What does Alfresco Integrate into? Alfresco Integration Explained
To fully adopt an enterprise content management system, you want all your content tools to be integrated. This is exactly what Alfresco does. Alfresco ensures that the outcome of every ECM project is integrated with your favourite tools to work seamlessly with the system.
Alfresco was designed to be highly flexible and integratable, leveraging the power and functionality of other applications, so as not to ‘reinvent the wheel’.
Alfresco can be used by applications which are written in popular programming languages even though the system is built using the Java programming language. This allows you to use familiar tools for getting your application deployed as quickly and as smoothly as possible.
Below are the tools and standards supported by Alfresco:
CMIS (Content Management Interoperability Services) is an open standard that allows different content management systems to interoperate with each other. In Alfresco’s case, this enables access to other content management repositories such as Microsoft SharePoint, IBM FileNet and EMC Documentum.
File-based access allows your application to access files in Alfresco’s repository as if it was a shared drive. It handles protocols such as CIFS (Common Internet File System), WebDAV (Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning), NFS (Network File System), and FTP (File Transfer Protocol) to access Alfresco’s content. The content appears like files to your application, although it is actually accessing the content through Alfresco’s APIs, so all the controls, permissions and services are in place.
If your repository is used for a single purpose and performance is critical, then you may want to access Alfresco using the core API directly. Using Java applications, you can access Alfresco’s content through this core API.
PHP Applications can access Alfresco’s content through CMIS or through web scripts as a RESTful interface. Alfresco also supports the Quercus PHP interpreter, which allows applications like WordPress, Drupal, Joomla! and MediaWiki to access the content in Alfresco.
Web scripts are already present in Alfresco, but can be modified to enhance functionality. This can increase the performance of your application and push the logic down to the Alfresco repository, where it can be re-used.
Integrating Alfresco applications with .NET applications is very similar to integrating with Java applications, through remote interfaces such as web scripts or CMIS. This is using either the SOAP or Atom Publishing interfaces.
Feeds & OpenSearch
Some applications, websites and portals may use standard web-based technology to access external information using feeds. Alfresco provides out-of-the-box RSS feeds to observe the contents of an individual folder or space, as well as activities related to a user or share site. The system also implements OpenSearch, which is a standard protocol supported by Google, Yahoo and Amazon.
Authentication and Directory Services
When integrating systems, users need to be authenticated to ensure secure access to either system. Alfresco synchronises and integrates with LDAP and Active Directory services, and supports single sign-on technologies for authentication.