JAVAONE - AIIM - Alfresco upgrade open sources enterprise edition

Alfresco Software made its enterprise content management software completely open source with the announcement of its latest update.

The enterprise edition of Alfresco Software's content management application is now completely open source, as part of its effort to compete with commercial vendors, the company announced Tuesday.

Portions of the two previous enterprise iterations were closed to customers, although the Community Network flavor of Alfresco has always been completely open source. The latest enterprise version, Alfresco 1.3, was announced at the JavaOne conference and the AIIM Expo.

"We looked at other open-source business models and 100 percent open source is the only way to go," said John Newton, Alfresco's co-founder and chief technology officer. Alfresco found customers would pay for support, advice and training.

"The open-source model is build often, release often," he said. "This is a radically different model from the commercial world, which likes to fine-tune things."

The user interface of Version 3.1 adds functionality to manage Web content such as wikis and blogs. Alfresco earmarked a portion of the US$8 million venture capital funding it received in February for adding Web content management abilities to its products. A release enhancing this function is slated for the third or fourth quarter, said Newton.

The update also adds record management capabilities, with the goal of making Alfresco the first open-source product with such a use. The company hopes to earn U.S. government approval and intends to have "complete, full-blown" record management by year's end, said Newton.

Alfresco, based in London, competes with Microsoft's SharePoint, IBM's Interwoven and EMC's Documentum, among other vendors.

Alfresco Enterprise Network 1.3 becomes available in late May. The enterprise offering for small businesses costs US$2,995 per year for 20 users, while the Enterprise Network software is US$7,500 per CPU (central processing unit) per year for unlimited users.

The Alfresco Community Network 1.3 is a free download and available now.

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