Tag: Conference

Alfresco Summit comes to Barcelona & Boston in November 2013

Alfresco Summit Slogan: Put your content to workHopefully you saw my previous post about Alfresco DevCon expanding to include not only great technical content but also new content around the business of Enterprise Content Management. The new, expanded conference is called Alfresco Summit.

I am pleased to announce that Alfresco Summit will take place this November in Barcelona from the 4th through the 7th and in Boston from the 12th through the 15th.

As we’ve done with previous DevCon events, the first day will be a pre-conference day consisting of training workshops (additional cost), a hack-a-thon, and a Partner Summit. The main conference starts on the next day. The full schedule will be on the Alfresco Summit site some time this Summer.

We expect registration to go live in June.

You Should Speak

We always have a great mix of content from Alfrescans, customers, partners, and other community members and I want to make sure that continues this year. Whether you are a developer who wants to give a down-and-dirty technical talk or you are an IT decision-maker, project manager, or ECM practitioner who wants to share thoughts on how to make ECM implementations successful, we want you to be front-and-center because no matter which edition or solution you are using–Enterprise Edition, Community Edition, Cloud, or Workdesk–you have tips, tricks, best practices, and solutions that the rest of us want to know about.

The call-for-presenters closes June 15. If you need some help thinking about what to present, check this out. Don’t feel like you have to stick to that, of course, but it might improve your chances.

I look forward to seeing what you submit and to catching up with you in-person this November!

DevCon Hack-a-Thon & Activiti Day

Just a quick note about recent DevCon goings-on in case you’ve missed this via other channels…

Early-Bird Registration Ends 10 September!

Just a friendly reminder: You can save some money if you sign up before 10 September, so do not wait to sign-up.

DevCon 2012 Promo Video

Includes a few quotes from the Alfresco community’s colorful cast of characters.

DevCon 2012 Hack-a-Thon

We’re going to be doing a Hack-a-Thon the day before the main conference starts in both Berlin and San Jose. This will run concurrently with the optional Fundamentals and Advanced Training classes. So if you are an Alfresco old-timer who doesn’t need Fundamentals or Advanced training, show up a day early and join us in the hack-a-thon. We’re still deciding which projects we’re going to work on that day. More info will be posted on the DevCon Hack-a-Thon page as it develops.

Activiti Day Berlin

If you are attending DevCon Berlin and you have any interest in Activiti, you should plan on staying an extra day and joining us for an Activiti Community reception the night of 7 November and then an all day Activiti Community event on 8 November. See the DevCon blog for more details.

DevCon Lightning Talks Debut

We’re planning on having two lightning talk sessions, one on each day of the main conference, at both DevCon events this year. We are planning on using the Ignite format, but if that is holding a significant number of people back, we may decide to relax that requirement. If you want to give a 5-minute talk at DevCon, sign up now.

How to suggest or propose a DevCon 2012 talk

If you want to give a talk at DevCon, here are your options:

  • Read the call for papers, then submit a proposal for a traditional session no later than May 19
  • Come to the conference and sign up for a Lightning Talk
  • Come to the conference and participate in a Birds-of-a-Feather session

If you have an idea for a session but you don’t want to speak, reply to this thread in the forums with your idea and maybe it will inspire someone else to give the talk.

Alfresco DevCon 2012: San Jose & Berlin

Last week I announced that Alfresco DevCon 2012 will be in Berlin and San Jose. We’ll be at the Berlin Hilton November 5, 6, & 7 and at the San Jose Marriott & Convention Center November 13, 14, & 15. Eagle-eyed readers who saw the announcement last week will note that the Berlin date has changed. The DMS Expo conference in Stuttgart conflicted with our dates so we’re moving to give everyone the maximum opportunity to Experience DevCon Awesomeness.

In both cities, the first day of the conference is an optional training day. We’re still working out exactly which classes will be offered on the training day, but we are increasing capacity this year due to popular demand.

Like last year, the main conference days will feature keynotes from Alfresco leadership, some great sessions from Alfresco Engineers, partners, and other members of the community, and plenty of opportunities for networking.

