Modular ECM Modernization: Getting the Benefits with ArkCase as a Front-end ECM Platform

Modular ECM Modernization: Getting the Benefits with ArkCase as a Front-end ECM Platform

modular ECM modernization

Enterprise content is the currency that moves businesses. And logically, its management is often the key to a business’s success or failure. The very purpose of ECM is managing enterprise content in a way that it stimulates insights and decisions that drive corporate activities.

ECM Modernization Avoidance

Employees want to be productive anytime, anywhere, from any device or application. Enterprises want to find and share business documents just as easily as they can browse and buy a book online. It’s all about content management technologies that support remote and collaborative working styles.

The problem is that enterprises fear modern ECM. In fact, most enterprises fear IT modernization in general. The reasons for this are understandable.

Enterprises are afraid of high costs, loss of content through migration, and rejection by users of the new technology. All these fears are real.

The real reason for failure is the idea that the team would leave one well-known system and replace it with a completely new one that comes with a steep learning curve.

You don’t have to do all of this. In fact, you don’t have to do any of this.

You can take another path, another approach.

Modularity: The New Paradigm of ECM Modernizationthe new paradigm of ECM modernization

Integration can avoid the pitfalls of modernizing front-end ECM.

Instead of risky migration, high costs, and confused employees, you can just integrate a modern front-end ECM to your existing back-end ECM software.

Interesting, right?

This approach is getting very popular in the last few years. Large companies that don’t want to risk the safety of their content and money, but do want to upgrade their legacy ECM software, very often employ this solution.

Changing the approach and going with the integration of a new front-end ECM to your legacy back-end ECM can be beneficial in many ways. Not only in terms of security and money, but this approach will solve all of your ‘outdated ECM problems’.

According to a Forrester survey, only 7% of the organizations surveyed have migrated all their content to a new ECM system. The majority of surveyed organizations retain some or most content in their old systems.

This survey indicates that almost 90% of organizations that modernized their ECM adopted this modular approach.

Of course, modernizing your outdated ECM system has to be more than just an abstract goal. It needs to result in improved business outcomes.

Updating your infrastructure to take advantage of the benefits of a more modern cloud-based structure requires a content integration platform – and one that is flexible enough to evolve over time.

We’ve had a lot of positive experiences in doing such a modular ECM Modernization strategy with ArkCase.

Transforming Legacy ECM With ArkCase as Front-End ECM

transforming legacy ECM with ArkCase as front-end ECM

ArkCase offers an adaptive case management platform that is dynamic to support your business solutions. At the convergence of CRM, ECM, and BPM, ArkCase can help your enterprise reduce the complexity and unpredictability of your organization.

The ArkCase front-end ECM will replace your outdated ECM interface with a customizable interface that is easy to work with and organize. The modern features this solution offers can make all the difference for large businesses.

The ArkCase front-end ECM can easily integrate with almost any back-end ECM system on the market including:

  • Documentum
  • calvaDriv,
  • eX,
  • dotCMS
  • OpenText,
  • Fabasoft
  • Alfresco
  • Apache Chemistry
  • IBM
  • FileNet
  • IBM SmartCloud
  • LogicalDOC
  • Magnolia
  • SharePoint
  • NemakiWare
  • Nuxeo
  • O3Spaces
  • OpenCMS
  • OpenKM
  • OpenWGA
  • Oracle
  • SAP
  • Ptc
  • StarStorage
  • Laserfiche.

This unique capability makes ArkCase an excellent frontend ECM solution for your existing ECM backend system. It also provides:

  • Fast searchability of documents
  • Metadata strategies included
  • Customization of workflows
  • Document clustering
  • Data extraction, etc.

With ArkCase integration, you will get all the benefits of modern front-end ECM software without the need for full-fledged data migration, making the ECM modernization process much cheaper, safer, and faster.

“ArkCase software, which helps companies do more with less really appeals to our business units,” says Ian Rushton, Senior Vice President of Sharecare.

“Companies want to manage cases, search across their enterprise, and keep their existing systems, but don’t want to use or integrate 10 different tools.” 

If you want to achieve the same, ArkCase is the right front-end ECM solution for you.

To Sum Up

Those 90% enterprises who took the survey already know that modernization helps in becoming faster and smarter in day-to-day operations, decision making, and delivery. Companies that fail to modernize risk falling behind their market competitors.

While some early adopters spent a lot of resources on ECM modernization, the more cautious majority can benefit from all the lessons learned and move on with modular ECM modernization. This way, they benefit from a more established set of procedures and experiences, adding up to a safer, faster, cheaper modernization process.

