Month: February 2009

Alfresco-Drupal integration through CMIS

As I’ve mentioned here and on twitter, we posted our Alfresco-Drupal integration on on Friday. I did a short write-up on it over at that gives the why and the what so I’ll not repeat it here.

We split the integration into two modules: CMIS API has nothing Alfresco-specific–it just knows how to make RESTful CMIS calls to an arbitrary CMIS repository. The Alfresco CMIS module has the Alfresco-specific logic. You need both to make the integration work. If you’ve got Alfresco 3 (Enterprise or Labs) you don’t need to do anything to your Alfresco install to enable the integration because it’s already CMIS compliant.

There is still a lot of work to do on this integration. For example, right now we’re only moving plain text content back-and-forth between Drupal and Alfresco. And we use a “single account” approach so that to Alfresco, every request appears to come from one user instead of passing through the authenticated Drupal credentials. But this is an imporant integration to us so I expect it to evolve substantially in the coming months.

I got good feedback on the recent screencasts I put together for Share (Part 1, Part 2) so if I get some time this week I’ll do one that gives a quick tour of the Drupal integration.

Alfresco Share Screencast Part Two

My colleague, John Eckman, has posted the second part of the Alfresco Share screencast at Optaros Labs. In this screencast I show how a couple of examples of custom share components. One is a team bookmarks component and the other is a status/microblogging component. These components were built with Surf and should work in any Surf-based web site. Obviously, that includes Share but could be other Surf sites that you build. We will make both components available as open source.

New Optaros Screencast: Alfresco Share Part One

My Optaros colleague, John Eckman, has been asking me to do this for some time so I finally caved and knocked it out. It’s a 12-minute screencast that shows the basics of Alfresco Share, an open source team collaboration tool which Alfresco markets as an alternative to Microsoft Sharepoint.

There’s also a “Part Two” which John will post on Optaros Labs next week that shows a couple of the custom Share components we developed. One is a Facebook-like “status” component and the other is a “team bookmarks” component. I’ll post the link when it’s up.

Share is pretty cool both from a functional perspective and with respect to the underlying technology. Share is built on Alfresco Surf plus a ton of YUI. The version I used in the screencast is 3.0.1 Enterprise.

Are you in Dallas-Ft. Worth and interested in Alfresco?

A few of us in the area are talking about putting together an Alfresco meet-up the first week of March. Nothing fancy (and definitely not a sales pitch). Maybe we’ll have one or two presentations from real world implementations. The goal is for everyone to learn what we’ve all been up to, share ideas, etc.

I’ve got a venue squared away and someone to foot the bill for pizza and beer. Now I need the most important ingredient: You.

So respond here with a comment or contact me directly if this is something you think you might attend. If you have a topic you want to share with the group let me know that too. We’ll finalize the agenda and logistics based on the level of interest.

Alfresco Surf Code Camp: Do-It-Yourself

Did you miss the Alfresco Surf Code Camps? I’ve got you covered. With Alfresco’s blessing (they wrote most of the content, after all) I’ve uploaded the Optaros Alfresco 3.0 Surf Code Camp instructor presentations and class labs to

You might start by looking at the agenda to get an idea of the order you should progress through the lecture and labs. Then, move on to the introduction. Use the agenda to guide you through the rest.

The labs will be a little bit more painful than they were in-person. That’s because for the in-person camps, we used a virtual machine image that had everything pre-installed. For the DIY Code Camp, you’ll need to set this up yourself. To approximate what was on the image:

  1. Install the Alfresco-Tomcat bundle.
  2. Install a second Tomcat instance. This will be your Surf tier.
  3. Build a fresh Surf war. It’s in the “web framework” project in the source code. It will produce a WAR called alfwf.war.
  4. The labs will refer to “”. I had an file for just about every lab. For this setup, I’ve just got one zip, which is the entire solution source available for download. So when you see that, you’ll have to pick through the solution to find the file dependencies. Sorry.

The image we used for the class ran on 3.0 Labs from head circa mid-November. I believe people have had success running on 3.0 Enterprise. I haven’t tested on Labs 3 Stable. If someone tries it please post a comment here to let us know your degree of success.

The Code Camp doesn’t cover Web Studio. I’ll leave that up to someone else–I’ll be happy to link to it.

UPDATE: Making you find your own dependencies for the labs was lame. I had a few extra minutes so I pulled them into a Code Camp Assets file organized by lab/walkthrough. Now you’ve got no excuse.

New Django-Solr open source project

Fellow Optarian Sean Creeley has released a Django-Solr integration as an open source project hosted at Google Code. Django is a Python-based web framework. Apache Solr is essentially an XML and JSON API that sits on top of Apache Lucene.

Sean’s also working on our Django-Alfresco integration. I’m not sure how this project jumped in front of that one. Guess I need to take Sean out for a beer and see if I can’t influence the roadmap a bit. (Half-kidding).

If you want to see the Django-Solr stuff in action, take a look at Sean’s blog. It’s built using Django and he’s got a live example that shows the Solr integration in action.

You can expect several new Optaros-sponsored open source projects to become available throughout the year so stay tuned.