I’m finalizing tracks right now. As soon as I’m done, I’ll post the call for papers. I expect you to unleash a flood of outstanding conference submissions.

If you need some inspiration, take a look at the DevCon 2011 presentations on slideshare.

I typically post DevCon related news here but you might also want to follow the DevCon blog as well.

Alfresco Community Pledges & other things that worked well at DevCon

I had so much fun putting on Alfresco DevCon last week in San Diego. You can read my short wrap-up on the Alfresco DevCon Blog. Claudia Saleh also provides Day 1 Re-Cap and Day 2 Re-Cap posts as well. And Claudia took a lot of great pics at the event and put them on Flickr. After London we’ll get all of the presentations from both events on SlideShare for everyone to enjoy.

We tried a lot of new things at DevCon last week. I thought I’d re-cap what worked well here:

Purposeful lunches. DevCon was two days. On Day 1, we assigned a technical topic to each lunch table and then made sure an Engineer was at each table to cover that topic. Attendees sorted themselves to the table they were interested in discussing over lunch. Some tables really worked their topic over thoroughly during lunch. Others used it as an icebreaker and then moved on to other stuff. On Day 2 we divided the tables up by geography and industry vertical. Most people I talked to liked the concept.

Engineering Office Hours. The concept is a repeat from our first DevCon, but this year we had a bulletin board with each Engineer, their bio, their picture, and a sign-up sheet. Attendees grabbed a slot, then met with their Engineer. This worked out really well. For London we’ll pre-print the time slots rather than have them be freeform.

Panel Discussion. Last year at DevCon in New York, the panel discussion was a little ad hoc. This year we put the panel discussion on the morning of the second day as a general session and that seemed to work. For London, we’re moving the panel discussion to the end of the second day so any questions that the day 2 sessions raise can be asked at that time. It should also give us a nice opportunity to recap the conference.

Alfresco Community Pledges. DevCon serves a lot of purposes. One is to energize and motivate people to get involved with the Alfresco community. I had some extra Alfresco “attitude” t-shirts so I decided to give them to people who would pledge to make some contribution to the community in the coming weeks and months. Here are some that we got via twitter.

@dev_kraig Kraig Van Houten
@Alfresco I #pledge to write one #alfresco related blog post per month

@SunilRehman Sunil Rehman
@Alfresco I #pledge to report 5 new #Alfresco 4.0 b bugs before thanksgiving

@WillWhite18 Will White
I #pledge to report at least 5 bugs in #Alfresco 4.0b before thanksgiving.

@Michaelcford Michael C Ford
@Alfresco I #pledge to answer 6 unanswered #Alfresco forum post in the next 3 weeks

@emmichie Eric Michie
I #pledge to host an #Alfresco meetup in my area twice this quarter. Salt Lake City Utah

@tenthline_ecm Tenthline
@tenthline_ecm will #pledge to host #Alfresco meetup in #Toronto twice this quarter.

@aaronaheath Aaron Heath
I #pledge to write one #Alfresco related blog post per month for the next 12 months. I will also become more active on the #Alfresco forum.

@perejnar Per Ejnar Thomsen
I #pledge to report 5 new (legitimate) #Alfresco 4.0b bugs before Thanksgiving

@dstaflund Darryl Stafflund
I #pledge to answer 6 unanswered #Alfresco forum posts in the next three Weeks.

@iancrew Ian Crew
I #pledge to write one #Alfresco related blog post per month.

@trisofer Chris Paul
@jeffpotts01 I #pledge to write one #Alfresco related blog post per month.

It was great to see these and to talk to people between sessions who said the conference was the kick in the pants they needed to get going again with their contributions.

Thanks to everyone who attended, sponsored, or spoke at DevCon San Diego. It exceeded my expectations and hopefully yours as well. I’ll report back here after London and we’ll see if these ideas were just as successful for that event.

Alfresco DevCon 2011 Call for Papers

I’ve just posted the official call for papers for Alfresco DevCon 2011. I know a lot of ecmarchitect.com readers have done some really cool things with Alfresco. This is a great opportunity for you to share those stories with the rest of us.

