Lessons learned from BeeCon 2017

by / Thursday, 04 May 2017 / Published in Blog
Alfresco Tech Talk Live 106 (powered by keensoft)
BeeCon 2017 insights from keensoft (UST Global)

BeeCon is the place for Alfresco developers to share findings, experiences and future plans. This year keensoft UST Global has participated in many different activities during the conference and now it’s time to review what we learned from it.

Hack-a-thon

About 30 Alfresco developers worked together to produce 10 new features in just one day.

From keensoft, Mikel Asla joined the team releasing the addon Alfresco Audio Transcriber, which is a module to extract text from audio in order to ease searching in Alfresco for many audio file types. This feature is based on an integration with Sphinx 4.

Teaching

During the first day a learning class for newbies was taught by Richard Esplin from Alfresco in the morning session and by Angel Borroy from keensoft in the afternoon session. Every different integration technique with Alfresco was explained by Angel (CMIS, REST API, OpenAPIs, Aikau & ADF) including working samples for each one.

Talking

Speakers from keensoft leaded four sessions including different topics:

  • Welcome session (Angel Borroy)
  • Installing Alfresco components one by one (Angel Borroy)
  • A history of (open) conversation: Alfresco at University of Zaragoza (Angel Borroy)
  • Migrating two different Alfresco 4.2 CE installations into one instance of Alfresco 201605 (Mikel Asla)

Listening

Many Alfresco experts joined BeeCon to share content with developers. From keensoft we found following topics as the more relevant for next months in Alfresco development trends:

  • Alfresco SDK 3.0, the new backend development framework with cross-compatibility for Alfresco releases and simple packaging
  • Alfresco ADF 1.4, the new frontend development framework including Angular 2 and Google Material
  • Activiti BPM 6, a product for flow design and execution which has been re-oriented to be used independently from Alfresco
  • Docker, for testing purposes and also for provisioning real environments is the right choice for running Alfresco environments. From keensoft, we have been using this approach from three years ago and we have contributed different dockerfiles and compose schemes during this time. Luckily we were right in the end.
  • Alfresco Community is definitively a great added value to your project and many Alfresco employees are aware of that. Also we started to build and consolidate relationships with other open source communities like Odoo and PostgreSQL, which benefits all of us in order to get a more coordinated ecosystem.
  • OpenAPIs is the new standard approach from Alfresco. Alfresco has been leading standard adoption continuously during years and this new approach to REST APIs consolidate the product as the most easy and solid to integrate ECM in the world.
  • SOLR 6 is also a new isolated approach for searching services, which provides more flexibility to this service and makes easier to develop customisations in this layer.

Looking ahead

Once the event has gone, we have to keep on evolving our Alfresco experience. Content, Process, Search and Governance are the new terms to define (probably) the most visionary ECM in the market. No other provides so many open points for integrators and no other has been growing so fast in terms of stability and features in the last months. Some voices are talking about forking, specs changing and lack of collaboration. However, in my opinion, Alfresco is heading fast and solid and every new decision is taken to evolve the product in the right direction (probably Aikau is the only exception I can think of). So, join us on this exciting journey we are starting together with Alfresco and the Community… and join also The Order of the Bee!

Alfresco Digital Business Platform

As Alfresco developer, I cannot wait to experiment all this new stuff: ADF, SOLR 6, Activiti, OpenAPIs… It seems like I’m going to be very busy in the next months.

Responsable tecnológico para soluciones de gestión documental en keensoft. Especialista en Alfresco y en implantaciones de Administración Electrónica.

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