Integrate your existing backend ECM system with ArkCase modern front-end ECM and you will enjoy the benefits of a modern ECM system. No security risks. No migration. Just an integration. In fact, almost 90% of organizations that modernized their ECM did exactly that.

And for ArkCase and the benefits this platform brings, I wrote an article on this subject: Traditional Ecm: The Limitations And Risks Of Relying On Outdated ECM Systems.

They both elaborate on ECM modernization, back-end and front-end integration, and all of the benefits that a platform like ArkCase can bring to your organization.

If you want to find out more about this subject, please feel free to take a look at them.

And if you have any questions or thoughts, do not hesitate to contact us.

Armedia Partners With Formtek To Provide The Formtek Software Products For Alfresco To US-Based Businesses And Government

Armedia Partners With Formtek To Provide The Formtek Software Products For Alfresco To US-Based Businesses And Government


Armedia partners with Formtek

Walnut Creek, California USA — Formtek, Inc. announced that it has signed a Partnership Agreement with Armedia, LLC.

Armedia® is a technology firm focusing on information, content management, and case management solutions, and is a Strategic Integration partner of Alfresco Software, Inc. Armedia has industry-acclaimed expertise, services, and products in business process, document, case and record management, as well as eDiscovery, content collaboration, content publishing, and content migration.

Formtek® is a provider of software and services for Alfresco®, including the Formtek Extensions for Alfresco and the Formtek Engineering Data Management (EDM) Solution for Alfresco. Formtek EDM integrates Alfresco Content Services with AutoCAD, the leading computer-aided design (CAD) software that architects, engineers, and construction professionals rely on to create precise 2D and 3D drawings.

Through the partnership, Armedia will offer the Formtek software products for Alfresco, and related services and support, to businesses in the USA, and to US government entities via Armedia’s GSA Federal Supply Schedule GS-35F-0891P.

About Formtek: For over two decades, Formtek has been providing mission-critical Content Management software and services to some of the most demanding engineering, manufacturing, aerospace, industrial, and technical organizations in the world. We build solutions on technology platforms that are open and adaptable to complex IT environments, including Formtek | Orion Content Repository Services, Ephesoft Intelligent Document Capture, and the Alfresco Digital Business Platform platform. Our products also include the Formtek Engineering Data Management (EDM) Solution for Alfresco and the Formtek Software Extensions for Alfresco. To learn more, visit Formtek is a registered trademark of Formtek, Inc.

Alfresco is a registered trademark of Alfresco Software, Inc. in the USA and other countries

AutoCAD is a registered trademark or trademark of Autodesk, Inc. in the US and other countries

Armedia Contributing to The Alfresco DevCon 2019 Conference

Armedia Contributing to The Alfresco DevCon 2019 Conference

Alfresco DevCon 2019 David Miller Presenting ArkCase

The Alfresco DevCon 2019 annual conference is scheduled at the end of January 29-31, 2019 in Edinburgh, Scotland.

DevCon 2019 is an international developer conference entirely dedicated to Alfresco technology. The goal of DevCon is to increase technical know-how, help Alfresco developers build their personal networks, and hopefully get developers working together on different projects.

Armedia’s senior software lead David Miller will attend and present at the conference.

He’ll be talking about Alfresco as a part of a larger system of systems. Which is usually the case with Alfresco. He’ll show how Alfresco’s Audit Module and REST APIs enable seamless integration in these larger ecosystems. From Audit events to Record Management to Process Integration. Dave and team have created a bidirectional sync between ArkCase and Alfresco providing an open source case management solution that takes advantage of the Alfresco full suite of tools to include Alfresco Desktop Sync, Alfresco Outlook Client, Alfresco Mobile, etc.

The goal of the presentation, as Dave says, is to “give your customers the best of all worlds – a consistent view across all tools.”

If you see Dave at the conference, feel free to approach him and talk to him. He’s enthusiastic about Alfresco and loves helping others learn how to do more with it.

Digitalization Considerations: Why Armedia Relies On Ephesoft For Document Image Processing

Digitalization Considerations: Why Armedia Relies On Ephesoft For Document Image Processing

Armedia relies on Ephesoft Transact for document image processing

In the Case Management world, automation is not an unknown word. On the contrary, in Case Management, automation and digitalization have been a hot topic for the last few decades.

