CIFS Configuration Enhancements
- 3 Web Project Search
- 4 Web Project Templates
- 5 Other Alfresco 2.x WCM Feature Investigation Items
WCM Deployment Enhancements
Alfresco 2.2 now adds greater configurability for how sites are configured for test and live deployment. Our enhanced deployment supports includes capabilities for enabling site preview for non-Java, non-virtualizable websites and web applications via shared pools of remote test servers that are dynamically allocated and de-allocated, and now supports advanced run-time server deployment options such as multiple deployment target for each file system receiver and source path and path exclusion parameters. 2.2 also adds support for archives of deployment reports for rich audit trails. For more detail on our new deployment capabilities, now feature complete and available for test by enterprise customers, please read here.
AVM CIFS Configuration Enhancements
Alfresco 2.2 now adds greater configurability for how stores and store versions are accessed via CIFS. 2.2 now supports filtering of available stores by store type, version, and user role. For more information on upcoming 2.2 AVM/CIFS configuration enhancements, please read AVM/CIFS Configuration Guide.
Web Project Search
Based on popular demand, 2.2 extends the indexing and search support for both Staging sandboxes and deployed repositories with new end-user search support in the Alfresco web client. In 2.2, Alfresco users can do a simple search in both a Staging sandbox and a user sandbox. Because only content checked-in and snapshotted in Staging is indexed for searching, search within a user sandbox returns just those items currently available in Staging, filtering out any items a user may have deleted within their sandbox (this to ensure that any resource in the search results is actionable in terms of edit or preview). Any new items added in a user's sandbox, however, will not be visible within the search results screen. These assets instead can be found via the Modified Items listed.
Users can execute a simple search by entering keywords in the textbox located in the upper-right-hand corner of the title bar for any Staging or user sandbox they are browsing:
After clicking on the search icon, users will be presented with a paginated results list along with relevant action (view properties and preview in read-only Staging sandboxes; full set of actions including edit and delete in user sandboxes where a user has permission). In addition, folder paths where the content is located is also displayed, and clickable to take a user directly to that section of the website:
Also within the web client, when browsing a Web Project, users in 2.2 will also have pre-canned search queries available directly from their list of Web Forms. In addition to having immediate access for creating a new content item, users can also immediately browse a list of all existing items created using a particular form to edit or delete without having to know anything about the underlying folder locations in which these assets are stored:
After clicking Browse Content, users will see a listing of all XML assets generated using that Web Form:
Web Project Templates
Alfresco's 2.2 WCM release includes support for creating Web Project templates. These templates can be used to quickly create new websites pre-populated with an existing body of content and pre-configured with Web Form, templates, workflows, and user sandboxes. These pre-configured settings can be modified either when the new website is created or anytime afterwards using the Edit Web Project Settings Wizard.
When creating any new Web Project, on Step One of the Create Web Project Wizard, you can now mark the Web Project as a template for use as a baseline for future projects:
When creating any new Web Project, on Step Two of the Create Web Project Wizard, you can now choose to create a blank Web Project (what happens in Alfresco 2.1.0E and earlier) or baseline off one of your marked templates. You can also choose to view all Web Projects at the bottom of the screen to baseline your new site off any existing site, whether marked as a template or not.
After selecting the template, you can click next and go through the remainder of the Create Web Project Wizard and confirm or modify the cloned settings from the template for Web Forms, templates, workflows, and users. Or, immediately after selecting the appropriate template, simply click Finish and immediately go into the newly created and configured Web Project and start working using the pre-configured body of content and Web Forms.
To later change anything related to your newly created Web Project, you can always re-run the Edit Web Project Settings Wizard to update any settings you inherited from the parent Web Project template.
Feature Deep Dive
Web Project Templating makes use of the AVM's underlying branching capability. The AVM (the underlying Subversion-like repository implementation used to support web content) supports branching at a file, directory, and store-level. Branching within the AVM is a constant-time activity that requires no incremental disk space. This means that creating a new branch of a body of content takes the same amount of time whether your templated Web Project has a pre-set body of content of 10 assets, 1,000 assets, 10,000 assets or more. And because it takes no incremental disk space, spinning off multiple instances of a base template (for example for regional marketing sites) is not only fast, but cheap.
When Web Projects are created, the Create Web Project Wizard by default creates one AVM store called Staging, and one store for use by each user invited to the Web Project. The Staging store in 2.1.0E and earlier is created as an empty store and each user store after creation is populated with a single layered directory at the root of the store that points to Staging. This layered directory in each user store ensures that any content promoted to Staging is transparently available to all users in the Alfresco web client and via CIFS so that they always are working with the latest and greatest approved version of the websites. These stores created by the Create Web Project Wizard are each registered with the Virtualization Server to support website / web app preview are collectively and individually referred to as sandboxes to their use for staging proposed sets of changes to the websites that are independently previewable and non-conflicting.
In 2.2, the Create Web Project Wizard has been modified to branch the content of the base Web Project to pre-populate the Staging store of the new Web Project. In this case, the entire Staging store of the source Web Project is being branched with the new Staging store as its target. Branching within the AVM is much more granular; however, for fast and efficient cloning (and later synchronization to updates) of a Web Project, store-level branching is what is used to support this new feature.
The remainder of the Create Web Project Wizard continues working as it normally does: creating user stores with a layered directory that points to Staging. Because that Staging store is now pre-populated with a branch body of content, those user sandboxes now have an immediate context for your Publishers to create and modify Web Pages.
