A quick overview of Alfresco DevCon 2018
I know, probably I missed the logo, but it’s because I felt like in the old days 🙂
Last week, every Alfresco developer and enthusiast attended Alfresco Developer Conference in Lisbon, Portugal. After three days of intensive collaboration, communication and learning a slow recap is required. However, having a first notes on the contents (and this conference was full of contents) may help to make digestion.
The conference started Tuesday 16, with the celebration of a Hack-a-thon where 16 teams were developing new features for different Alfresco components: Alfresco Governance Services (AGS), Alfresco Content Services (ACS), Alfresco Process Services (APS) & Application Development Framework (ADF). keensoft UST Global contributed with the following open source projects:
1 – [ACS] Alfresco Integration With Cloud Foundry, available at https://github.com/OrderOfTheBee/alfresco-cloud-foundry
Angel Borroy (UST Global ECM Leader) collaborated with Dave Caruana (Alfresco founder engineer & CMIS Oasis Committee member) and David Antón (a Padawan from UST Global that has become a real Jedi at Mimacom) to develop a Cloud Service Broker for CMIS REST API. It was a pleasure for me to share some hours of hacking with those great colleagues and we were able to produce a working sample for a “cloudified” CMIS REST API during the session.
2 – [ADF] Adding a new feature to Alfresco Content Application, available at https://github.com/keensoft/alfresco-content-app-with-aos
Mikel Asla (UST Global EMC Architect) and Tiago Simões (UST Global Senior Developer) built the first component from the Community to ADF framework. Likely, the future of the addons will be this kind of components integrated with living ADF applications.
The talks started Wednesday 17, including two keynotes based on the roadmap for the Alfresco Digital Business Platform:
- Thomas DeMeo (Alfresco) – Welcome & Keynote: Alfresco Product Direction
- Brian Remmington (Alfresco) – The Evolution of Alfresco’s Digital Business Platform
It seems clear from both talks, that Alfresco has started an isolation services process to prepare the platform to be deployed natively on Cloud. Probably, Activiti 7 (not available yet) will be the first product to be transformed in that direction, so we have to wait a little to start playing with these technologies.
There were four parallel tracks in the conference and it was hard to decide where to attend. Luckily all the sessions has been recorded (video & audio) and also presentations will be available in the next weeks. Below, we are including a short comment of some of these sessions but you’ll have to come back to Alfresco DevCon web page to access the whole material in the future.
Lightning Talks is a classic in Alfresco conferences: 5 minutes for 20 slides changing every 15 seconds in a non-stop playing mode. UST Global participated in the first session together with members of the Alfresco AGS Team and with the Chair of the Order of The Bee Boriss Mejias.
- Boriss Mejias (2nd quadrant, Order of the Bee)- The Alfresco Community, Life, Universe and Everything
- Roy Weatherall (Alfresco) – What is Governance Services?
- Ross Gale (Alfresco) – Governance Services, Git Workflows, and How to Contribute
- Angel Borroy (UST Global, Order of the Bee) – How to Extend (Properly) and “Old” Alfresco Share Feature
- David Webster (Alfresco) – Why Search and Rescue is like Software Development
Don’t miss my presentation when it becomes available, it’s the real story of an hilarious development process to extend an Alfresco Share feature. Starring myself (just in case of doubts).
The conference continued with a talk about “Well Built Content Services Extensions” by Richard McKnight (Alfresco), a great best practices catalog for every ACS developer. We also could assist to Michael Suzuki (Alfresco) on “Alfresco Reporting & Analytics”. No luck this time for Michael (again), as WiFi avoided a perfect demo with SOLR SQL and Apache Zeppelin. Anyway, Michael was awarded as best talk in the conference, so no one noted that small screw up.
The room was also full to see Jeff Potts talking about “Moving Gigantic Files In and Out of the Repository”. Jeff described a real case, providing a detailed analysis of the problem and including a nice approach based on the integration of Globus Data Transfer product with Alfresco.
The following session included a new set of speakers for another Lightning Talks session.
- Harry Peek (Alfresco) – Search and Analytics Roadmap
- Axel Faust (Acosix) – Important Workarounds for Making ASS Multi-Lingual
- Dennis Koch (Alfresco) – APS Extension Project
- Kaz Kono (Alfresco) – Choosing Points of Implementing a Custom Search Method
- Dave Caruana (Alfresco) – Hack Your Creativity
Probably this has been the best presentation ever by the (legendary) Axel Faust, so I recommend you to check it out when available.
The last Lightning Talks session of the day included a bunch of small contributions to Alfresco and also some newbies experimented the adrenaline of this non-stop format.
- David Ciamberlano (Sourcesense)- David and Goliath (The Misadventures of an Alfrescan vs. a Big Company)
- Cesar Capillas (Zylk) – Alfresco Monitoring Setups with Nagios and ELK Stack using JMX and OOTB Support Tools
- Willem Van den Eynde (Xenit) – 3 Tips for Migrating Alfresco to AWS or Azure
- Younes Regaieg (Xenit) – Don’t Reinvent the Wheel, Reuse!