From classification to automated workflows, automation has been present in the world of large organizations. But, the one thing that has always been a problem in Case Management, and unfortunately, still seems to bother large organizations is paper-based documents.

In today’s world of Case Management where data access, security, and efficiency are crucial, many large organizations realize the importance of deriving value from data TRAPPED in paper-based documents.

According to a report by Wise, 4 out of 5 organizations say that they are trying to cut down the use of paper. Nearly a third of them place larger orders of paper than they did 5 years ago. And only 18 percent of organizations declare themselves as entirely paperless.

Numbers that won’t put a smile on any faces outside the paper production industry.

Let’s dig a bit deeper into this matter and see why paper-based documents are such a problem in the world of Case Management and how organizations can make things better.

The Case Management Problem With Paper Documents

While paper itself is not that expensive, the costs of managing paper documents could be as much as 31 times the cost of buying it.

In 2015, Corp Magazine reported that in the United States, organizations spend on average 8 billion dollars annually on managing paper. The report explains that organizations spend an average of $20 to file a document, $120 to find a misplaced document and $220 to reproduce a lost document.

CMSWire found out that 47% of employees believe that the strongest thing preventing organizations from becoming entirely paperless is the lack of paper management.

The very nature of paper documents does not allow for large organizations to appropriately manage, access, and search through them. Reports mention a PricewaterhouseCoopers finding, that employees spend up to 50% of their time searching for information amongst piles and piles of paper documents.

This lack of paper management means delays, unsatisfied clients, wasted time, and wasted money.

Let me raise another key question here: What about paper waste? How much do companies even care? Does your company ever think about this issue?

Paper comes at a tremendous cost to our planet and we all know that. But, according to the statistics, it seems that very few cares.

Let’s take a look at some facts I found in The World Counts report:

  • Recycling 1 ton of paper saves around 682.5 gallons of oil, 26,500 liters of water and 17 trees.
  • It takes an average of 5 liters of water to produce one piece of A4 paper.
  • Printing a Sunday edition of the New York Times requires 75,000 trees!
  • Paper accounts for 25% of landfill waste and 33% of municipal waste.
  • Every tree produces enough oxygen for 3 people to breathe.
  • 50% of the waste of businesses is composed of paper.
  • S offices use 12.1 trillion sheets of paper a year.

So, the question running through my mind is:

Why waste any more money, time, and effort on managing paper documents when instead, you can rely on the next generation tools that can make Case Management much easier, faster, and much more effective. All of this while saving the planet from destruction.

Let me expand on the answer.

New Generation Tools vs. Paper-Based Documents

new generation tools vs. paper-based documents

The world evolves every day and new technologies emerge on the market as we speak. Thanks to this ‘new generation tools’ large organizations can now enhance productivity, provide greater access to certain types of information trapped in paper documents, and improve their preservation options.

With this ‘new generation tools’, large organizations are now capable of easily turning all paper documents into electronic forms which are easy to access, easy to search through, and easy to classify.
Basically, these tools enable organizations to save themselves from all the troubles of managing paper documents and in the meantime, save the Earth.

I am talking about digitalization.

But, what Exactly does Digitalization mean?

Digitalization, also known as digital image processing is the process of converting information into a computer-readable format. Paper documents are converted into their digital representations called digital images. These digital images can further be used in various ways, including full-text searching or editing.

This process starts by scanning the original paper document. The original paper document is then represented by a series of pixels arranged in a two-dimensional matrix called a bitmap or raster image. This image is then kept either on a network or transferred onto a variety of electronic storage media.

There are 3 ways in which paper documents can be digitalized:

  1. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) – This method of document image processing makes an electronic conversion of images of typed, handwritten, or printed text into machine-encoded text. These images can either be a scanned document, a photo of a document, or a scene-photo.
  2. Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR) – This method is an advanced version of the OCR. It allows computers to learn different fonts and styles of handwriting to improve accuracy and recognition.
  3. Optical Mark Recognition (OMR) – This is the fastest and most advanced technique of document image processing. It allows checkbox regions recognition on scanned images.

Scanning paper documents make them instantly available. These techniques of document image processing produce 2 types of files which have separate uses:

  • Master copy. This type of copy is created with the intent of replacing the original document. These copies are files with high quality and follow recommended standards that ensure complete and secure records.
  • Access copy. This type of file is a copy of the master file created with an intent to provide regular access to users. This type of copy also follows certain standards. Access copies are generally lower in quality resulting in smaller file sizes which allow for easier access.

Unlike analog data, which in the process of copying and transmitting might suffer a slight loss of quality, digital data can be copied indefinitely with absolutely no degradation.

