Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Alfresco Launches Cloud Developer Program

By Jeffrey Schwartz09/22/2009

Alfresco, a leading provider of open source enterprise content management software, last week launched a developer program for those looking to build ECM applications that can run in the cloud.

The Alfresco Cloud Developer Program gives participants tools to build cloud-enabled apps that can be used for collaboration and document management. The program also entitles developers access to various content, including training webinars. Developers can also receive 24x7 support.

Many customers are interested in piloting cloud-based applications based on Alfresco's ECM technology, said Ian Howells, the company's chief marketing officer. "I think a high proportion is looking at evaluating the cloud today but I think most will be storing their content internally," he said in an interview.

In conjunction with the new program, the company released an open source tool kit designed to let developers program and deploy to Amazon's EC2 cloud service. Called the Alfresco 3.2 Community Edition, it is built on Ubuntu 9.10, which is installed on a Canonical Partner Repository.

"The reason we've chosen Ubuntu is within the developer community, it's the most widely used platform for us," Howells said. "What we wanted to give them was a way to go to the Amazon AMI [Amazon Machine Images] catalog to kick of an Alfresco instance." Alfresco released a link that directs developers to the AWS console.

The company also released an image that includes Alfresco's core ECM features and APIs based on the Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS) specification.

CMIS is a standard agreed upon by Alfresco, IBM, EMC (Documentum), Microsoft, OpenText, Oracle and SAP. Intended to provide base interoperability among ECM systems, it is expected to be ratified by the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) in the first quarter of next year. "What we are targeting to the developer is a way to develop and a way to manage content," Howells said.

Alfresco posted a guide for developers looking to build cloud-enabled applications based on its ECM technology.

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