2009 Roadmap

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RoadmapThis document contains forward looking statements based on our current plans and is subject to change. It is regularly updated as our plans are formalized, please check back regularly for the latest information.


Alfresco Product Roadmap 2009


Over the past three years, Alfresco has built a feature rich, scalable and reliable ECM solution that benefits from the experience and learning of a seasoned team of ECM experts.  Drawing on lessons learned from Documentum, Interwoven, Vignette and a number of other legacy technologies, Alfresco's engineering team has innovated to provide a modern and robust approach to ECM, based entirely on open-source and open-platform standards.

For 2009, we plan to continue this innovation as we build out our product offerings so as to provide the industry's most competitive and cost-effective ECM platform and application suite.

For a historical view of Alfresco's previous product objectives and roadmap, please look here for 2008 Roadmap and here for 2006-7 Roadmap

You can also find information about previous releases, along with links to release notes, here


Objectives for 2009


The principal objective for 2009 is to provide an enterprise-class Enterprise Content Management platform and applications suite which continues to dramatically lower the cost of acquisition and ownership over legacy and proprietary offerings.

We will expand our existing platform capabilities to enhance performance, scalability and data management - so as to address additional content types across the enterprise including records, images and email, as well as provide the tools and services to support the management of large scale deployments in mission critical applications.

In order to achieve this, Alfresco will be focusing on the following core and application areas:


  • Enterprise Repository
  • Document Management
  • Web Content Management
  • Records Management
  • Collaboration Services

Enterprise Repository


The Alfresco Enterprise Repository is the core of the Alfresco infrastructure.  It presently provides a rich data modeling container, replete with auditing, workflow and collaboration capture.  Designed for high performance and high scalability, the Enterprise Repository is a single, trustworthy engine upon which your business applications and processes can run.


Enhancements for 2009


  • Enhance tools and services to simplify the deployment, monitoring and administration in large scale, geographically dispersed and mission critical applications.  These tools intend to go beyond the current Spring, Java, and XML based configuration offerings by providing a better administrative experience.
  • Support Enterprise Deployments within single and across multiple data centers including repository to repository replication.
  • Support information lifecycle management to allowing cost-effective, policy driven storage.
  • Formalization of Alfresco Web Content Management Spring APIs (Java).
  • Extension of public REST APIs to provide further open-platform access to the Alfresco Repository from the remote tier.  This is to include capabilities of the Alfresco Web Content Management, Alfresco Records Management and Alfresco Rules engines.

Document Management


Alfresco Document Management consists of repository services and applications to provide a powerful document collaboration experience.  Alfresco's applications integrate to the desktop and take full advantage of user permissions, workflow, notifications, email integration, auditing and all other aspects of the underlying Alfresco repository.

The applications provided for Alfresco Document Management include Alfresco Share, Alfresco Explorer, Microsoft Office Integration and Microsoft Sharepoint Connector.


Enhancements for 2009


  • Moderated Share site membership
  • New Share collaborative components including support for managing dynamic datalists
  • Enhanced Wiki markup support and editing
  • Full support for Types, Aspects and Metadata in Share
  • Rule and Action support for Share Sites
  • Improved document previews including dynamic zoom capabilities
  • Enhanced Sharepoint integration

Web Content Management


Alfresco Web Content Management consists of repository services and applications which enable web application developers and content contributors to deliver Alfresco content to the web tier.  Alfresco provides a strong, Subversion-style source control system to allow for full management of all web application assets, including source files, images, Flash assets, CSS and all other web site assets.  Alfresco applications enable web content contributors to work seamlessly with Alfresco Web Content via web forms and in-context editors.

The applications provided for Alfresco Web Content Management include Alfresco Explorer, Alfresco Surf and Alfresco Explorer.


Enhancements for 2009


  • Open-Source Performance and Test Suite - as with our document management offering, we will provide an open-source performance and test suite so as to allow our community and customers to fully verify the performance and scalability of web sites built on top of Alfresco Web Content Management.  This test suite will feature a set of scenario-driven litmus tests so that community members can test a variety of interesting scenarios.  These might include bulk loading of assets via CIFS or FTP, concurrent workflow activities or concurrent user experience scenarios.
  • Focus on Enterprise Scalability - improved infrastructure for testing and support of Enterprise-scale WCM implementations.  We will provide full support for both AVM and WCM clustering as well as recommended best practices and sample files.
  • Public REST API - We will build out our public REST API within Alfresco WCM so that the repository tier achieves full parity of API with the rest of the Alfresco Suite.  As such, it will be possible for users to work with Alfresco WCM in an entirely 'headless' mode - drawing upon Alfresco WCM services entirely via services calls.
  • Full productization of Alfresco Web Studio - a visual, drag-and-drop designer for building web sites with the Alfresco Surf platform.  This provides a complete set of tools for web designers and content contributors and features in-context editing, inline forms and a graphical editor for page assembly and layout.
  • Actions and Rules - we will provide support for actions and rules triggered against Alfresco WCM nodes.  Services from Alfresco 3.0 such as thumbnailing will be enabled against Alfresco WCM assets so that thumbnail generation is performed automatically.
  • Permissions - we will provide a Subversion-like implementation of permissions against the Alfresco AVM nodes.  While currently provided, we will enhance this to provide a much simpler model with higher performance.