Digitalization also increases the possibilities for using the information contained within the documents. Scanning paper documents only make them instantly available in master copies and access copies, but it also allows their further processing, managing, and maintaining.

With over a decade of digitalization experience, we at Armedia learned to rely on Ephesoft as the leading innovator in this field.

For some that are not familiar with Ephesoft, allow me a bit of time to explain who Ephesoft really is.

Why Go Digital With Ephesoft?

Ephesoft offers advanced capture solutions that help organizations run more efficiently, increase information accessibility and searchability. It allows all this by automatically classifying, separating, sorting and extracting data from scanned documents.

Here’s why Ephesoft is a safe, reliable digitalization choice:

  • Ephesoft makes business-critical information available to processes and customers faster and more accurately than legacy systems.
  • It’s the only document capture and extraction system to employ RESTful APIs, which makes it easy to integrate with third-party systems.
  • It’s open architecture and open-source, freeing up customers from proprietary black-box technology.
  • It has faster deployments when integrating with CMIS-enabled systems, including Alfresco.
  • It offers classification and separation without barcodes or separator sheets.
  • It has free-form Extraction – barcodes, key values, regular expressions.
  • It supports TIFFs, PNGs, PDFs, DOCs, XLSs, GIFs, and JPEGs.
  • It provides a platform streamlined for ease-of-use and high performance.
  • It’s browser-based so you don’t have to download it to a client system.
  • It provides significant data entry savings through less manual keying.
  • Ephesoft has Automated Learning for documents, emails, and faxes.
  • It’s Internationalized and Localized – easy to brand.
  • It provides LDAP and Active Directory Integration.

This September Ephesoft released Ephesoft Transact Besides the benefits I’ve listed above, this new and improved version takes document image processing and data classification to a whole new level.

Let’s see why.

Ephesoft Transact

“Our goal is to make enterprise content capture and data discovery from unstructured data easily accessible and meaningful for decision-makers worldwide” Ike Kavas, Founder and CEO at Ephesoft.

For this particular reason, Ephesoft released their new and improved version of Ephesoft Transact.

As you can see from the image below, Ephesoft Transact includes 6 stages. Each of them very important and inclusive to the process.

Ephesoft transact

Now let’s take a glimpse at each stage separately and see how Ephesoft Transact work.

  1. Capture. The first stage of the process is data capture. Ephesoft Transact allows multiple ways of capturing data. From scanners, content services, mobile devices, etc., to UNC folders (network folders) and so on.
  2. Image processing. Once the capture stage is done, the process continues with image processing. At this point in the process, documents and images are prepared for classification. This phase includes: cleaning up, rotating, improving image quality, etc.
    All of this allows the resulting document to be easily identified in the third stage.
  3. Classification. The third stage is where the system determines the type of document. This step determines if a document is, for instance, an invoice, customer record, or any other type of file specific to the industry involved.
    As an advanced document capture system, Ephesoft Transact needs only one or two samples to learn to classify the document.
    For this purpose, Ephesoft uses Machine Learning algorithms, a variety of techniques for data classification like search content, images, barcodes, and one document merging.
    If the system shows low confidence in any document classification it calls upon a human operator for confirmation.
  4. Extraction. At this point of the process, Ephesoft Transact identifies the metadata within documents. The reason for the existence of this stage is because metadata is very useful in organizing, finding, and feeding documents into another type of business system.
  5. Validation. This is a stage where Ephesoft Transact validates the documents, in terms of a human assistance. In cases where there are some smudges, spills, blurry characters, or possibly missing fields in the document, the system alerts for manual verification and correction.
  6. Export & Deliver. Once all the documents are validated, they are moved to a repository or other line of business system. These documents and data can be stored either on a local server or cloud-based storage, like Alfresco, Box or SAP.

As such, the entire process of Ephesoft Transact improves productivity, increases transactional velocity, enhances data viability, and reduces processing costs.

This new version of Ephesoft Transact includes multiple new features and improvements build on Ephesoft Transact’s functionality and flexibility.

Let’s take a look at some of them.

New Features And Improvements Of Ephesoft Transact

Ike Kavas, Founder and CEO at Ephesoft talks about these new features and improvements stating:

“Pioneering advantageous features that improve our customers’ business processes is what we do, and our latest version of Ephesoft Transact helps achieve that customer success.”

