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Linux Business Technology

Alfresco-Adobe Pact Continues To Strengthen Open Source 64

rsmiller510 writes "Last week Adobe surprised a few people with the announcement that it was including Alfresco content management services as part of its LiveCycle Enterprise Suite Update 1 package. The surprise was two-fold: that Adobe felt it was necessary to add content management services at all, and that it chose open source vendor Alfresco as its content management partner. I spoke to Alfresco CEO John Powell to get his perspective on the pact and how it can help push open source into the enterprise mainstream. Powell is understandably excited by this arrangement, and one of the main reasons, he says, is because the Adobe partnership gives his company credibility with companies that might otherwise not even sniff at an open source vendor."
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Alfresco-Adobe Pact Continues To Strengthen Open Source

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  • Re:Thanks but... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Doug Neal ( 195160 ) on Friday June 27, 2008 @06:57PM (#23975231)

    Gnash [] is getting quite usable these days.

    OK, it's not from Adobe, which is what you meant, but thought it was worth a mention anyway ;)

  • Re:Slightly offtopic (Score:4, Informative)

    by Timbotronic ( 717458 ) on Friday June 27, 2008 @10:15PM (#23977149)
    For evaluations, I'd highly recommend downloading the Alfresco virtual appliance from JumpBox []. Saves having to install it yourself.
  • Re:Slightly offtopic (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 27, 2008 @11:10PM (#23977507)

    I couldn't get it to work either. I think you need their prof. services to get anywhere.

  • Re:Slightly offtopic (Score:2, Informative)

    by SpzToid ( 869795 ) * on Saturday June 28, 2008 @01:37AM (#23978291)

    The GP's experience installing Alfresco seems to mirror mine. And I did then what you suggest now, and yes, just using the demo version made the difference.

    In my case though, I was just trying to get either the latest version running, which was a v5 RC I think. I settled for a much easier to install version that was several Revs older than current, but it worked and certainly didn't affect the evaluation, which was favorable.

  • Re:Slightly offtopic (Score:3, Informative)

    by systemeng ( 998953 ) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @02:18AM (#23978447)
    I deployed it under the radar scope for a small group at a 3000 person company a year or two ago. I had to build it from source to get around an annoying bug that hadn't been fixed in the release version at the time. It seems like I got it up using their install with a new war because I never managed to align all of the stuff you had to get working. It's a great product once you get it running! It's definitely better than documentum e-room.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 28, 2008 @06:20AM (#23979353)

    No Alfresco developers work for free. All development is done in-house. Whether you consider that to be true "Open Source" or not is up for debate.

  • by wrook ( 134116 ) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @10:40AM (#23980783) Homepage

    I'll say it up front to get it out of the way: IMHO Dual licensing in order to keep a closed version and an open version (which are different) is a bad idea in almost every case. Note: dual licensing to maintain compatibility to a wide variety of licenses is a *good* idea if you want lots of participation.

    Having said that, I think I understand why companies choose to dual license (one closed, one open). They want to maintain a competitive advantage over their potential competitors, but don't trust their development team to give it to them. This often happens when they have structured the business side of the deal to get paid after the fact rather than before it. They do the traditional: decide what's good for the customer, build it, convince the customer that what they've built is good.

    Open source software development (IMHO) works better when you get paid up front: get a customer, ask them what they want, build it. That way you are relying on your ability to outperform your competitors in *development* rather than product (even if what you are doing is integrating products that you didn't build).

    So why would a company building in a proprietary fashion open up their code? I think it has a lot to do with the perception that open source people are "hobbyists". They allow their customers to tinker with the internals to do something cool, but hamstring them so that they can't make a product out of it. They think this will give them a cool "open source community" without having to give up the family jewels.

    However, the reality of the situation is that people will either just ignore you or freeload off your open source version. In fact, most enterprises (which I think are the defacto customer you want to target) don't like to upgrade more then every 18 months or so. And they don't mind being 6-12 months behind the times. And if you refuse to allow them to contribute, they will happily not give you any code *or* money.

    Anyway, this is my impression of it all. Surely there's more to it, but in the end I tend to stay away from projects like this simply because I don't trust them to stay around for too long...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 28, 2008 @03:58PM (#23984243)

    That sounds strange. I built Alfresco from scratch several times during the last 3 months using the SVN HEAD sourcecode and a simple ant command ('ant build-tomcat' in my case).

    The revision number in the release notes in case you search for it :

    I agree with you on one point: they should use tags instead of using only revision numbers. But on the other way I promise that if I can (re)create Alfresco from source, everyone can :)

    Do you use ?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 29, 2008 @01:48PM (#23991861)

    You're right, the open source version is almost impossible to manage after being installed.What's more, they did not release anything 'stable enought' for almost one year.Disturbing.They're open source, but just enough to claim it.Not enough to get real value from their community of users - so far there's no interest at all in contributing - they're rewarding system is so traditional software school.I'll not be surprise in case they decide to switch to a more closed model one day.This day,I'll search another tool or some forking partners.Yes Alfresco,we keep watch over you.

Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later. -- F. Brooks, "The Mythical Man-Month"