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Some overall questions

Question asked by whartung on Feb 21, 2009
Latest reply on Feb 26, 2009 by pmonks
We're evaluating Alfresco for a client, and so I've been crawling through the documentation trying to understand how Alfresco may fit their requirements.

I do have a couple of minor technical questions that I'd love some answers to.

There are 3 primary requirements that we're looking to address (there are, obviously, a LOT of requirements, but these I consider the top 3).

Perhaps you could help me understand better how Alfresco may handle these.

1) Static sites with dynamic elements and search

The client has several internal and external sites that are, currently, just (essentially) static pages. They want to be able to have, for example, an Employee Handbook page that has PDFs for each of the handbook sections, and the end users manage the publishing of those PDFs (including updating existing PDFs along with perhaps adding new ones). All of those PDFs would be indexed and available via the free form Search capabilities.

All of these sites are on their own domains, but currently colocated on a single server.

In Alfresco, are sites like this served up directly from Alfresco (i.e. we somehow virtual host the war, alfresco manages the whole experience), or do we need to create the site (like with normal JSPs) that then connect to Alfresco using the API to do this?

This is what the WCM is for? This is not very clear to me. Does WCM come with the 3.0 Alfresco Labs, or is it an add on module?

How would this work in general?

2) Friendly user content editors

There is a need to users to create the content. I notice you have some support for XForms, etc. in doing this. Their current CMS has a very flexible, but actually end user hostile system for creating content. It's one of those things where it's TOO flexible, and so for day to day tasks, it simply gets in the way. How does Alfresco approach this? There's no expectation that the end users will create the editors themsevles, but we would like to make it reasonbly straight forward for administrators to create these editors (without necessarily being web developers).

Is there any way to add simple relationships among the data? For example, being able to add pickers (or dropdowns) to forms that are backed by other content?

3) Portal integration via JSR-170

They current have a portal application that uses a JSR-170 store. The intent is to simply replace their current repository with Alfresco.

It's my impression that this would be a remote application (i.e. we deploy the portal on one server, and it communicates back to Alfresco), is that typically how this is deployed? Or are folks bundling Alfresco in to the same JVMs/Web containers as their portals? What's the current common/best practice for this kind of integration?