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Alfresco Gives Microsoft Office Users a SharePoint Alternative

First ECM to support SharePoint Protocol, offering open choice for database, development and operating system

LONDON—July 31, 2008 — Alfresco Software today announced the availability of Alfresco Labs (Beta) 3, the open source alternative to Microsoft® SharePoint®. Alfresco Labs 3, formerly called Alfresco Community, offers Microsoft users greater choice by providing them with the first open source fully-compatible SharePoint repository. With Alfresco Labs 3, companies can leverage existing investments in Linux and Java as well as Microsoft .NET connection software to significantly reduce their SharePoint total cost of ownership and maximize their hardware and software investments. Alfresco Labs 3 will be available for download at

The shift in how information and content is shared and created is forcing enterprises to blur the lines between enterprise content management (ECM) and social software. Today, employees need content that can be accessible everywhere, not just in large, monolithic applications. While most Fortune 1000 companies have implemented some form of ECM software, it’s commonly quoted that only 5% to 10% of users in an enterprise use ECM. Instead, workers prefer to use shared file drives or emails. As a result, products that offer basic content services (BCS) like Alfresco Software and SharePoint are filling this gap.

“With the massive growth of SharePoint, customers are seeking an open alternative that delivers equivalent benefits but with true platform choice,” said John Newton, CTO of Alfresco Software. “Alfresco Labs 3 is the first ECM product to implement the SharePoint protocol and provides users with the same access from Microsoft Office, while giving companies the freedom of choice in their hardware, database, operating system, application server and portal products. Customers will experience the best of both worlds providing workers with an easy-to-use content management and collaboration tool that is integrated with Microsoft Office while lowering overall IT costs and increasing return on existing investments.”

Microsoft released the SharePoint protocol as part of its compliance with the European Commissions’ decision issued on March 24, 2004. Alfresco is the first ECM system to implement the Microsoft Office and Windows SharePoint Services protocols as a compatible server.

The Alfresco Labs 3 repository offers:
  • Microsoft Office SharePoint protocol support requiring no additional client installation
  • Alfresco Surf platform for building dynamic, REST-oriented web applications and collaborative web sites
  • RESTful API delivering content and collaboration services for customizing and developing Alfresco applications
  • Preview of Alfresco Share, a new social computing application
  • Document library which scales to over 100 million documents
Alfresco’s new Surf platform is built on Alfresco Web Scripts technology, which utilizes light-weight scripting and templating. The Surf platform is designed to work in a number of different web environments, as well as a Web Part in Microsoft SharePoint Portal. It includes content oriented components designed around the Yahoo!® User Interface (YUI) Library and Adobe® Flash® for dynamic uploads and previewing of content and other information. The new user interface components make it much simpler for users to develop new collaborative web applications. Alfresco will be delivering a new social computing application, Alfresco Share, built using the Surf platform in September 2008. Previews of Alfresco Share are available in Alfresco Labs 3.

Alfresco has seen major adoption of its open source ECM system throughout the world. Alfresco Labs is designed to be the research “Community Lab” for new features, enabling developers to access a nightly build with the latest functionality. There have been over one million downloads of Alfresco Labs. The company also has more than 500 enterprise customers, including the NYSE, Los Angeles Times, Boise Cascade, Sony Pictures, Activision, Kaplan, FedEx and KLM.

Alfresco Labs 3 will be available for download at:

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