It's been quite a while in the making, but I am very pleased with the news today that Adobe will be embedding Alfresco technology as part of its LiveCycle Suite. A while ago, I wrote a blog about embeddable content repositories. It was clear then and more clear now that the old generation of content repositories is not really designed to be embedded as part of content-oriented applications. Yet, we all know that there is more information in content than there is in databases. Why can't applications use a set of services for managing content the way they manage data in embedded databases?
On this particular news, ComputerWorld reports Raja Hammond, Group Manager for Adobe LiveCycle, as saying, "Alfresco has a fantastic lightweight installation. It is J2EE server-based, so it is very much aligned with our architecture. We're able with this release to totally embed it. We've done extensive customization to the UIs to add additional capabilities to them. We've integrated them tightly with the various solution components within LiveCycle."
At InfoWorld, Brian Wick, Director of Product Marketing at Adobe said, "It's much easier, much quicker for our customers to build LiveCycle apps with the content services piece built in." This should be the sentiment of any product manager whose product handles content. This clearly the case of LiveCycle which handles potentially huge numbers of PDFs and forms.
Over at CMS Watch, Alan Pelz-Sharpe, a long-time ECM observer, blogged on the announcement that, "It's been a while since there was a big product announcement in the ECM world, but today's announcement by Adobe that they will be embedding Alfresco into their LiveCycle Enterprise Suite will doubtless garner a few headlines. Alfresco, the UK-based open source ECM company, has certainly done a great job of marketing themselves since their launch a couple of years back, stealing some limelight from more established and much bigger vendors such as Interwoven, Vignette, and OpenText. The question we have to ask is whether this announcement is another marketing triumph, or whether it suggests something more substantial. First off is the fact that it is a real OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) deal, and the technology will actually get embedded into the Adobe offering, so it is more than simply a paper partnership."
It is also significant that the Alfresco platform is open source. Open source allowed Adobe and our dozens of other OEMs to try out Alfresco before even approaching us. Open source also provides a level of comfort and confidence in a platform for services like content services and content repository. It is much better than providing code in escrow. it actually provides a community as well to ensure the long-term success of the platform.
We look forward to a fruitful and simbiotic relationship with Adobe. We believe that this is the beginning of looking at content management as a peer of database management of an essential component of any enterprise-class application. Congratulations to Adobe on all the hard work and the new release.