Records Management


Alfresco Records Management runs on top of the Alfresco Enterprise Repository and brings the full wealth of Repository features to your RM applications.  Alfresco Records Management brings together several features of the Alfresco Repository including aspect-driven behaviours, auditing, content object modeling, a strong security model and business rules to provide a unified treatment of your documents, policies and work items.


Enhancements for 2009


  • Official DoD 5015.2 Compliance. Alfresco have formally registered for certification according to the DoD 5015.2 records management specification.
  • Out-of-the-box object models to provide entry point for folks wishing to achieve DoD 5015.2 compliance in a short timeframe.
  • Out-of-the-box enhancements to Alfresco Share web application to support DoD 5015.2 compliance project spaces and records management scenarios.
  • Provide an extensible service infrastructure to support record declaration, retention and disposition policies.
  • Enhancements to Alfresco Records Management REST API as detailed above.

Collaboration Services


Collaboration Services are collaboration focused features of the Alfresco Repository which span multiple products within the Alfresco Suite.  Implemented in the Alfresco Repository, these services are available to applications to enhance the collaborative experiences of end users.


Support for Additional Content Types


  • Scanned Images - including updated Kofax integration
  • Email - drag n' drop email integration via native IMAP protocol support

Standards


  • Completion of CMIS implementation
  • Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) support providing access to the Alfresco repository via the IMAP protocol (see Email above)
  • JSR-223 support to allow any JSR-223 compliant scripting language such as Groovy, JRuby etc to be used for development
  • OSGi to allow dynamic loading of Java extensions at runtime

Scheduled Releases


Alfresco Labs 3d (Stable): Released January 2009


  • Stable Labs Release - including all functionality in previous 3x Labs releases
  • Share Enhancements
    • Simple Online Edit for MS Office Documents
    • Improved Flex, Flash document previews including zoom, snap points, full screen view
    • Favorite Sites - Sites can be added to a list of favorite sites to allow quick access
    • New calendar including drag n' drop event updates, overlapping event support
  • Administration Group - New 'Administrators' system group. Group membership defines repository administrators
  • Sharepoint Protocol Support as per 3.0.1 release plus support for Shared/Document Workspace Links
  • WCM Services - RESTful API for WCM services to support custom WCM application development
  • CMIS - Enhanced support for Web Services Binding
  • New Mac Installer

Alfresco 3.1 Enterprise: Released March 2009


Enterprise release including 3d features detailed above plus:


  • Comprehensive System Monitoring via JMX and Optional Hyperic Plug-in
  • Unicast clustering support for easy cluster configuration and management
  • Index validation and maintenance tools
  • Command line repository configuration allowing repository configuration via commandline flags

Alfresco 3.2 Community: Released July 2009


  • Administration Services - Simplified administration based on new Subsystems framework, single file editing for subsystem configuration
    • Updated OpenOffice Service Management for improved transformation service availability
  • Mobile (iPhone) Client
  • Alfresco WCM Clustering for authoring server
  • New WCM Deployment Framework providing support for pluggable deployment targets
  • AVM Deployment Target (ASR replacement) for improved performance, pluggable transport protocols, custom pre/post deployment handlers
  • New Forms dictionary services and Forms rendering engine
  • Share support for custom Types, Aspects and Metadata
  • Moderated Share Site invites
  • Share Site lists on user profile page
  • Group based site membership
  • Simple edit for Office documents - allows editing of Office documents directly over HTTP, no explicit download action required to edit
  • Share Site Themes - provide the ability to easily apply custom themes.
  • Proxy Cache support for Explore and Share to allow secure caching of content using standard web caching tools (e.g. Apache, Squid). This allows content to be served from local caches in geographically dispersed deployments.
  • Share Multi-tenant support
  • Purge deleted content - ensure that deleted content is physically removed by explicit content overwrite.
  • Records Management Services - services for RM behavior for declaring records, defining and implementing retention and disposition policies
  • IMAP protocol based repository access - allows users to manage emails and documents directly from IMAP compliant email clients such as Outlook and Zimbra.
  • CMIS support as per v0.61 Draft Specification
  • Enhancements to Alfresco Web Studio
  • Share Document Favorites
  • User & Group Management Component
  • Collaboration enhancements including:
    • Image Preview Dashlet
    • Content I'm Editing
    • Filtering options for Site Activities (all, other peoples, mine only) and Tasks (invites)

Alfresco 3.2 Community RM: Planned Early Q3 2009


  • Provide out-of-the-box support for DoD 5015.2 Records Management Model
    • Note: Although this is targeted at the requirements for DoD 5015.2, core records management services will be provided that are applicable to anyone implementing a records management application using Alfresco.

