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Linking External Directories as a Space withing Alfresco

Question asked by garyj on May 17, 2007
Latest reply on May 21, 2007 by frederick
Hi All!

I've spent a couple of hours reading various posts on the forum, and although I found a similar query to mine, raised about 3 times there never appear to be a reply.

Basically, I'm trying to evaluate Alfresco for use within various industries, and what I tend to find is that most companies already have some sort of a document repository, whether it's a basic file structure or something a bit more exciting.

Within our organization we use proprietary software to manage various accounts. There last release introduced a document management system (if you can call it that) which basically uses a file structure on the network drive to store documents based on the unique code assigned to each account within the proprietary software. And that's about all it does.

Unfortunately, there is very little control that I have over the structure which the proprietary software creates and uses, so the problem that I'm facing is that whatever system we introduce has to be able to integrate with an already existing system. When I mean integration, I would like to configure Alfresco in such a way that it's able to link in as a space the entire file structure created by the proprietary software. Simply speaking the file structure appears under a foo/Documents directory on the file server, and I would like to have a space under company home within Alfresco Web Interface which may just be called External Documents and when the user clicks on this space it exposes the file structure but all within the Web Interface – hence allowing assignment of work flows and versioning using the Web Interface.

This functionality is important as it makes it easier to sell a system such as Alfresco to a small to medium sized company which has been doing and is used to adhoc document management. Even if there is no proprietary software for which integration is a must, simply linking Alfresco to an external directory structure and giving people time to migrate their documents from this directory structure (the old ways) over into a new system such as Alfresco will simplify the introductory process, and give the company staff a chance to learn a new system using documents/records which they are already familiar with.

Anyway, so after this long spill, the question is simple how can I link an external directory structure as a Space within the Alfresco Web Interface?

Thank you very much for you help!