Alfresco Community 4.2 – Shiny. Fast. Awesome.

There hasn’t been a release of Alfresco Community for a while, and that’s a shame, but the good news is one is coming soon, very soon in fact – and it will have a lot of new and improved features! Also many, many bug fixes from all the 4.X.Y Enterprise revisions that came before it.

Here’s a quick summary of the new and improved features can you expect to see when you install Community 4.2!

New Share dashboard dashlets:

  • Site Search

search results dashlet that allows a user to enter fts-alfresco search and see results across all their sites (when added to user dashboard) or just within a specific site (site dashboard)

Site Search dashlet

Site Search dashlet

  • Saved Search

Similar to Site Search – but the query is set via the dashlet settings panel – since this panel is only accessible to Site Managers, it means that “pre-canned” site searches can be set up by a Site Manager – great for reporting since it supports the full power of fts-alfresco search syntax. The title of dashlet can also be changed in the settings panel to make it clearer what the dashlet is reporting on.

Saved Search dashlet – settings for Site Managers

  • My Discussions

dashlet to show forum posts that a user has created or replied to recently

My Discussions dashlet

Improved Share dashlets:

  • Image Summary

improved liquid layout, folder path selection to show sub-set of images within a site, improved lightbox view

Image Preview dashlet

  • My Tasks Dashlet

filter “all” has been split into “active” and “completed”, paging added.

  • Content I’m Editing

dashlet converted to asynchronous loading to improve initial dashboard display speed

Document Library extendible views (see blog by Ray Gauss II)

the ability for developers to more easily add custom view modes to the Document Library

Rich Media Gallery View for Document Library

The first version of the Gallery View is now available in the Document Library – try it out to explore the shiny! More Multi-Media related views will be coming soon also. The new view supports the standard Document Library features such as multi-file select, drag-and-drop upload and also new features such the ability to dynamically change the number and size of the thumbnail images that are displayed in real-time.

Gallery View 1

Gallery View 2

Quick Share

public sharing of shortened document URLs

Quick Share action

Workflow UI improvements

delete completed workflow, show the completed tasks and workflows

iPad and Android usability fixes and improvements

HTML editing for Create Content, Wiki, Blogs and Forums (TinyMCE integration improved), drag and drop support for customise dashboard/site and rules ordering.

HTML5 multi-file upload

As well as the existing HTML5 drag-and-drop (in supported HTML5 browsers), the Document Library now supports multi-file selection in the standard upload dialog. With this change, there really is no need for the Flash based uploader any more on modern browsers.

SpringSurf 1.2:

No need to “clear internet cache” for end users when deploying Alfresco 4.2 or any future version. This great feature means the pain of clearing the temporary files cache has gone away when rolling out Alfresco 4.2 to your users!

a prototype feature that is not enabled by default but potentially a great way of saving resources reducing the number of files that need to be downloaded to the client

more impressive Share extensibility features for developers

timeouts, buffer sizes, http proxy settings, tcp settings, the white/black list of unsecure HTML tags for wiki editing and inline display of HTML content from Alfresco is now fully configurable

Prevent 304 revalidations for unchanged thumbnail images

a feature that means Share will no longer need to execute checks back to Alfresco to see if document or user avatar thumbnail images have changed – reduced network traffic and improved performance

Category Manager and Tag Manager fixes and improvements

Sharepoint VTI module improvements

WebDav

stability and coverage (litmus tests), range header support

Latest Activiti BPM engine

Activiti 5.10 release

Search help information

inline help for the main search page when results are found

Download as ZIP action

combined multi-file download

Forms Runtime Validation improvements

improved user feedback for invalid form data 

 

I hope this gives you a good overview of the new and improved features in Alfresco Community 4.2, as ever you can also expect better Repository and Share performance since the last release and significantly improved stability with a large number of bug fixes. Enjoy the shiny!

24 Responses to “Alfresco Community 4.2 – Shiny. Fast. Awesome.”

  1. Alexandra Says:

    What about faceted navigation for search and hit highlighting in search results?

  2. Kevin Roast Says:

    Not in this release unfortunately. It’s something on the feature list for consideration in the next version.

  3. Jeff Potts Says:

    @Alexandra,

    I know some people in the community have implemented this on their own. There is going to be a talk on the subject at DevCon Berlin on 7 November: https://devcon.alfresco.com/berlin/sessions/implementing-faceted-search-using-share-solr

    Jeff

  4. Jeff Potts Says:

    @Kevin,

    Holy cow! This looks like a great release! Glad to see quick share going in. The lightbox and gallery views look amazing. Looking forward to seeing this ship!

