The millions of portals and websites being powered by Enterprise Content Management System (ECM) speak volumes of the technology’s popularity amongst businesses of varying scale, size, or need. When we look at digital asset management, Alfresco comes up regularly as an ideal ECM for businesses across the world. The open source ECM offers three flavors that suit various needs – right from a startup to an enterprise. It has gained industry recognition as a leading ECM, simply because of the multiple benefits it provides to the client business.

Today we cover the latest version 5.1 and make a compelling business case for companies using the older Alfresco version, so that they find it worthwhile to upgrade to version 5.1. Here are some noteworthy additions made to the CMS that can add a whole new level of value to the company.

1 . Smart folders – This functionality helps provide flexible, contextual view of content- combining the power of search queries with the simplicity of presenting content in folders. This smart folder sorts out similar content into a smart folder (smart because it dynamically creates the folder based on the content it encounters), through Alfresco’s Smart folder Template. It helps in categorizing content based on metadata and tags to substantially speed up search function and add more power to the tool.

2 . Easy Model Management – It helps to easily create customized metadata models (aspects, constraints, types, and forms). It helps the business analysts and end user to extract most out of the routinely used modeling features, and that too without the need to implement any coding. It has a form designer that assists in the quick and easy creation of forms.

3 . Search Scalability – With support for Solr sharding, the entire Solr Index can be broken down into smaller, more manageable parts stored on multiple machines. For a business analyst, this means better time-saving in the form of superior throughput, thanks to the distribution of operations made possible by Solr sharding. The multiple shard instances help you speed up search as well as maintain a high degree of data availability without downtimes.

4 . Solr Sharding – The search index sharding is optimized to take in as much as 1 billion+ documents spread across more than 3TB of database and still offer superior performance and throughput. This is largely made possible with the help of its 1000 docs per second ingestion capacity for 5000 users spread across a 20-node distributed Solr index. What’s more, the easy to operate admin console offers better console configuration and tracking capabilities.

5 . Alfresco Office Services – It provides a seamless and smooth integration with major MS Office applications. This ensures total success of your existing system’s compatibility with Alfresco 5.1. It offers support for server properties and easy read-write access to Office content. The Windows “common open dialog” makes it possible for the Office Services to work with any app.

6 . Easier collaboration with Share – The improved share feature makes it extremely productive to discover, access, and share content. With the option to set default home location, you can get quicker access to commonly accessed content without logging into the user dashboard. It now features a simplified site-type display for a better user experience.

7 . End to End Security & Auditing – It has a superior authentication system through LDAP, Active Directory, or Alfresco Managed. You get an additional layer of security with end to end SSL encryption, with optional ‘at rest’ encryption. Its user based and role based access system makes certain that only the right people can view the appropriate content at any given time. This maintains a better security, confidentiality, and integrity of data.

Apart from these advantages, Alfresco 5.1 allow us to easily integrate modules for additional functionality. Some of these include

  • Records Management
  • Media Management
  • Analytics
  • Outlook plug-in
  • Document Transformation Server
  • Index Server
  • Content Encryption
  • Alfresco System Receiver (ASR)
  • AWS & EMC Centera Connector

Let’s look at a couple of models in greater detail:

  • Records Management – It ensure better control over records management without having to deep knowledge on File Plans. It also assists with a clearer version control and relationship drives the Disposition Schedule. It unites the entire company to adhere to predefined rules and processes in document filing for automated record filing.
  • Alfresco Media Management – It not only allows universal handling of rich media, but also ensures productive media transformation with the help of On-premise Transformation Servers and Remote Transformation Services Support. You also get more power in media distribution with its ability to publish to Brightcove and CloudFront for onward distribution.


These listings amply prove the immense advantages offered by a timely upgrade to Alfresco 5.1. You can strengthen your ECM with a host of new features aimed at improving productivity and saving time and efforts. If you are planning for the next round of growth, make sure that you have Alfresco 5.1 to serve your ECM needs.