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Partner Spotlight

Lots of exciting things going on at Alfresco these days and as part of my parter marketing role, I started thinking about all the cool options we offer customers still using Alfresco AVM through our extensive network of partners.

In a recent post, Jeff Potts talked about the future of the Alfresco AVM. In this series, I’ll bring the chart below to life by highlighting how through partner collaboration we are enabling organizations to do great work with web content services providing added flexibility and features.


In a recent conversation with Arnold Leung , CEO of Appnovation, we talked about the development of Canopy, the future of the solution and their experience with customers using the solution. Canopy was created by Appnovation for companies looking to combine Drupal, the highly-scalable and popular open source website development tool with Alfresco. We also awarded Canopy this year with the “Partner Solution of the Year,” which recognized their innovation in creating a combined Drupal and Alfresco solution for customers.

Joe Tong, Alfresco: I’m talking with Arnold Leung, CEO of Appnovation Technologies about Canopy.  First of all, congratulations on your recent award!

Arnold Leung, Appnovation:  Thanks Joe!  We appreciate your recognition as a key part of your WCS story and I’m excited to provide an update to Canopy as there have been many changes over the past few months since our last post.

Joe: First, lets start with a little background; can you talk about the genesis of Canopy?

Arnold: A little over a year ago, we were doing development for several clients using Alfresco as a back end repository while integrating it with other front end technologies such as Drupal for the web and SproutCore for web and mobile client side applications.  From this, our integration solution, “Canopy,” was born. This solution provides an accelerator for development and customization of these types front-end/back-end integrations.

Joe:  Sounds great, what’s the latest on Canopy?

Arnold:  Well, things are going to be changing. Having recently received some funding from the Government of Canada to help continue the development of the platform, we plan to make it something that will be much more user friendly and easy to administer.  The future release is planned to feature a web based portal to make the experience much more streamlined:

  • Simple administration of all the different Canopy features
  • Content type mapping between the Alfresco repository file system and content types and nodes inside of Drupal
  • SSO manager that will allow the easy setup of Alfresco and Drupal SSO via an LDAP server
  • File migration service that will allow all files uploaded into Alfresco to easily be migrated to the Alfresco repository in a batch manor
  • Workflow manager for configuring workflows between Drupal and Alfresco
  • Reporting and error handling to track and report on any errors that might occur in the syncing of the system, as well as usage stats and user actions in both platforms

After several years of experience with our own clients we’ve realized that building a portal that can easily handle these tasks in a web interface will allow them to much more easily manage their integrations between these pieces of great software.  In terms of timing for the release of Canopy v2.0 we are looking at the 4th quarter of 2012.

Joe:  Interesting, so what customers do you have running Canopy and what is their experience?

Arnold: We have used Canopy for several large integration projects for customers such as Mental Health Commission of Canada as well as Sisters of Mercy Health Systems.  In these, we’ve learned how using key features of Alfresco and Drupal to build an integrated site for these customers.  Canopy for both of these has been mainly code and something that you needed to be a real developer to administer.  With the web-based portal, the combined Alfresco+Drupal will be easier to administer and develop.

Interested in learning more about Appnovation? Check out their technology blog “Everything App” and leave a comment to let us know what you think of Canopy and what AVM alternatives you are using for a chance to see your story on Social Content!

About the author

Joe Tong

Joe Tong

Joe is the Partner Marketing Manager for the Americas.

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