Other Alfresco 2.x WCM Feature Investigation Items
Alfresco 2.x will focus on enabling business-users to create enterprise mash-ups using new Web Script-based Alfresco Web Components. Alfresco WCM will provide a simple interface for business users to create new mash-ups based on templates and easily add and customize web pages using Web Forms. Alfresco 2.2 WCM will also provide a default site template for a simple mash-up site and have a variety of enhancements for Web Developers, Web Designers, Content Managers, Content Publishers, Content Contributors, and Content Reviewers to make getting up and running with Alfresco WCM fast and easy.
PLEASE NOTE: This page is a work in progress, and does not represent a commitment by Alfresco. Actual product plans will vary significantly from this list, although this list is indicative of those items that are under current exploration. Actual release will be significantly scoped down from this expansive list of feature requirements.
Web Developers need the ability to:
- Easily create and test new Web Forms, Web Scripts, Web Components and Workflows and deploy to a production authoring server
- Easily create and model custom types within a Web Project
- Easily set-up and configure deployment topology for dynamic website
- Ability to export / import Web Project. Ability to take a finalized Web Project and export to an authoring server. Includes ability to bundle all associated Web Forms, XMLMetadataExtractors, and Workflows, and an ability to import on an authoring server. (WCM-240)
- Ability to create and manage Web-script based Web Components in a Web Component Library. In Data Dictionary, ability to define a Web Component for use by Web Designers when creating Page Templates and Content Publishers when creating new web pages based on a template. Web Component will include both a Web Script and an associated Web Form for customization parameters to be configured by a Web Designer or Content Publisher.
- Support for custom content types and enforced metadata assignment at time of content submission. (WCM-279, WCM-485)
- Ability to have multiple target deployments for a given server machine. Ability to define different rules for publishing different sets of assets to different locations on the same target server, for example, pushing all videos to one location, and all code to another location on a same file-server (multiple source root path and target destination root paths). (WCM-663)
- Multi-server transactional deployment. Ability to transactional commit changes to multiple servers, including a remote file server and remote Alfresco server. Includes sample deployment configuration for deploying an Alfresco-managed web app, with code deployed to a run-time app server and content to a run-time Alfresco repo.
- Ability to configure multiple virtualization servers. Ability to set-up multiple virtualization servers on one or more separate machines and configure to
Web Designers need the ability to:
- Build and publish templated websites and web pages for use by the business
- Leverage a library of basic web building blocks (Web Components) for a basic site
- Easily update templated websites based on changes to functionality, layout, or styling
- Ability to create a site template. Site templates would include default directory structure, web resources (images, css, code, etc.), Web Form associations, Web Page associations, and business rules. [DONE: Available Oct. 17th in Community HEAD]
- Ability to create web page template. Ability to assemble a web page using Web Components and save as a page template. Ability to associate one or multiple Web Page templates with a site.
- Ability to sync any Web Project based on changes to a site or page template.
- Ability to leverage a pre-built library of Web Components, for example search, search results, content details, breadcrumb, navbar, teaser, etc.
Content Managers need the ability to:
- Quickly create new websites based on published web templates
- Easily track production activities within a Web Project
- Easily manage users and permissions within a Web Project
- Ability to create site based on site template. When creating a new Web Project, Content Manager need the ability to baseline that Web Project off an approved site template provisioned by a Web Designer. [DONE: Available Oct. 17th in Community HEAD]
- Ability to create branch existing Web Project. To enable parallel development, need ability to create one or multiple sub-Web Projects that can be baselined off an existing Web Project. Ability to keep content in sync via layers and to easily synced back to parent project from a known-good snapshot.
- Ability to reuse content across web projects. Ability to copy files or directories from one Web Project to another and paste as a layered file or directory. Useful for sharing common assets across web projects like images, videos, etc. (WCM-718)
- Ability to preview older snapshots of a website (WCM-549)
- Ability to view audit trails for each snapshot, one to see workflow history associated with that snapshot (all tasks and task comments) as well as deployment reports (WCM-548)
- Ability to view all assets / asset versions incorporating a snapshot (WCM-667)
- Ability to create content rules for folders in a Web Project (WCM-49)
- Ability to see task associated with any modified item in a Modified Items list (WCM-472)
- Ability to explicitly create sandboxes and assign users and / or group to a specific sandbox (WCM-94)
- Support ACLs on Web Projects and assets within a web project (WCM-70, WCM-460, WCM-489)
Content Publishers need the ability to:
- Easily create and customize web pages using Page Templates and Web Components
- Quickly find, edit, and submit existing content and web pages
- Ability to access a Create Page Wizard to allow Publisher to use Web Forms to create new mash-up pages based on a template. Ability to customize components on a page or add new components to a page from a component library.
- Ability to search within a Web Project to find content based on type, keyword, or metadata attribute (or any combo thereof). Support for an Actions list on search results page to immediate preview, edit, and submit content.
- Ability to execute search within Web Form file picker widget.
- In Web Forms list in Web Project view, ability to Browse all XMLs associated with a Web Form (search for all XMLs created using that Web Form and return in an actionable results list)
Content Contributors need the ability to:
- Easily create and edit content via dashlets
- Ability to preview, edit, undo, and submit directly from My Web Files dashlet
- Ability to Browse all XMLs created using a Web Form to preview, edit, and submit directly from My Web Forms dashlet
Content Reviewers need the ability to:
- Easily review and approve content via email
- Ability to receive email notification of pending submissions
- Ability to directly preview, approve, and reject (potentially edit) via Web Script direct from email (WCM-101, WCM-102)
- Support for virtualizing Apache server, including PHP virtualization support (WCM-329). To be used in conjunction with virtualizing servlet engine.
- Support for associations (WCM-264)