Alfresco Community conversations on the future of UI

It looks like this weekend many Alfresco Community members (from inside and from outside Alfresco Inc) have been buzzing about the future of the product. The conversation happened mainly in Twitter and it were originated by two blog posts coming from Alfresco Order of the Bee members:

I’d like to start saying that my opinion has nothing to see with real facts, as I were only imagining an utopia that would never happen. On the other hand, Jeff article was based in official information from Alfresco but it has also personal points of view.

I speak about Alfresco because I love Alfresco and I love to talk about Alfresco with you. Sometimes I miss that Internet is probably not the right place to start this kind of discussions around the product, so I’ll try to keep this in mind for the future.

I really enjoy sharing my point of view with Ole, Mario, Eugenio, Mauricio, Richard, Francesco and many other Alfresco employees. They are always open to talk and they are always doing their best to improve the product. Thank you all for that openness attitude.

I find also amazing how the Community cares about the product. And contributions are not only coming from Order of the Bee members but also from many other people.

I’m gathering below some reactions to the tweets just to show how many different points of view are valid for the same thought.

Dave Draper

I think you’re asking the wrong question. You shouldn’t be asking “what” is going to replace Share but rather “why” nothing has replaced it yet. And the answer is simple… Alfresco has bet on ADF, but it isn’t good enough to implement anything that can replace Share.

Jan Pfitzner

It took some years until Share was really ‚customer-ready‘ & some people haven’t taken this as lessons learned. It‘s easy to impl a one-use-case app with modern JS Frameworks & component libs, but it‘s really hard stuff to build a customisable and extendable one-fits-all client.

And imo that one-fits-all client is not really needed as it often driving towards bad UX… but a specific component lib like ADF should be build on top of standards & not an opinionated framework…

Javier Martínez

Honestly, we were complaining about Share for years because the frameworks (YUI), tech and so on.. until @_DaveDraper did magic.. but, Do you think the “Content Services” UI matter?, really?

Ronny Timmermans

Alfresco should not even bother to build a front- end framework. It should build an innovative back- end and leverage the creative eco- system to build a generic or many specific ui (frameworks). Alfresco has nothing to add in the JavaScript ui world, but a, lot in the back-end.

Angel Borroy

My opinion is that @Alfresco will be more expensive to use (both CE & EE) and I don’t see yet if it’ll be worth it

Jens Goldhammer

You are not alone with these thoughts… and there will be no OOTB client anymore. Non big enterprise customers will never understand that. Seems that Alfresco completely looses market focus…

Ole Heljskov

Two questions: 1) What features do you expect from an OOTB webapp? 2) When was the last time you shipped that OOTB app with no customizations? We have an extra Office Hours mid December, this would be a good place to have this conversation.

Jeff Potts

Everyone customizes Share to some extent, but often it is very minor. I think Angel is saying if the answer is always going to be “You must start by building something with ADF,” that’s an expensive proposition

Ole Heljskov

No matter how many (safe) extension points an OOTB app provides, you will always have that one customer req. that can’t be done without going beyond the safe extensions. At this point I (personally, not speaking on behalf of my employer) believe a custom app is the better choice

Dave Draper

Can an ADF app support extension points as Share does? When is this new OOTB app going to arrive? What apps is Alfresco building to prove ADF is good enough? Why aren’t they public?

Jens Goldhammer

Timing is a big issue here- other vendors which have a working ecosystem can do that, but not Alfresco at this time . You will loose a lot of solutions which have built on top of Share and you have no replacement. A valid strategy looks different, sorry.

Ronny Timmermans

If alfresco offers a very powerful api, more integration (Google drive, office 365, email) and nurtures its partner eco system, the partners will assemble clients quickly and leverage external innovation (angular 2, react). We never bet on share. We love content services.

Younes Regaieg

I honestly don’t think so, at least nothing more than a sample widget. I think alfresco is shifting from an OOTB one-fits-all solution to more vertical solutions built from the grounds up to serve a specific businesses… Probably generating more work for partners and community.

Axel Faust

Don’t know if more work for partners/community because product is stripped and no new one in sight is a good thing. I also see it extremely lopsided for partners, because which customer is going to prefer mix&matching dozens of divergent apps for granular features from community?

Bindu Wavell

I think Workdesk got this balance pretty solidly right. An app shell with a solid plugin framework. Lots of useful plugins provided and you configure in what you want and not what you don’t want. Easy to make custom plugins. Mostly focused on user roles and features.


“Community is one of the main strengths of Alfresco” (Gartner said).

So many different points of view… And everyone trying to contribute to make Alfresco better! Probably next DevCon will be the right place to have these conversations. Don’t miss it out!


3 comentarios en “Alfresco Community conversations on the future of UI

  1. Totalmente de acuerdo contigo, en lo personal en mis proyectos con Alfresco lo usamos como repositorio y aún así usamos share para cosas como firma electrónica, pensar en construir algo desde cero en ADF me suena a mucha inversión de tiempo y dinero.

  2. Thank you for providing this useful summary of an interesting conversation, and the blog post that started it.

    The interfaces, architecture, services, and open source model that made Alfresco Content Services and Alfresco Community Edition successful in the past do not guarantee its future growth and success. These products are going to need to continue to change as the market evolves, and that requires painful decisions and bold bets in the face of uncertainty. As we navigate this path, we need to be creative in allowing existing customers and users to come with us.

    I appreciate being able to collaborate with all of you as we figure out how best to keep these products relevant and useful for both potential customers of Alfresco and the broader community around them.

  3. Thanks for your understanding, Richard.

    You make us feel part of the product and this is why we are so passionated when talking about the future.

    Community, which includes people from inside and outside Alfresco, is definitively a nice place to live.


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