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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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  • Thanks but... (Score:1, Interesting)

    you know what'll really help open source?

    Open Flash.
    Well, in any case, me (and the average desktop user) cares more about it than some content management system.
    Come to think of it, can't we smuggle something into the project that'll send us the sources we need?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Doug Neal ( 195160 )

      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:Thanks but... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by moosesocks ( 264553 ) on Friday June 27, 2008 @09:39PM (#23976903) Homepage

      Honestly, although they haven't yet opened Flash (completely), Adobe have shown some very promising signs lately.

      Encourage them, and give it time. I think that they've actually gotten to the point, where they're beginning to want to cooperate, given that the company seems to have lost its competitive edge over the past few years.

      I doubt flash will go completely OSS, though I do imagine that they'll substantially reduce the restrictions on it. I do believe that a successor to Flash is in the works, however. AIR is a very neat proof of concept, and seems to effortlessly achieve what Java Web Start keeps promising to do.

      If there is a Flash successor, in order to compete with SilverLight, and to avoid the terrible quality of recent Flash releases (100% CPU usage to play a YouTube video!?), the format and player will likely be completely open, with a complement of a for-pay development environment.

      Will Adobe open Photoshop? Probably never. However, I do believe that an open version of Flash and Linux Photoshop will very likely happen in the next few years.

  • File servers -- why? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by thule ( 9041 ) on Friday June 27, 2008 @07:48PM (#23975737) Homepage

    It seems to me that with a nice product like Alfresco out there, why would you ever put your .doc files on a file server? Alfresco looks like a ftp, smb, and webdav server. Just copy your documents into it and they get indexed and have version control. Why do it any other way?

  • Slightly offtopic (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jawtheshark ( 198669 ) * <slashdot@j a w t h e s h> on Friday June 27, 2008 @07:51PM (#23975763) Homepage Journal

    Recently I've been charged to evaluate Alfresco (community edition) as an alternative to a propitiatory document management system (which shall remain unnamed) for a large European institution. (Aside from office politics, which made clear that the evaluation should be negative to justify the expense of the propitiatory product), I never managed to get their WAR file to run on a "virgin" installed Tomcat on Debian. Their "bundle" worked as is. Anyone know how to get Alfresco to run in an apt-get tomcat5? Heck a colleague of mine tried in Windows/Tomcat5 and didn't manage, It's probably just me that sucks...

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      If the "large European institution" is part of (tax payer financed) European Union I recommend that you discard the office politics and make a real evaluation.

      For heavy duty content management there is also Typo3. It is PHP based and quite easy to install.

      -- EU tax payer

      • Well, I have some news for you: being a consultant is pretty much the same as being a whore. You either do what your customer instructs you, or you say "no". It's really that simple, but I have a mortgage to pay. Guess what I do?

        If you want to save EU taxes, then start by cropping the institutions themselves. These people are paid up to 2x market rate (and more!) and have additional tax advantages and can't be fired. Yet, they hire a Consultant to do their jobs. Don't you find that funny?

        Also they co

        • You mean OUR wallet! Another EU tax payer
          • Yes, *our* wallet. I'm usually an open source advocate, but unless I want to lose a client, I'd better do what they ask. For the moment those taxes pay my wage, so whatever they ask they will get.
            • As if there were any relation between what the government wants and what the people want ;)
              Didn't work for communism, does not work for democracy, will not work as long as the interest of the ones governing differs from the interest of those being governed. (Hint: Make them the same and simplify trough automatation -->

    • 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: (Score:2, Informative)

        by SpzToid ( 869795 ) *

        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: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

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

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by systemeng ( 998953 )
      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 Morky ( 577776 )
      VMware has an Alfresco appliance available for download that might be appropriate for you if you are just doing an evaluation.
  • The timing is a coincidence. Our organization has about 3000 employees. We had Adobe reps in this week to demo some of their solutions. They didn't demo Alfresco because they said it won't be out until next month. But, I can say that looking strictly at an Open Source app is not something I would expect from our organization. Not that we are dead set against it, it's just that it hasn't been presented to us in a cohesive manner from a reputable company like Adobe. Interesting....

  • good choice (Score:2, Interesting)

    by teaDrunk ( 849107 )
    Alfresco has recently replaced various other doc mgmnt systems across different departments in our company. After a quick evaluation done for my team, I recommended Alfresco over other comparable inhouse-built and OTS software that were in consideration. alfresco was the only open source one being considered ( that was an influence too )
    It is a good decision on Adobe's part to have selected Alfresco, and that could have gone really wrong if you consider some proprietary ones out there.
  • by HRbnjR ( 12398 ) <> on Saturday June 28, 2008 @03:43AM (#23978755) Homepage

    Alfresco does not supply source code for releases!

    The Community Edition release binaries don't come with source and would be impossible for a "community" member to (re)create! The release SDK's don't have source for nearly the whole server either! The only complete server source code available is unstable SVN trunk - where they provide (delayed) merges from their private internal branches! No public access to their stable branches/tags or anything! [] []

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by 2Bits ( 167227 )
      That's exactly the problem with Alfresco, and it's amazing how they can claim to be 100% open source, and yet, only a crippled version is available.

      It's a nice product, but that model has alienated quite a few who could be excellent contributors.

      Besides, if you want to build a business model around open source software, I would think that you want to give the best first impression possible on people who try it out. And yet, you only provide a crippled version with all kinds of critical bugs. How do you expe
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      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 HRbnjR ( 12398 )

        There is a source revision in SVN for the initial 2.1.0 release, sure - but then after release, they immediately bumped it and started pushing code for the 2.9/3.0 features - you don't have any way to retrieve a tag for any follow-up branch minor releases like 2.1.X or even 2.2.X. Sure, you could try to back-port fixes from those branches which were eventually merged onto the trunk - but the trunk differences might prevent them from even being applicable, and without actual source access, there is no way f

        • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          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 anothe

  • Adobe should have gone with Lenya. It seems that Apache is making huge strides towards Content Management with Lenya, Jackrabbit and Sling.

Statistics are no substitute for judgement. -- Henry Clay