Platform News

Yes, Alfresco Activiti has a new name: Alfresco Process Services powered by Activiti

We recently announced our new Digital Business Platform which combines Process, Content and Governance services, along with a new Application Development Framework (ADF) for rapid development of engaging user interfaces (UIs). Alfresco Process Services 1.6 can still be used on its own and the new name better reflects its role in new modern microservice enterprise architectures. So what’s new?

1-6 highlight APS

Alfresco Process Services 1.6 product screenshots.

Streamlining end-to-end content-centric processes

With Alfresco Process Services 1.6, it’s now even easier to build case management solutions with Alfresco Content Services, where documents are a central part of the value chain. A good example is a contract lifecycle management solution: Alfresco Process Services can not only drive the business process and automatically generate the contract based on collected information, but also automatically store it in the appropriate folder in Alfresco Content Services along with all the vitally important metadata such as customer reference, amount, date, product(s), etc.

This automatic categorization allows any authorized user to benefit from all the content capabilities of Alfresco Content Services such as advanced search, smart folders, business rules, encryption, records management and compliance. With the process engine driving the flow of business activities and the content system managing all of the structured and unstructured related content, organizations leveraging these combined Alfresco capabilities are able to achieve higher levels of efficiency and visibility for their end-to-end business processes.

Thanks to the openness and extensibility of the Alfresco Digital Business Platform, contracts can be accessed from multiple systems such as Salesforce (using the Alfresco connector), your custom-built application using Alfresco open RESTful APIs or any other existing content system supporting the CMIS open standard. For quicker implementation, existing Alfresco Content Services content models can now be directly imported and used in Alfresco Process Services.

Simplifying RESTful APIs access across the entire platform

Alfresco Process Services 1.6 provides an out-of-the-box OAuth 2.0 Authorisation Server as a microservice ready to be used. This microservice allows the use of OAuth 2.0 tokens to access Alfresco open RESTful APIs for Process, Content and Governance Services.

At the same time, we have added to the existing Spring Security extensibility support for leveraging any other OAuth 2.0 authorization servers. This includes servers such as Ping Identity, Azure Identity Services, AWS, or SiteMinder making it easy to provide enterprise SSO capability for your REST-based applications and integrate your solution within the existing environment.

Integrating with your microservice architecture

An Alfresco Docker image is now available on the official public repository. You can run the default container locally on your machine or remotely. You can also configure your own environment adding application properties and using Docker Compose or Kubernetes. Kubernetes offers production-grade orchestration container environment and simplifies the deployment of Alfresco Process Services as part of an enterprise microservices environment. We provide some examples for defining and running multi-container Docker applications and offer varying degrees of decoupling (core process, process database repository, indexing and event streams).

Continuously enriching developer experience

If you want to quickly discover and evaluate the out-of-the-box REST APIs provided with the Alfresco Digital Business Platform, we have published a public APIs explorer page based on Swagger. We have also made the Swagger user interface available locally to help developers, to efficiently consume and test the Process Services REST APIs.  

We added support for RAML, which provides metadata for solution architects and developers  to integrate with your favorite development tooling such as the MuleSoft API Designer and the free open-source Atom-based API Workbench.

We also enhanced the developer experience for consuming RESTful APIs in the process design. In addition to the existing interactive data structure mapping of the REST task, we have added a templated option with syntax highlighting and validation for REST POST bodies. This simplifies the construction of complex REST POST bodies using JSON and Activiti’s familiar expression language offering support for nested hierarchies and iterators.

Configurable security & advanced control

In addition to systematic third-party pen tests that are performed prior to each release, Alfresco Process Services 1.6 includes new and improved controls to help Solution Architects and Administrators fine tune security to meet their needs and prevent malicious abuse of the flexibility Process Services provides. These include:

  • REST endpoints and design resources permissions are now governed using a new role-based access control mechanisms
  • User-defined scripts tasks & expressions control through execution sandboxing that can be turned on and off
  • Secure scripting that prevents access to underlying platform capabilities or infinite loops in scripting using configurable settings
  • Beans execution control through configurable whitelisting including class-name level, wildcard whitelisting. Allowing administrators to define what developers can access during execution
  • User password policies through configurable settings for lengths and pattern-based constraints
  • Authentication cookie rules through configurable time-to-live and removal.

User experience

A new iOS Mobile app for both iPhone and iPad devices is now available on the App Store. With the existing Android App, it provides an out-of-the-box solution to enable your mobile workforce.

Activiti iOS app

We’ve made enhancements to end user experience including task collaboration where a caseworker can now directly invite a group of users to collaborate on a task.

Finally, we’ve added four new languages: Norwegian, Simplified Chinese, Brazil-Portuguese, and Russian.

What to find out more about Alfresco Process Services 1.6? Visit Alfresco documentation.

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