Also, let me know if there is anything significant missing from the proposed list of tracks, which is:

  • Alfresco as a Platform
  • Best Practices
  • Customizing Alfresco
  • Case Studies
  • BPM
  • Building WCM Solutions with Alfresco

Just like last year, we’ll have three sessions running concurrently throughout the day. We’ll start Day 1 with opening remarks from me, then move right into a keynote from John Newton, which is always a crowd favorite. Then I was thinking it would be good to have a “What’s New in 4.0?” general session, then split into breakouts after that. The only other general session I could see us doing would be an Engineering Panel Discussion, maybe on the morning of Day 2.

Any and all feedback is welcome!

Top Takeaways from the Alfresco Kickoff

Alfresco kicked off their fiscal year with a meeting last week in Orlando. About 100 Alfresco employees and 50 partners attended two days of Alfresco-led talks on business and technical topics. As an aside, the conference food at the JW Marriott was maybe the best I’ve ever had at any tech event. Lobster Corn Dog. Enough said.

More importantly, the trip helped clarify in my mind Alfresco’s message around “social content management”. I now see it as taking two different forms: social content management and social content management. The first is basically just marketing what they’ve already got: content services, collaboration, task tracking, wikis, and blogs, exposed through a modern user interface that’s closer to the experience most users have come to expect from using consumer-facing sites and services. The idea is that when you add things like comments, tags, and ratings you go from boring, old-school Enterprise Content Management to fun and exciting social content management. Obviously, there’s other stuff going on here about how when people collaborate, they don’t do it in a vacuum, they do it around content.

The second form–social content management–is when you need to manage content that is published to one or more social channels. For example, Marketing might have a press release, a video, and a tweet that all need to go live at the same time. Order matters, and if one step fails, none of the steps should be performed. Alfresco is building a social publishing framework to handle this kind of use case. So, in this example, “social” doesn’t describe the features of the system–it describes the type of content being managed.

Alfresco didn’t explicitly differentiate between these two forms of social content management but they have current and future functionality that addresses both.

One of my other purposes of the trip was to find out what’s coming in Project Swift, which is the code name for an up-coming release of Alfresco. It sounds like Marketing has the final say on what specific release Swift will be, but after hearing what’s slated for the release, most of us in the room agreed it should be labeled as a major release (4.0). We’ll see.

So what’s going to be in Swift? Lot’s of cool stuff, but here are the top five technical takeaways from the Project Swift Roadmap that jumped out at me:

#5: CIFS, SharePoint, and FTP will be clusterable. CIFS and SharePoint performance are both issues at one of my clients so this one caught my eye.

#4: New Share extension points are coming in Swift including a framework for custom actions, dialogs, and evaluators. The goal is to reduce the amount of copy-and-paste that goes on during typical customizations of Share and to make upgrades a bit easier.

#3: Alfresco is developing a “social content publishing framework” with publishing endpoints for YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Drupal, and more to address the social content management use case I described earlier in this post. I like this one a lot because I think a lot of people have this problem and because it leverages Alfresco in exactly the “right” way.

#2: Swift will sport a new Apache-licensed workflow engine called Activiti, which is a separate Alfresco-sponsored open source project founded by the creators of JBoss jBPM, which is currently the workflow engine embedded in Alfresco. With Swift, both engines will exist side-by-side. It sounds like you may be able to have jBPM continue to handle running workflow instances and use Activiti to handle new instances if you want to. Activiti will show up in Community soon for people to start playing with.

#1: Apache Solr will be implemented as an optional, separate shared search server and index. As part of this, Lucene will no longer be updated in the same transaction. Instead, the index will be eventually consistent. This should result in a huge performance gain and easier clustering. You’ll also get better control over what gets indexed. In Swift you’ll be able to configure full-text indexing by things like content type and path. The Solr server will accept CMIS Query Language and Alfresco FTS queries but not the current raw Lucene syntax so it might make sense to start moving your queries over to one of these two options if you anticipate leveraging Solr when it is available. Note that it is possible Alfresco may choose to make the Solr server an Enterprise-only feature. It didn’t sound like a final decision had been reached on that.

