The Alfresco 5 release already tells us that it recognises the challenge the Goliath ECM faces from the fast sprouting David(s) (read services based applications). The good news is that Alfresco seems to be on the right track on tuning its architecture though it’s still a bit behind the curve.
Let’s explore some excerpts from its release notes and roadmap blogs to see where Alfresco is heading:
1. Integration – Ease of integration seems to be at the top of the agenda for Alfresco. .The aim is for a tighter internal coupling between APS (Alfresco process services) and ACS (Alfresco content services). There will now be a modern shared authentication protocol so that both work with a shared authentication system.
From external integration perspective, more API end points will be available and maintaining advanced customization of APIs will be easier.
The use of REST APIs over process APIs is recommended for future. Eventually APS will become a platform wide service that can be called upon and will be an external interface to ACS.
2. Containerization – Another key focus is containerized deployment support. It is evident to all that ability to host efficiently on cloud is imperative for sustenance. Support for Docker, Kubernetes and similar containerization platforms are quiet likely in the future. Looks like ACS installers will be replaced with Docker containers.
A direct implication of containerized deployment support means there will be no separate web container. Each container will contain Config information. Application server support for JBoss, Websphere, WebLogic is going away.
Another drop will be Solaris and DB2 support; this will bring a lot more focus as there will be less to manage.
Other changes will include better search and indexing with Apache Solr 6 and support for WebDAV . Alfresco Share does not seem to have a very bright future and Alfresco Application Development Framework (ADF) will take precedence. ADF comes with Angular powered interfaces and Alfresco seems to be betting big on this one.