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First impressions of Alfresco Community 4.0a

The long awaited release of Alfresco 4.0a (code named Project Swift) has just been released so I thought I would take the chance of downloading it and seeing what had changed. Being an Enterprise subscriber we're eager to see what lies in wait for us in the future.

Installing

We would normally install Alfresco on a headless Linux box, which seems to add a whole lot more complexity to the install process. Although in fairness the bods at Alfresco have gone some lengths in recent releases to make this almost a windows wizard like experience. However installing the Windows version on my Windows 7 x64 laptop was a relatively painless exercise overall. I chose the advanced route in order to see all what was available. I chose all the available components and the only problem I had during the process is an error saying that component "alfrescowcm" not available. Once installed the process of deploying the servers took a good 5mins to accomplish. Whilst I did appreciate the progress bar telling me that something was happening, I did start to wonder if this had just stuck in an endless "animated gif" like way. A little paitence paid off and the install completed without any problems, even going to far as to open my browser at the sign in page ready for sign in.

First Impressions

When you first sign in to Share after installing you are met with the usual dashboard like interface. The only difference is a new welcome section at the top that highlights how to get your started on various tasks. Whilst the interface does go further than previous incarnations in providing a web 2.0 like interface with lots of nice icons, I couldn't help but feel slightly disappointed. Given that this is a major version upgrade I had expected a bit more.

All the usual functionality is available in Share. Document Librarys, Blogs, Wiki, etc, with their functionality being more or less the same.

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