WPS Portal project

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Is Alfresco share a light Quickr/Portal solution ?

A few weeks ago Alfresco presented us their new Share plateform. Basically, Share is a solution for collaboration which includes features like document management, team spaces, web content management, calendar, wiki, blog, rich profile, etc.

You can find a feature list here.

As a portal architect I was quite surprised to see that the technical concepts and design of the Share solution is very similar to a portal software design, and that it can be compared in some extend to the IBM Quickr product.
Even if Share does not rely on concepts such as JSR Portlet or Portlet container, I think it is interesting to compare these 2 approaches and their similarities:

First, creating a new Share Site (team space) is very similar to creating a new team Place in Quickr. In Quickr this leads to the creation of a Composite Application instance (set of pages with predefined portlets like PDM, wiki based on ILWWCM, tasks, etc). In Alfresco a 'Site' object is instantiated (it contains also a set of 'pages' with features like document library, calendar, tasks, etc).

In alfresco you can manage the ACL at the team space level (Site), and you can assign a friendly-url to access the space directly. In Quickr you can manage role applied on the composite app. instance, and I think you can also set an url mapping to access the place.

In both product, there is a concept of page, and you can manage the layout with columns and lines to organize components in page.

Page components in Quickr corresponds to Portlet (business components). Alfresco Share rendering elements are based on Dashlet. In both case the Portlet or Dashlet is reponsible for the rendering (data can be extracted from the local repository, but you can also consume feeds or web services, or even connect to a remote back-end).

The concept of customizable Theme & Skinks is quite the same in both products: because the look & feel is based on .jsp files you can easily change the layout if you have some web developper skills in your team.

Finally, I think that Share is based on principles which are very similar to portal concepts.
This is probably because Alfresco is trying to propose an alternative to solutions like IBM Quickr or MS Sharepoint....

My feeling is that Share can be considered as a 'Quickr light' solution. It is probably still not as much powerful as a Quickr Websphere portal based architecture....however it should be much easier to install and manage....My assumption is also that Share is probably much more scalable than Quickr J2EE version.
I think that we will test Share in the next weeks, and compare it with Quickr....so I will keep you up to date on this blog about our conclusions.


Post a Comment

<< Home