Alfresco DevCon 2011 kicked off in San Diego at the end of October. If you missed that event, you can read the recap here: Day one and Day two. The next stop was in United Kingdom, where Alfresco is headquartered. London was the city chosen so Alfresco engineers, partners, community members, current and future clients from all over the world could Level Up their game, learning more about Alfresco and hearing the latest developments in the platform.
If in San Diego the main language one could hear was English with occasional British accent, Spanish and Portuguese. In London we had more variety…English from US and UK, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, French, German, Portuguese from Portugal and Brazil, Russian and others languages I did not recognize…showing me really how global Alfresco has become.
The Main conference room was packed waiting for the opening keynotes. Jeff Potts gave a warm welcome to all attendees, asking them to Level Up their game during the conference. He highlighted the awesome job some community members are doing around the world. There were some community rockstars present at the conference and they got a deserved round of applause from the crowd.
From Meetups to participation in forums, creating amazing solutions, sharing codes among themselves, these people represent the true spirit of an open source community. A common sentiment was the passion about the platform, sharing and learning from each other. Jeff also reminded the attendees about Hack-a-thon, a room where people could get their laptops ready with the latest Alfresco installation, setup the configuration and code! After all the announcements, which included Jeff Potts in a Mohawk it was time for the Keynotes.
John Powell, Alfresco CEO, gave an overview about the company and talked about the incredible couple of years Alfresco is having since 2005 when he found the company with John Newton. With more than 70 new employees added since last DevCon, from all around the world, the Alfresco family is growing and so is its business. The company added five hundred and fifty Enterprise Customers in the last 12 months alone and that contributed to make Alfresco “the largest private, pure-play open source software company in the world”. John Powell shared some plans of expansion in India and Far East and thanked the partners for their help in taking Alfresco to new markets. He also mentioned the Online Training and Certification for Alfresco Developers, that certified a great number of people during DevCon.
- My name is Newton, John Newton.
No, he didn’t introduce himself like this, I am making it up, but I swear, John Newton, Alfresco CTO, mixed James Bond and the fall of Euro Zone in his presentation. How did he do it? I really don’t know, but it worked liked a charm. The audience, including myself, were glued to the screen waiting for the next slide and trying to figure out what Bond he would use to match his slide content.
His presentation was divided in two parts. In the first part he was talking about new trends and how Alfresco is watching these trends to define the roadmap for the product. If I could summarize the important keywords for DevCon, they would be: Cloud, Mobile, Workflow, Integration. And Alfresco is working to combine all of them together.
Mike Farman did his live demo at Alfresco DevCon showing some of the new functionalities of Alfresco 4. Jeff Potts helped filming with his iPad the crowd at DevCon London. He uploaded to Alfresco Share, tagged, showed geolocation, workflows and published to YouTube and twitter. Here is the video that was published from Alfresco to Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMcHyiuNxtc. Again a flawless demo, live, with no PowerPoint and no customizations. Alfresco just worked!
The first break of the day was the opportunity for people to connect with the sponsors, engineers and know the stories behind the adoption of Alfresco in other companies.
John Newton came back to stage to talk about what to expect from Alfresco in 2012. Alfresco 4 brought a lot of changes and more is coming in the upcoming versions. One of the recurrent themes of the conference and a force in the new roadmap - Mobile, was explained in one of the slides:
Alfresco has the opportunity to enable a new era of business productivity in a tablet world…
- A powerful content platform that serves as a content-hub for the enterprise
- A set of cloud services & integrations that enables “cloud-connected-content”
- A focus on driving the new tablet content experience – with apps & open standards
- Built on a foundation of transparency, openness & innovation
After the break, the sessions were divided in three different rooms. Some of the hot topics in the first day were:
The sessions related to Share were always well attended. Richard McKnight presented “Document Management with Share“ talking about what approach to use when you decide to design a solution using Share, some tips and best practices and he also talked about the Repository and Web Tier Extensions. Mike Hatfield did a presentation called “Share Document Library Extensions“. He is the author of one great and very useful blogpost. You can read Mike’s blog post here: Share Document Library Extensions in V. 4.0 . It is very useful if you are a developer with examples of configuration. Dave Draper in the last session about Share from Day One had a presentation about “New Client Configuration and Extension Points in Share“. Will Abson presented “Share Customization Best Practices“. Lots of great insights for those developing for Share, like the Project Structure Recommendations.
- Separate your source from your deployment (don’t create your project inside the webapp!)
- Choose a build tool to deploy our code even when you have a simple or small projetct, because that makes the project right from the start.
Make sure you come back to get the presentation that will be available in slideshare.
Ian Pope presented a very interesting Case Study for Travelcard and the solution for Scanning and OCR in the session “Scanning and OCR the open source way” using Ephesoft, a Java 100% web based capture solutions and Colin Stephenson presented “Structured Content Authoring and Publishing through Alfresco and Componize. ”
NEW TRENDS: CLOUD
Aligned with the Alfresco Roadmap presented earlier by John Newton, new services were starting to be unveiled. David Gildeh presented ”What to expect from Alfresco Cloud“. He explained the decision behind the move and announced the release date for Alfresco Cloud: November 28th. If you didn’t signed up yet, go now to http://alfresco.me and be one of the first to be notified when Alfresco Cloud is available.
There were three very interesting sessions, from beginner to advance so you could build your skills and learn more about Activiti. Gavin Cornwell presented “Introduction to Advanced Workflows“, Frederik Heremans had a very informative session on how to “Migrate from jBPM to Activiti” and he also joined Nick Smith to offer a session “Advanced Workflow Deep Dive“. Workflows is playing a vital role in the new releases of Alfresco and also in the cloud service offered by Alfresco.
After an amazing day of sessions and conversations with some partners, customers and engineers, it was time for Jeff and some of the staff to put back the Mohauk and lead the way to Vinopolis for a reception.
You can see all the pictures from the Reception at Vinopolis here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/alfrescosoftware/sets/72157628094091008
Pictures of Day 1 and Day 2 of Conference: http://www.flickr.com/photos/alfrescosoftware/sets/72157627968798759/
All the presentations from the Conference can be found here: http://www.slideshare.net/alfresco/