The year 2006 was a fantastic for Alfresco and primarily thanks to you the community. We delivered Releases 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4 and the preview release of our Web Content Management product. We were very pleased to start 2006 with the addition of the team from Interwoven led by Kevin Cochrane. We provided document management, image management, records management and WCM becoming the first complete open source ECM system. We delivered the first ECM benchmark in the industry and proved Alfresco’s enterprise scalability in the process. This year was our first selling the product and I’m not sure exactly how many customers we have now as the number increases toward the end of the year. However, it is somewhere between 100 and 150 and growing rapidly. Well done to the engineering team led by Paul Holmes-Higgin and architect David Caruana in producing so much, so quickly with such high quality. Well done to the sales team led by John Powell and Matt Asay who were able to sell so much just through email and phone calls.
There has have been some personal tragedies and triumphs as well this year. One of the saddest parts was when the wife of our Chief Marketing Officer, Ian Howells, died very suddenly just before her 40th birthday. A close colleague of ours from Documentum and Ingres, Dave Ross, also passed away from complications from a cancer operation. But the Alfresco family is bounding with babies and children from a large part of the organization. Confidence and optimism is high in the organization as we are doing so well.
We are not complacent though. We are not done innovating and will continue to evolve the product and services for our customers. We have been planning over the last couple of months for next year and intend to provide our customers with cost effective ECM products. We will continue to use the best open source components and we are cooperating even more with other open source organizations to bring you new whole solutions for ECM. We will deliver this around 3 releases during the year: 2.0, 2.1 and 3.0. We will keep up the iterative release process that allows us to adjust the product as we move along, but anchor the iteration in these main releases.
The first release is 2.0. Originally, this was intended for December 2006. After a string of releases delivered more or less on time, we found that there was more that we had to do to consolidate the progress we have made so far. The main intent has been to combine the WCM release with the main repository release. Up to this point WCM has been a separate release due to the complexity of the virtualization services on top of the repository. The merging of the code lines is complete and we will be releasing the combined product in the middle of January. In addition, we will be releasing a new federation search capability that uses the OpenSearch.org interface. This will allow us to federate Alfresco searches with other search engines. Also, we have added more multi-lingual capability for the European Union to allow metadata in multiple languages; multiple language variants of the same content; and locale based indexing and searching, including Chinese and Japanese thanks to moving over to Lucene 2.0. We are also adding AJAX capabilities in the web client including a full tree control and preview hover over items. This preview will be driven through Freemarker so that you can control what is delivered in the preview. An update to the Records Management capability will be provided with some features hardened in Java for robust execution and better user interface integration. A new packaging capability will be provided to simplify the addition of new modules independently of any particular release.
Release 2.1 will follow in April 2007 to add more WCM capability, additional Web 2.0 capabilities and more configuration options for enterprises. The full suite of web services has been delayed for some time now because of the lack of perceived value from customers. However, we now need this to provide more options of splitting up the functionality of the system onto different servers. WCM will add new tools to simplify page layout, site management, deployment and possibly dependency management. Pieces of the web client will be componentized to become Web 2.0 components in mash-ups with other applications. An example of using these components will be in the context of a task pane for Microsoft Office which will be provided as a preview in this release. User interface enhancements will be made in the web client to take advantage of the new federated search, multi-lingual support and forms. We anticipate that our long awaited wiki will be available in this time frame with more collaborative work with other open source projects. Performance will continue to be a focus with our target of reaching 50 million items in the repository in this time frame. We will also integrate new network features into the enterprise client for advice, information and configurations. The source code will be made available for these features, but the information delivered will only be for those purchasing enterprise support and services.
Between Release 2.1 and 3.0, we will provide a series of add-on packages delivered in release packages using the packaging technology provided in Release 2.0. Some of the packages we anticipate in this time frame are: new web site designers, system administration interfaces, calendaring, records management enhancements, new office plug-ins for Microsoft Office and Open Office, blogs, email listener integration. More on this in the new year.
Release 3.0 will be delivered at the end of November (which is one of our fiscal quarter ends). We anticipate that there will be new content management standards that will be REST based in this time frame. With this standard will be new REST API interfaces and new language definitions that we expect to be SQL based. We will be extending our distributed capabilities with more enhancements to our federated search and multi-directional replication for geographic distribution. We will also provide additional system administration capabilities. We will also refactor portions of the architecture and replace components that have better alternatives or limit our license flexibility.
Have a great holiday period and Happy New Year.