Alfresco 3.2 Enterprise: Planned End Q3 2009


Enterprise release for 3.2 Community features above plus:


  • Administration Services - Easy server configuration though administration services allowing common administrations tasks to be performed without the need for server restarts or editing filesystem based configuration files (e.g. XML, Spring configuration, property files etc). Services will include:
    • Authentication
    • User/Group Directory Syncronization
    • Filesystems i.e. CIFS, WebDAV, FTP, NFS
    • 3rd Party Tools - OpenOffice, ImageMagick, SWFTools etc
    • IMAP
  • Content Storage Lifecycle Management - control where content is stored based on storage policies
    • Update OpenOffice Service Management for improved transformation service availability
  • Share SSO Support
    • Central Authority Service (CAS)
    • 3rd Party SSO solutions via HTTP Authentication Headers
  • *New Kofax Release Script based on Web Script API

Note: iPhone Client is Community only

* Will be available as separate module


Planned Q3/Q4 2009


The following are the new features and enhancements we are planning to be available Q3/Q4 2009 timeframe and will be allocated to a particular release as plans are formalised.


Alfresco Explorer, Share, and Surf Enhancements


  • Advanced search Surf/Share component
  • Enhanced Share wiki markup support and wiki page lifecycle management to support page review and approval
  • Wiki plug-in support
  • Share Custom Views
  • Share Site Templates - create sites based on template including site components, dashlets, dashboard layouts, permission, rules & actions and more
  • Share support for Rule management
  • Dynamic Datalist components for data centric capture, management and reuse
  • Rules Sets to allow rules to grouped, named and reused
  • Enable Share page components to be re-used in OpenSocial, JSR-168 and other web sites
  • Surf/Share component deployment services - allow easy deployment and management of Alfresco, partner and customer developed Surf and Share components
  • Sharepoint Shared/Document Workspace task support

Repository Enhancements


  • Shared Indexes - ability to share Lucence indexes across multiple service instances.
  • Out-of-transaction indexing - remove requirement for transactional indexing from all services to allow optional use of Lucence indexing.
  • Notification services for async alerting including email based alerts
  • Cross-Repository object replication. Allows objects to replicated between repositories, replicated objects are still available if source repository is offline. This will be phased deliverable with the initial release supporting read-only replicas and subsequent releases providing read/write replication support.
  • Public REST Rules API allowing CRUD support for rules via standardized service
  • 'Google style' advanced search operators e.g. title:my search term would search for the search terms against the title property
  • Service Provider Interfaces (SPIs) for repository extension points such as actions, web scripts, and so on.
    • OSGi support for definition and administration for these extension points
  • Partitioning to allow for designated servers to take on bandwidth intensive processes (such as media transformations) on behalf of rest of the servers in the federation
  • Full repository support for export/import - update repository import/export services to provide 100% coverage of repository model




Records Management


  • Provide out-of-the-box support for DoD 5015.2 Records Management Model

Standards


  • CMIS - Completion of CMIS REST and Web Services Bindings
  • CMIS - Completion of query support

Web Content Management


  • Forms service ubiquitous support for XSD, CM Content Schemas and persistence to DM nodes, XML in DM, XML in AVM and Web Form XML in AVM
  • Configurable snapshots (manual; time-based; auto on/off; remove permissions)
  • Sandbox search/index
  • Content Contributor for Web Studio (in context editing)
  • Content Contributor for Share (including XML content through Forms)
  • Productization of Web Studio (GUI)
  • Support for Optimistic and Pessimistic locking (optimistic across sandboxes, pessimistic within sandboxes), may be required to support Web Studio and also required for collaborative sandboxes.
  • Collaborative Sandboxes
  • AVM based Export & Import
  • Web Project Export & Import (including forms & workflows)
  • Virtualized content retrieval to replace virtualization server (CMIS backed REST API which is repository implementation independent, enable web site move between environments, no change to web site required)
  • Web Studio
  • Web Site Production Repository (syncable, clusterable, scalable - CMIS backed REST API, rich query language, high performance)

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