Alfresco is an open-source solution for Enterprise Content Management (ECM). It competes with products like EMC Documentum, IBM Document Manager/FileNet, OpenText/Hummingbird and many others. The idea is to focus on the content (and not projects or something else) within organizations and that means all kind of documents like Word, PowerPoint, PDFs but more and more also images, sounds and video as well. Increasingly these platforms also set out to handle structured content within databases. My experience is that employing a good information model for the content with an organization is the only way to start bringing some order to all the documents found on file servers.
Anyway, Alfresco is a really interesting open-source alternative to this. It has been designed from the bottom up by the same team that developed Documentum years ago. It features versioning, metadata support, free text searching, workflow management as well as a special web content management addition. The list of open standards it supports is very long and I think that is the right way to go. With some help from my friend Martin I installed it on a Apple XServe running Mac OS X Server 10.4.8 and it looked really nice with some new AJAX-powered user interfaces.
Maybe you have heard about Web 2.0 or the next generation of Internet but wonder what the fuss really was all about. In essence it is not a single thing but a concept made possible by a few different technologies. The thing is though, that it is not so much about technology as it is about changing the way we do business, interact and collaborate. I think just a superficial understandning of these concepts makes it much easier to envision new ideas of how to create (IT-based) service that help us all do amazing things. Someone have put together a very nice video which does a good job of explaining this I think
Web 2.0 … The Machine is Us/ing Us
It is just 4 min and 31 sec and it is well worth it – especially if you are not a technology kind of person.
A couple of years ago I attended a lot of Apple events here in Sweden and I enjoyed it very much. It is somehow very nice to be around other Mac users and see the glowing Apple everywhere you look. To me all these events also were some kind of a water hole for me because I could go there as a woman. I guess I tested the waters a bit there and it was always very nice days. This Friday it was time again but now the main reason was of course to listen to rather advanced presentations about the development frameworks of the upcoming Mac OS 10.5 Leopard operating system. There were people brought in from abroad to give very detailed presentations about the new exciting API Core Animation as well as Open GL, XCode 3.0 and other new stuff. I can´t tell you more because we signed an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) to go there but I can tell you the future for Cocoa developers looks promising!
A little more info is available here: Tech Talk Sessions