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Enterprise architecture?

Question asked by justinstamatic on Feb 17, 2012
Latest reply on Feb 17, 2012 by mrogers
Hello all… I'm a freshman here in the Alfresco community and have a top line architecture question that I didn't think warranted being in the Architecture section… not "high-level" enough. If this isn't the case, please moderators feel free to smack me down and tell me where to post.

I have read many posts here and feel good about the Alfresco crowd, and indeed the product itself.

I am a newly appointed Tech Director within my organisation… a TD who's background is - strictly speaking creative. I was a Digital Creative Director… now a tech. The organisation is in media services - high level photography, tv and video work, creative services, publications design etc.

I explain my background to substantiate the level of my terminology really - no dummy, but the echelons of systems speak sometimes need translating for me.

I am designing a ground-up systems architecture that will serve:
1. the day to day needs and task management of a workforce;
2. the creation of customer records and job bags (incl. associated estimates, quotes, purchase orders and time sheets);
3. the reporting of financials and necessary "dovetailing" with accounts system;
4. the supply of content to a customer facing web platform
…. the list does go on
…. I want to build the system.. not buy it.
…. I use far too many dots!

I'm very much at the conceptual "coffe cup and a bic biro" specification stage, this will fashion the technical specification and then - when given board approval - developer recruitment.

So, my question, which I know will spur others:

In order to build a browser based, SQL served system that:
1. greets an individual employee on login… presents a dashboard based on their employment status/job type… current jobs, current tasks, team collaboration etc.
2. allows job creation and necessary client paperwork (estimates, quotes, purchase orders and time sheets)
3. Facilitates tracking of job progress etc.
4. On job completion, raises a draft invoice, alerts the financial team who check and give the invoice approved status for transmission to the customer.
5. gives board members MIS facilities when they log in.
6. I'm sure there's more.

I envisage:
A. Alfresco as the "spine" of the workflow.. the repository, the employee dashboard. utilising solr etc.
B. Drupal as a front-end web framework (is this still the way, or is that all a bit 2008?)
C. Accounts system (the only bought-in part of the mix.. I don't want to reinvent that wheel)
D. A cloud-based private PaaS systems infrastructure (this point is contentious, but on the face sounds possible)

Alfresco currently uses the term "sites" where my organisation would use Job numbers (not a big issue, but I state that as means of explanation).

Can anyone help firm my thoughts? Convince me to u-turn? Apply a few pearls of wisdom?

Thank you kindly in advance.