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Alfresco Digital Business Platform: Go With the Digital Flow 

Alfresco Digital Business Platform: Go With the Digital Flow 

by Adrian Ababei on Sep 29 2017

“But am I not there yet? Haven't I already implemented digital transformation within my organization?" The Alfresco Digital Business Platform's release does make you wonder.

Well, now that we've planted “the seed of doubt”, ask yourself these key questions:

 

  • Is your current business platform agile enough to quickly pivot when you need it to, to promptly meet all your changing business needs?
  • Are the programming tools that you're currently using “tying” your business to long development cycles?
  • How fast is your current proprietary business process/enterprise content management system capable to put together workflow applications?
  • Are you currently using the power of task automation to the fullest?
  • How “accessible” is data within your company?
  • Are you leveraging your current digital technology to make information easily accessible?
  • Are people within your company enabled to access integrated data (anywhere, anytime), use it and share it with the utmost ease? 

     

Just be honest with yourself!

Then you'll find out whether you're right there: at the peak of your digital transformation or at the bottom of the hill, still...

And this is precisely what the Alfresco Digital Business Platform helps you with: take big leaps ahead towards digital transformation!

 

What Is The Alfresco Digital Business Platform Exactly?

Well, you could take it as a business process services and an open-source content management system “combo”, topped with a new App Development framework!

Or, simply put: a digital business platform, as its name says it, enabling you, as an enterprise, to create and to deliver digital content experiences via perfectly automated workflows.

In short: Alfresco, once exclusively an ECM (Enterprise Content Management), provides you with an open and agile platform perfectly equipped for enabling fast app development and reiteration!

 

But Which Are the Issues That This New Platform Comes to Address?

Or the “customer needs”, if you prefer, that this new Alfresco release is built to meet?

Here are a few challenges that they (business owners) had to cope with:

 

  • long development cycles that were no longer feasible
  • difficulties in connecting multiple departments and in automating tasks 
  • non-agile content/business processes management systems that wouldn't (or hardly) get “tweaked” in order to adapt to their users ever-changing business needs and goals

     

In short: it's precisely the lack of adaptability and time-efficiency of the “traditional” business process/content management systems that led to the Alfresco Digital Business Platform release.

And it's built to give you a push “push forward” on your path towards complete digital transformation, a path paved with... digital efficiency. Here are a few goals of the “mission” that its development team invested it with:

 

  • to help you create content at high speed by leveraging the due technology
  • to help you “tailor” automated digital business processes, automated workflows fast
  • to help you develop governance apps at high speed, providing you with a dedicated App Development Framework

     

Overall, the platform's built to help you:

 

  1. do things quickly around your organization by automating all the business processes, tasks, and workflows
  2. achieve that ideal “digital flow”

     

where data's easily accessible to everyone involved (both workers and customers), multiple teams are interconnected and you're free to change this entire “infrastructure” of processes, people, and content to your liking whenever you need to

 

Alfresco Digital Business Platform: 5 Tools and Improvements Worth Your Attention

1. Alfresco App Development Framework (ADF)

The new platform's ultimate goal is to help you speed up app development within your organization!

In this respect, this dedicated framework's supercharged with:

 

  • reusable Angular 2 components
  • Google Material design

     

… to easily “live up” to its goal: enabling your development team to quickly create workflow apps featuring responsive user interfaces adapted to all the devices used across your company!

 

But I was already able to build my own apps on top of the Alfresco platform. What's changed now?

 

A valid question, indeed!

Apart from a faster app development process, now you get to actually put together your own engaging and nonetheless responsive UI using the web technology of your choice on top of Alfresco!

Remember how you used to be “tied” to Alfresco's own UI? One that, it's true, you could adapt to your own needs, yet... you still depended on it?

Well, not anymore: not only that it empowers you/your team to actually craft your own user experiences on top of the platform, but it also takes most of the heavy work off your developers' shoulders, speeding up things tremendously! 

The framework provides you with a set of:

 

  • development tools
  • testing tools

     

… along with other new Alfresco tools to add to your handy toolbox for speeding your apps' development!

2. New Open RESTful APIs

That's right, you get a whole new set of APIs along with the Alfresco Digital Business Platform!

They're built to handle:

 

  • nodes
  • renditions
  • versions

     

… and to perform search queries, as well, and all this DIRECTLY.

Practically people in your organization get to easily access the services they're developing on top of the Alfresco platform.

It's all about them being able to quickly access, to use (even use it to innovate) and to share the data flowing within your company, remember?

The new platform just plugs in, via its open RESTful APIs, all those content and office productivity services into your internal workflows. It enables department collaborations and adapts the workflows to those specific environments that your workers prefer.

And when we talk about API integrations, the list of third-party apps is a.... never-ending one:  MicrosoftOutlook, Salesforce, Google Docs, CRM, SAP etc.

Moreover, it gets easier for you, the platform's user, to fully exploit all of the new open RESTful API's capabilities using the API Explorer!

3. Alfresco Search Services 

Digging through the “pile” of search improvements brought to the Alfresco digital business platform we can't but mention a few “highlights:

 

  • it runs on Solr 6
  • it comes with a search term highlighting tool
  • it includes category faceting, document fingerprinting, multi-select facets
  • it enables users to index multiple versions of a document 
  • it's got significantly improved sharding: you get to shard your index by date, DBID, ACL...

     

Do your users have multiple search requirements? This new Alfresco platform comes with multiple search tools so that you can comply with your customers' specific sets of requirements!

Note: probably one of the biggest search services-related news is that they're no longer “piled up” in a WAR file. They make a STANDALONE SERVICE now!

4. Admin Improvements

There are 2 handy new features that will streamline your Alfresco deployment's management and troubleshooting workflow:

 

  1. Trashcan Cleaner, which turns the whole cleaning out of Alfresco deleted items into an automated task
  2. Support tools, ranging from profiling, sampling, gaining easy access to changing log settings and viewing logs, thread dumps, active session monitoring

     

5. Amazon AWS Optimized Deployment

The Alfresco team has optimized the new platform so that it should run smoothly on Amazon AWS. And their efforts revolve around “valuing” your time even better, as they've included Alfresco Quick Start, turning Alfresco deployment from a matter of days into a matter of... minutes!

 

So, have we, at least, managed to stir your curiosity? To at least make you... question yourself whether you're currently embracing digital transformation at the right pace? To make you question yourself what you could do better in order to go from digital to digital efficiency? To shift to automated workflows?

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