A Community release of Swift should happen some time in August, but we should start seeing a lot of activity in subversion starting in April. The Enterprise release is slated for mid-November. I predict some late nights ahead for QA and Engineering between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I know there’s not a huge difference between November and January but I’d love to see Swift go GA before year-end.

One comment about Share customizations: I get asked a lot about when I will be updating the Alfresco Developer Guide to include a chapter on Share. I have most of the SomeCo examples ported to Share in an as-yet-unshared code base but, as you can see from some of the changes coming in Swift, Share is still changing a lot with respect to customizations, so I’ve been hesitant to update the book. If you’re looking for Share examples you should take a look at Will Abson’s Share Extras project on Google Code. He’s got about 18 different examples of varying complexity and type. I believe each one is individually deployable.

Not bad for the price of a couple of days in Orlando.

What do you think about Alfresco’s multi-city event approach?

Alfresco is getting big enough to warrant a regular get-together. So far, the approach has been to have multiple, smaller events rather than one big one as is done by traditional vendors. Over the past few weeks I’ve been wondering if the multi-event model makes sense. I get the concept: Theoretically it boosts attendance and helps attendees contain costs because people don’t have to travel as far–the conference comes to you.

But there are a few problems with the approach:

  1. you can never pick enough cities in the right places to reduce the travel burden to zero for everyone,
  2. partners and sponsors have to attend multiple events to get full coverage, and
  3. it’s tough to ensure consistent delivery of information across multiple events.

Regarding the first two, I would think anyone contemplating an Alfresco rollout (or already a paying customer) would be able to find budget to travel to a conference, even in times such as these. Integrators also make up a significant portion of the audience, but I think they would also be able to justify the trip based on the valuable lessons learned, new ideas sparked, etc. I would also guess that partners and vendors might be more willing to sponsor the conference if there were a single event rather than multiple smaller events because they get more eyeballs for one spend.

If these were the only two issues, I’d say it doesn’t matter. You’re either going to travel to the conference or you’re going to get lucky and not have to because the event is in your city. And partners who can afford sponsorships can also afford to send people to multiple cities to get the coverage they want (thanks, Optaros).

The third problem needs fixing. As someone who saw the same agenda delivered three times, I was struck by how different the morning sessions were in each of the three cities:

  • If you missed Washington D.C., you missed John Newton’s unique spin on CMIS, his statement that in Alfresco 4.0 he would “finish off the Explorer client”, and his thoughts on the cloud.
  • If you missed Atlanta, you didn’t get to hear Michael Uzquiano talk about the future of the product he manages, Alfresco WCM, and Alfresco’s plan to converge on the DM repository going forward.
  • If you missed LA, you didn’t see Luis Sala’s Amazon EC2 demo and you didn’t hear Dr. Ian Howells’ take on where the ECM market is heading.

In all three cases the content was similar (Alfresco is growing, CMIS, Records Management, and the cloud are important, the roadmap is exciting), but the delivery and the talking points were very different because the speakers each have their own unique perspective, careabouts, and role within Alfresco. Is that a big deal? Maybe, maybe not. The point is that the three events were decidedly different, and in hindsight, were travel not an issue, you might have picked one over another based on who was speaking on which topic.

I definitely don’t want to take away from the events and the planning and coordination it must have taken to pull them all off. I’m just thinking out loud and wondering about your opinion:

  • Would Alfresco be better off having a single event or should they continue with the multi-city approach?
  • Would your opinion change if you had to pay a significant registration fee to defray the cost of a larger venue? (I have no idea how the costs compare between the two models, I just assume a big room in Vegas is more expensive than three small rooms in assorted Marriotts).
  • What if Alfresco dove-tailed the conference with a broader conference like JavaOne or SpringOne? Aside from the obvious cross-pollination possibilities, does it make it easier for you to justify the expense?