My experience at Alfresco Meetup at London (March 1, 2017)
It has been a pair of years without Alfresco Meetups, where developers around the world have the chance to test some new functionality and to discuss in depth with its creators. Last 1st of March the cycle started again in London.
I really enjoyed so much the meeting, as I was discussing with every speaker in depth about technical details and even they showed me amazing approaches to solve my use cases. Having some beers after the presentations also helped us to talk about Alfresco from the inside and from the outside, which usually provides new points of view for everyone.
The event started with Jan Vonka exposing the new REST API, which is cleaner and much more complete than the old one. Having this API documented by using standar OpenAPIs YAML allows developers to build clients automatically and to use the interactive API explorer. Jan provided a test catalog in Postman available at Postman collection. We talked also about authentication, which only is supported by using HTML basic by now. This limitation can be blocking for Alfresco environments using Kerberos or CAS, so including SAML authentication feature could help to cover more real world scenarios.
The second presenter was Michael Suzuki, who was talking about the new Search Service approach. From Alfresco 5.2, SOLR 6 is provided as an independent module which runs by default on a Jetty server. I’ve been installing Alfresco SOLR on a dedicate Tomcat for years, as this software requires specific Java tuning and filesystem (as XFS). During the demo, Michael also showed how to build Alfresco cores and how to configure Sharding easily. He explained that upgrading from SOLR 4 to SOLR 6 is the same process used to migrate from SOLR 1 to SOLR 4: having both indexers working simultaneously till the new one includes every Alfresco content and then shut down definitively the old one. Finally, we talk about Search Service Docker container, which is available at GitHub. Alfresco is using more and more Docker for their internal testing processes, as there many different environments and configurations to cover.
And, of course, Francesco Corti was supporting all of us and providing sense, humour and food. Thank you for organising such a wonderful meeting and see you in the next one.