- Rodica Sutu (Ness) – Reduce Release Stress by Trusting Your Test
- Philippe Quéré (Atol CD) – How Alfresco Can Manage Your Products and Your Projects with beCPG Addons
- Roy Weatherall (Alfresco) – Gamificaton of Content Navigation Using a Minecraft Plugin
Content Craft, a long-living addon by Roy Weatherall based in MineCraft, returned to Alfresco conferences this year. You can see how Roy explains the origin and evolution of the idea in this talk.
The first day of talks ended with a review of the collaboration opportunities with different Alfresco entities:
- Richard Esplin (Alfresco) explained the relative to ACS, AGS & ASS
- Boriss Mejias (Order of the Bee) described Order of the Bee channels of communication
- Mauricio Salatino (Activiti) exposed how to win a t-shirt for a pull-request in Activiti and some other things that I can’t remember
The last day started with the keynote by John Newton (Alfresco): “Impact of Emerging Technologies on Content”. Using Star Wars as transitioning theme for the technologies (now you can understand why David was named as Padawan and Jedi before), John provided his vision on the evolution of use cases through the technology. This will be a great challenge for the next years, as it implies not only to change the software but also changing the people developing software.
After that, one of my favorite sessions was performed. Ray Gauss (Alfresco) described during his talk “Digital Business Platform Extensions” the details of the new Alfresco architecture around the Event Gateway. And he even prepared a real demo for the developers to play with available at https://github.com/Alfresco/rgauss-devcon-2018. Congrats, Ray. You also deserved a Rubik cube from Order of the Bee.
Axel Faust (Acosix) selected both two projects with UST Global participation for the showcase together with other four projects. Angel Borroy (UST Global) prepared a complex cloud deployment to gather information from a CMIS Repository. Obviously this can be achieved far easily, but it was just only a first PoC to “cloudify” the whole Alfresco platform. Tiago Simões (UST Global) played live with the ADF application including a new AOS (Office Online Edition) developed together with Mikel Asla (UST Global). We can say that my team was the first ever to deploy an Alfresco Service on a cloud architecture and Tiago and Mikel were the first developers to contribute a component to ADF. Very proud of this group of pioneers!
We followed attending to Thijs Lemmens presentation “Postgresql for Alfresco: The Practical Guide”. Thijs demonstrated live different backup and restoring techniques that other speakers just only enumerated before. Probably this was one of the more complex demonstrations on database ever done. And he also provided all the source code used during the presentation at https://github.com/thijslemmens/postgres-alfresco-presentation Well done!
The last Lightning Talks session was celebrated to bring a new group of brave speakers.
- Ciju Joseph (Alfresco) – Voice Driven ADF Application
- Nathan McMinn (Alfresco) – Natural Language Processing and Enterprise Search
- Mario Fliegner (pernexas) – Talking SAP
- David Ciamberlano (Sourcesense) – You Probably Didn’t Know That … (Small Hidden Features in Alfresco)
- Sergey Palyukh (FlexSolutions) – Alfresco Template Filler
I recommend you Sergey Palyukh talk from this group, as he was able to explain a not so easy customization in only 5 minutes.
Toni de la Fuente (Alfresco), the Security Guy in Alfresco (he is Spanish, isn’t he?), provided a detailed architectural talk on “From Zero to Hero: Backing Up Alfresco”. Starting from a simple scenario, he covered every step to build a real distributed architecture. The information was based on a real case deployment, so it will become a reliable reference for the future.
Oksana Kurysheva (ITD Systems, Order of the Bee and aka Queen Bee) presented “Overcoming Common Knowledge: 100k Nodes in a Single Folder” in an overcrowded room. Everyone wanted to know how Alfresco restrictions could be overcame. The presentation included a real demo, so the attendees could see Alfresco retrieving 100k nodes in about 1 second live! She was awarded also as one of the best talks in the conference.
The last session I attended before closing was Dave Caruana (Alfresco) talking about “Transform Your Content Processing with Akka”, an experimental approach to enhance Alfresco pipelines transformation system. Dave included a nice command line demo to show the power of Akka. The perfect end for the party!
Alfresco closed the conference with a QA Panel composed by Alfresco employees answering attendees questions. Just to clarify some doubts, I’d like to remark that DevCon is a natural evolution of BeeCon and that Order of the Bee has collaborated actively in the preparation of this DevCon. Apart from this, the main concern from the Community was relative to the deprecation of the Share web application and the ability of ADF to fill this gap.
I focused my attention on ACS related presentations, but Activiti, ADF & Governance Services are pending tasks for me when recordings will be available. There were also big news for these products.
Order of the Bee awarded a group of persons from the Community and from Alfresco with a Rubik cube. There were different categories, but Spanish developers obtained three awards:
- César Capillas (Zylk) as Best Open Source Spirit
- Mikel Asla (UST Global) as Best ADF Contribution
- Angel Borroy (UST Global) as Best Blogger (it’s an irony, see me!)
I just spent some amazing days with all of you. After these conferences the feeling that everything can be done is stronger than ever. Thank you all!