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Alfresco Announces First Open Source Social Computing Platform for the Enterprise

Alfresco Sets Agenda for Open Source Social Computing

LONDON - December 4, 2007 – Alfresco Software Inc., today announced the first open source Social Computing Platform for the enterprise. The new release integrates Alfresco’s popular ECM software with leading Web 2.0 tools and services such as Facebook, iGoogle, Adobe Flex, MediaWiki, TypePad and WordPress.

This expanded version of the Alfresco ECM platform delivers people-centric tools to let users develop next-generation rich Internet applications (RIAs), mashup and present internal and external content, and bring social networking capabilities into the workplace, while retaining choice over the selection of best of breed open source tools and ensuring enterprise-level security and control.

Corporations are beginning to redirect their focus on containing, controlling and confining enterprise content toward the engaged, empowered and collaborative approaches driven by Web 2.0-inspired social computing. Social computing is the use of technology in the enterprise to support the sharing of information and to encourage collaboration through social networks to tap into “the wisdom of crowds.”

“Enterprise employees use internal tools, like e-mail, Microsoft Office, intranet and CRM, as well as external tools like Google Search, LinkedIn, Wikipedia, and Google maps, to perform their jobs,” said Jon Williams, author of the New York CTO blog. “These tools should all be integrated in an Enterprise Social Computing Platform.”

In this new collaborative environment, social computing platforms must focus on users’ preferences for communicating, ensure content is accessible everywhere and in context to activity, and provide people-centric tools. Alfresco has embraced this major industry trend by incorporating the following capabilities into Alfresco Social Computing Platform:

  • Social Collaboration – Knowledge Spaces, Calendars, Discussions, Wikis, Presence (Skype and Yahoo), Social Tagging, and richer Social Networking information for users
  • Integrating the Outside-In – Out-of-the-box integration of best of breed open source Web 2.0 tools and services such as Facebook, iGoogle and MediaWiki, WordPress, TypePad, RSS Readers and Email
  • Integrating the Inside-Out – Out-of-the-box content publishing to multiple channels including Web sites, Facebook, WordPress and TypePad
  • Rich Mashup Architecture – Creation of new Rich Internet Application (RIA) mashup applications through the Adobe® Flex™ SDK, integrating front office and back office through content services. Web-oriented architecture with simple, lightweight scripting using internet standard Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)
  • Choice – Choice of operating system, database, application server, portal, content creation tools, collaboration and social networking tools, unlike products such as SharePoint.

“Social Computing is radically changing today’s definition of collaboration and ECM, prompting corporate IT managers to reconsider how to make it easier for people to collaborate and securely manage content both inside and outside the organization,” said John Newton, CTO and co-founder of Alfresco Software, Inc. “Alfresco is uniquely positioned to deliver an open source Social Computing alternative for those who need Web scalability and don’t want to be tied into a proprietary stack of operating system, database, application server, portal, scripting languages and social networking tools. Our Web 2.0-style architecture enabled us to develop these integrations in days, when many proprietary approaches take months.”

The Alfresco Social Computing platform can be deployed in modern knowledge worker scenarios, for example:

  • Providing new product information or materials to a Partner Extranet using Alfresco’s iGoogle Gadgets
  • Consumer organizations managing communications to mass market audiences in a consistent manner across Facebook, Web site and blogs
  • Government organizations publishing policy or special interest group consultation documents for discussion with citizens via Facebook

Read John Newton's Manifesto for Social Computing in the Enterprise:

Alfresco Social Computing Platform will be available for download beginning December 11, 2007:

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