    Jeff

  5. Max Says:

    Sounds fab!

  6. Arno Hagen Says:

    The saved search dashlets seems to be very helpful. The Gallery views are cool and highly expected. No flash uploader any more :-) and download as ZIP are very useful as well. Can’t wait to see all this in the Enterprise edition. I’m afraid most of it will not be available in 4.1.1. Maybe it’s easy to incorporate the Gallery view in 4.1.1?

  7. Alexandra Says:

    @Kevin. When can we expect the next release? Months, half a year or a year? I have said if many times before but to me it is very hard to understand why improving search capabilities is such a low priority at Alfresco. One reference is of course Google where people expect hit highlighting another is EMC Documentum which both has hit highlighting and faceted navigation. Without facets the experience feels a bit like old school ECM where metadata is seem as providing value just when you view an individual object instead of improving navigation of large volumes of information. It is hard to justify people using metadata fields without this which also means automatic means like entity extraction is also harder to justify.

  8. Kevin Roast Says:

    Unless specifically engineering for an Enterprise release, we like to push out new and prototype features to the Community first to gauge reaction and receive additional testing before the Enterprise QA cycle. Fortunately, the Gallery View has been developed as a module that is being QAed against an Enterprise release – so will be available to Enterprise users before 4.2E.

  9. Kevin Roast Says:

    I don’t know the dates yet – but much sooner than the wait between 4.0->4.2 community certainly! Since we added SOLR, faceted search and similar features are definitely on our radar.

  10. Jeff Rosler Says:

    When might some of this feature set make it up to my.alfresco.com? I’d love to see the improved thumbnailing (with the preview dashlet as well as perhaps more functionality in the rich media gallery view. It looks like it would make the experience of sharing rich media a lot nicer.

  11. Kevin Roast Says:

    It’s on the way! The Gallery View will be ready very soon (it was developed for the Cloud and Enterprise edition also) and the preview dashlet again will be added soon.

  12. Andreas Steffan Says:

    Hallo Kevin,

    the features you highlight look awesome indeed – congrats !

    Personally, I have suffered quite a bit adopting 4.0 (community) early. Most of problems were related to solr. As a developer, I don’t mind running into bugs from time to time.

    Are there any expected downsides with 4.2, like major changes in critical functionality or API changes breaking extension code ?

    regards
    Andreas

  13. Eric Says:

    Will the rm2.0 to be released with this ce version? thanks.

  14. Kevin Roast Says:

    Yes SOLR is an interesting challenge isn’t it. The extension mechanism for components is being improved to give more extension points and make it easier to override component initialisation – so the client-side javascript component initialisation blocks (which were rendered in freemarker mixed in with the markup for the component) are now generated in web-tier javascript – as per David Drapers blogs on the subject. Existing 3rd party extension points are still present.

  15. Kevin Roast Says:

    I’m not sure of the release date for rm2.0 – I’ll ask the lead.

  16. Alexandra Says:

    @Kevin When do you think the Solr (1.4) version will be replaced with something newer?

  17. Tom Morris Says:

    @Alexandra

    If it’s faceted-search from within the Alfresco-Solr service that you’re interested in, then you may be curious about the following two links:

    Introducing Faceted Search with Alfresco Solr
    http://www.ixxus.com/blog/2012/10/introducing-faceted-search-alfresco-solr/

    Solr Facets in Alfresco: A Walkthrough
    http://www.ixxus.com/blog/2012/10/solr-facets-alfresco-walkthrough/

    It’s the basis of the DevCon talk that Jeff mentioned.

  18. Ed Lyons Says:

    I would think “very soon” is something less than three weeks. What happened?

  19. Kevin Roast Says:

    It is coming out this week!

  20. Alexandra Says:

    @Tom: Well, I am very interested in getting faceted-navigation to work within Alfresco but I was interested in exactly what I was asking. I have been involved a bit in the Solr community and the current version is 3.6.1 and it has happened a LOT since version 1.4 which is used in Alfresco right now. http://lucene.apache.org/solr/

  21. New Alfresco Community Features Make it Built to Share Says:

    [...] improvements in this release. So take a look at the release notes and Kevin Roast’s blog post. I’ve also got screencasts of the features discussed here available on my blog, [...]

  22. Kevin Roast Says:

    >Eric Says:
    >September 28th, 2012 at 6:15 am edit
    >Will the rm2.0 to be released with this ce version? thanks.

    Yes! I have confirmed that the new RM 2.0.1 release (due out shortly) will be compatible with Community 4.2!

  23. B S Prakash Says: