Alfresco vs Liferay Portal

Alfresco is a Free enterprise content management system for Microsoft Windows and Unix-like operating systems. Alfresco includes a content repository, an out-of-the-box web portal framework for managing and using standard portal content, a CIFS interface that provides file system compatibility on Microsoft Windows and Unix-like operating systems, a web content management system capable of virtualizing webapps and static sites via Apache Tomcat, Lucene indexing, and Activiti workflow. The Alfresco system is developed using Java technology.
Liferay Portal
Liferay Portal is an alternative enterprise web platform for building business solutions that deliver immediate results and long-term value. Liferay Portal ships with broad product capabilities to provide immediate return on investment: Content & Document Management with Microsoft Office integration, Web Publishing and Shared Workspaces, Enterprise Collaboration, Social Networking and Mashups, Enterprise Portals and Identity Management
Alfresco vs Liferay Portal in our news:

2016 - Alfresco is available as a managed service on AWS to challenge OpenKM

Alfresco, a provider of enterprise content management (ECM) and business process management (BPM) software, has announced the early availability of its platform as a managed service hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS). As a result, users will be able to access the platform a single-tenant managed service hosted in an AWS Virtual Private Cloud (VPC). Alfresco is also making it easier to simplify cloud deployment for customers managing their own AWS infrastructure.

2016 - Liferay launched Digital Experience Platform

Open source enterprise CMS provider Liferay launched Digital Experience Platform (DXP) - the solution is designed to help companies create and manage experiences that support the end-to-end customer relationship. It offers a comprehensive view of customers that extends beyond marketing by bringing together sales, marketing, support and service teams, design highly personalized experiences by targeting useful information, offers and resources to user segments and individuals, create a single customer profile aggregated from all of the customer’s interactions with the company as well as important data points, access to engagement data such as video content views, click-throughs on targeted content, community activity and social metadata.

2016 - Alfresco integrates its ECM and BPM. Documentum is in panic

Alfresco announced a tight integration between its enterprise content management (ECM) platform, Alfresco One, and its Business Process Management (BPM) platform, Activiti. It's the climax to years of effort to pull the two platforms closer together, and rounds out the functionality of both to manage both business content and processes. Today’s announcement enables Alfresco to compete in Process and Collaboration Management (PCM) market. Alfresco is bringing to that market offers enterprises a broad range of content management and content driven processes. In effect, it combines BPM, ECM and records management, as well as offering integrations with capture and e-signature vendors.

2015 - Liferay partners with Red Hat to provide an open source portal solution

Liferay and Red Hat are collaborating on an open source portal that combines Liferay Portal and Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform (JBoss EAP). The product is targeting companies that want more open-source, enterprise grade portal options, the companies maintain. To that end, there is the potential of additional integration with other Red Hat JBoss Middleware products in the near future. From a company perspective the deal is an interesting one in that Red Hat stopped offering new subscriptions to JBoss Portal in February 2015. Red Hat is continuing support for JBoss Portal through the current release stream, which is scheduled to end in March 2018. This new venture represents, one could conclude, Red Hat's ongoing commitment to the portal market.

2015 - Alfresco enhanced integration of its ECM and BPM systems

Alfresco is enhancing its ECM and BPM platforms — Alfresco One and  Activiti — with the release of new modules for analytics and media management and upgraded BPM capabilities. The release of these elements add new functionality to the platforms and pull BPM and ECM closer together. The upgrades build on Alfresco's open source BPM offering, which many enterprises were already incorporating into their apps as a pure BPM engine. Now reborn as an enterprise version, Activiti v1.0 provides integration with Alfresco Share, Alfresco’s collaboration tool. Alfresco also released an Analytics Module, which can sit with any of the Alfresco products. It offers new insights and reporting capabilities on content, process and people-related events.

2014 - Alfresco raises $45M to fight with EMC and Microsoft to keep up competition with LogicalDOC

UK-based Alfresco, an open source, enterprise content management startup, has received Series D funding of $45 million — that is more than twice as big as all of its previous rounds put together. Alfresco competes against legacy services like EMC Documentum and Microsoft SharePoint to help large organisations manage their disparate document storage both in the cloud and on-premises, and also offer versioning control and other compliance requirements across mobile, PC and other devices. Alfresco will use the new funding to step its business up a gear, with new sales and marketing efforts, and moves into more cloud-based services that could see it competing more directly also against the likes of Dropbox, Box and Huddle.

2012 - Open Text and Liferay create Dropbox clones

Could you imagine couple of years ago that such serious enterprise vendors like Open Text and Liferay, that develop such a serious enterprise content management systems (ECM) will copy such a simple consumer service as Dropbox? Nevertheless, it happens. Because even in large corporations (that use ECM) employees are ordinary people. And they also don't want to work for the system, but want the system to help them work. And they also use Dropbox, even if IT administrators prohibit it. There is only one way out - to create the same (simple) service and protect it with firewall. This is the very idea behind the new services: Open Text Tempo and Liferay Sync. They allow to sync files between desktop folder, web account, tablet and smartphone, quickly share files with co-workers, and they work on corporate servers. That's simple.

2011 - Alfresco created collaboration system for SMB. Liferay Portal is in panic

Alfresco Team

Alfresco's content management and collaboration system gained its big popularity thanks to the low pricing and availability of free open-source edition. But still it's pretty complicated solution that doesn't fit small business. But now Alfresco decided to fix this issue and released Alfresco Team which is designed for content collaboration in departments and small companies. It reminds Sharepoint Team Site or, but more functional and cheap. Users can create sites (workspaces) with different pages - document libraries, calendars, wiki, task lists, blogs, forums. Alfteso Team's functionality includes social tools (comments, ratings, Like buttons), activity streams, web-viewer (which lets you view even videos and audio files), mobile versions for iPhone and iPad, workflow-engine (implemented on Alfresco BPM), document converter (eg doc -> pdf).

Alfresco Team 2

It's also integrated to Google Docs. The document is stored in Alfresco Team can uploaded Google Docs, collaboratively edited there (in real time) and saved back to the Alfresco Team.

Alfresco Team has no separate free open-source version. It's features will be synced to Alfresco Community. However Alfresco Team provides the full-functional free version up to 5 users. The paid version costs $199/user/year. But if you have many users - this price may drop more than 2 times. You can use the solution either on your own server, or on Amazon EC2.

2010 - Alfresco launched free BPM engine

Alfresco Activity

Alfresco loves to make problems for IT giants by its altruistic approach to business. For several years, this company is exerting pressure on ECM market leaders (Microsoft, IBM, Open Text, EMC, Oracle) by providing high-quality free/cheap open-source system Alfresco ECM. And now, the company decided to build communism in another, related IT field - BPM (Business Process Management). The new Alfresco product - Activiti is absolutely free, open-source BPM system, distributed under Apache License 2.0. To develop this system Alfresco (traditionally) enticed executives from competing project JBoss jBPM - Tom Baeyens and Joram Barrez. They were helped by the SpringSource (VMWare) developers. In result they built light-weight, fast and free product that is intended to revolutionize the BPM market.

In fact, Activiti - is not an independent application, but an engine that can be embedded into any business app (using the REST API). The idea is that any company already has existing business apps and it is more convenient to use them in automated business processes rather than a separate BPM tool. Therefore, Activity is designed around the fact, that process automation - is collaboration between business-users and IT specialists, that can integrate the BPM engine with one or several business apps. The system contains Activiti Cycle - a social tool for communication and collaboration between business-users and IT department:

Alfresco Activity

In addition, Activity includes a simple user-interface (for managing tasks) and administrator modules (for modeling processes and monitoring applications). Note also that Activity supports BPMN - the standard for modeling business processes and can operate in scalable Cloud environments.

Activity is not tied to the Alfresco ECM, but is offered as an optional BPM engine for this system. There are also a number of other companies that have provided integrations. They include Spring and Liferay, as well as an iPad and iPhone client.

2010 - Document Management goes 2.0: Alfresco vs SharePoint

Document Management

Document management systems (DMS) and related to them Enterprise Content Management systems (ECM) like all other IT solutions are gradually embracing Enterprise 2.0 technologies. This is a difficult move for them. Because DMS and ECM - are quite old and conservative technologies/systems and it's always difficult to change for old school. Besides the main DMS and ECM users are large companies and it's very difficult to upgrade them to the next level. Nevertheless, the progress goes on. Let's take a look on how the Enterprise 2.0 technologies are implemented in DMS and ECM nowadays:



DMS/ECM appeared quite long ago, so they started to implement Web-technologies even earlier than other IT systems. After all Web-interface reduces system costs, makes it easier to administer, provides access via the Internet. World market leaders Documentum and Open Text have switched to Web-technologies already in 90's. At the moment, all the leading ECM systems provide web interface or integrated with portals as a web-based front-end.

SaaS / Cloud


While the implementation of the web-technologies in DMS/ECM was quite smooth, the move to the Cloud had been blocked by the obvious problem - the content managed by these systems (files, documents, media ...) should also move to the cloud (and that may be gigabytes of data). And the problem is not only in one-time transfer. Using the cloud-based system users had to download document each time and then upload it back. However, recently the cloud storage became quite cheap. And most importantly, appeared online editors (like Google Docs) and online viewers (like Scribd). As a result, content can now be created in the cloud, edited and viewed in the cloud without the necessity to download/upload. Alfresco, Sharepoint, SpringCM and KnowledgeTree are most actively embracing the cloud.


Windows Phone Office

Mobile business applications have blossomed with the move to the Cloud (because they are typically getting data from the cloud). And because the transition of DMS/ECM  to the cloud was quite slow, the mobile access is also at the starting point in this sphere. The wide variety of mobile platforms also blocks the move to the mobile world. Therefore, even Sharepoint boasts a full mobile access only on Windows Phone. Perhaps the most advanced mobile access in ECM sphere is provided by Adobe LiveCycle, that is available on all major mobile platforms.



It is true that the "document" - the object around which DMS/ECM are built  - is an outdated technology that was invented not for computers but for paper. So, now when refreshed staff better understands not the language of "documents" but the language of "social networking" - the documents are giving way to social collaboration tools. "Static" documents are replaced by "dynamic" wikis, discussions, ratings. Document management systems get profiles, blogs, microblogs, forums. Alfresco, Sharepoint, Open Text are becoming more like Facebook.



Mashups - applications that combine data from many sources via web API-interfaces. And ECM vendors - are the main driving force behind the implementation of these web APIs. A couple of years ago the leading ECM vendors (Microsoft, IBM, EMC, Open Text, Alfresco, Oracle, SAP) joined their forces to create an open web-standard CMIS, which enables business applications easily "communicate" with any data sources and create mashups.