Alfresco DevCon 2020: Steady as she goes...

    The first fully remote Alfresco DevCon was a success! Discover what new opportunities are coming for Alfresco and how they can help you with your digital transformation.


    A first for Alfresco in these CoVid times, this fully remote DevCon started in some exciting news. The week before, it was announced that Alfresco was acquired by Hyland so Devcon started with a short explanation of CEO Jay Bhatt. As was expected everybody is wondering what the impact will be and which new opportunities it will bring for Alfresco and its community. Only future will tell us what Hylands plans are with Alfresco. We can only hope that they see the possibilities of the platform and its open-source nature.


    Next up, the unforgettable John Newton with a history lesson accompanied where words like “transformation”, “process” and “case” come from. This keynote speech was about which digital transformation patterns can be identified, how we can use them to make our digital journey a success and how Alfresco is the ideal platform to support customers in this journey.


    Over the last year, Alfresco has done a number of customer surveys on what extensions customers and partners build and which features customers would like to see in the product and on day 2 of the conference Mo Ladha, VP Product Management presented the results of these surveys and how they impact the roadmap. Customers and partners still develop a lot of customizations and across the platform. Customers are generally speaking quite satisfied with the customizations. Alfresco does provide a lot of extension points where developers can extend the platform and as this survey shows, they are used a lot. It is clear Alfresco is looking to further build out its platform to make it ever more stable, future-proof and easy for developers to leverage it to build applications.


    So, what does this mean for the roadmap?

    • Alfresco will continue its journey to a microservices architecture. And the next step is to provide support to develop out-of-repository extensions.
    • There is still of focus and investment in Content Centric Processes. To be honest, I’m a bit conservative on this topic. I don’t see a lot of traction on APS and the quality of the current versions of APS has been questionable. Let’s hope Alfresco can tackle this known issue which I’m sure they will do since they will also be releasing APS in their cloud offering.
    • Something I am very excited about is the integration with O365, something that’s expected in Q4 2020. We have a bunch of customers asking about the ability to co-author, so let’s hope that will be one of the features this new integration brings.
    • More and more TSG-products find their way to the Alfresco product list. We already saw the Enterprise Viewer, some Content Accelerator implementations and we can expect more to come.
    • Last year in this blog, I asked the question “Are non-containerized users left behind?” since the classic installer was abandoned with the release of Alfresco 6. Well, it seems like they were. Because with the release of Alfresco 7 we can expect support for non-containerized deployment using Ansible playbooks based on the work Jeff Potts did. Jeff later gave a very nice presentation on this by the way.


    As you see, Alfresco keeps investing in developer experiences, but also brings new products and integrations which will directly benefit end-users. There are different ways to deploy and run Alfresco and Alfresco is also available in the Cloud with the new Alfresco Cloud offering. So a lot of focus on a lot of different topics and this can only be beneficial for everybody involved with Alfresco.


    This article was written in collaboration with Tom Vandepoele.

    Published on    Last updated on 30/09/2020


    About the author

    Hans De Bal is a Senior ECM Consultant at Amplexor based in Belgium, specialized in Alfresco. Leading a team of developers, Hans focuses on providing clients with robust solutions against their business requirements. He has been responsible for successfully leading Alfresco projects for public and finance sectors. As an open source enthusiast, he’s also frequent speaker at BeeCon Alfresco Developer Conferences throughout Europe.