Let’s dig deeper into each new feature:

1. (Add-on) Transact 4 Mortgage

 ephesoft transact workscreen

Transact 4 Mortgage is an extension of Transact and this add-on provides 2 possible solutions:

  • Standard Solution. The standard solution of Transact 4 Mortgage is capable of processing 400 loan origination document types that are already trained and configured for classification with Ephesoft Transact.
  • Premium Solution. The premium solution includes over 600 loan origination document types, also, previously trained and configured for classification.

This allows the customers to save up to 2,000 hours of implementation time or approximately an 80% reduction in configuration and deployment times for an entire enterprise. Shortening the time from several months to several weeks. Customers of this add-on will enjoy improved accuracy and efficiency for much shorter time.

This add-on is also capable of grouping documents of the same document type which can be of an enormous use and save additional time.

2. (Beta) Hybrid Cloud Plugin To Ephesoft Transact

For customers that need high performance that even cluster configuration of services cannot provide, Ephesoft introduces the hybrid cloud plugin.

This hybrid plugin for Ephesoft Transact enables organizations to offload the heaviest image processing or OCR demands to the AWS cloud. Thanks to AWS and parallel cloud processing, Ephesoft Transact offers users higher scalability for high performance and peak demands.

hybrid cloud plugin to Ephesoft Transact

As you can see from the image above, only the image processing/OCR happens in the cloud, while the classification and extraction happen on the Transact server.

With the beta hybrid cloud for Ephesoft Transact, you only pay for what you use. This plugin can also save you money by sparing you from adding servers, maintenance, and workers to support higher processing loads. The beta version is limited to 10,000 free images monthly in a trial capacity.

3. Swagger UI

Ephesoft believes that the best way to connect and share data is through Open APIs. For that reason, they’ve decided to make documenting APIs possible with Ephesoft Transact

Swagger UI support allows modern, easier, self-documented Web Services for developers.

The Swagger UI support comes bundled with Transact for developers looking for standardized documentation. This integration feature provides standardized documentation of Ehpesoft’s existing traditional web service APIs.

swagger UI

Ephesoft uses this technology to create two advanced workflow Web Services Open APIs for both Nintex and Microsoft Flow.
Ephesoft uses JSON technology (JavaScript Object Notation), a lightweight data-interchange format, which makes it easier for people to read and write, and for machines to parse and generate.

These features are beneficial for both developers and non-developers by allowing them to classify documents and extract information via a simple Web Services interface.

“Users can now quickly add document capture functions to applications, removing the need for manual data entry or human intervention and increasing efficiency, accuracy and time savings.” says on the official site of Ephesoft.

4. Microsoft Exchange Header Support (Enhancement)

In Ephesoft Transact, MS Exchange was introduced only for MS Exchange on the cloud. Now, with Ephesoft Transact, MS Exchange includes header support and ingestion of documents for an on-premise environment. This makes the Microsoft Exchange Header Support feature available for support on both on-premise and cloud platforms.

Users can now configure the email headers (Subject, From, To and Date) to be included in the batch.xml file when processing batches via AWS.

Adding on-premise support provides extra availability to customers and expedites processing through the system.

5. PDF/A-1b Compliance For Export

Transact has typically supported single and multi-page PDFs within the export module. From Release to, Transact has supported PDF/A compliant PDF’s for export, but not PDF/A-1b.

Now, Ephesoft Transact offers PDF/A-1b Compliance and supports searchable single and multi-page PDFs in both black and white as well as color.

The enhancement helps customers put in place more advanced archiving and long-term preservation of electronic documents into their repositories.

6. Fixed Form Extraction Performance Improvements

Ephesoft Transact came out with significant performance improvements to the Fixed Form Extraction process for Windows, used for data extraction from checkboxes and signature detection.

Customers using 16 core system will see up to 70% to 80% performance improvement, and 32 core system users will see impressive improvements up to 250% to 300% performance gains.

Impressive, isn’t it?

The faster processing of pages per minute allows organizations to quickly access their data, make more informed decisions, and improve customer satisfaction.

These new features and improvements of Ephesoft Transact are changing the world of document image processing and Case Management.

Let’s Wrap Things Up

ArkCase and Ephesoft

With all of the features and improvements done by Ephesoft in their newest version of Ephesoft Transact, they’ve made the existence of paper offices outdated.

All of this features contribute to creating the following benefits in the Case Management world:

  • Entirely automated workflows which save time and increase productivity.
  • Easy access to documents which in their paper form were difficult to locate not even search through,
  • Integration with other applications which make ERP, CRM, ECM, and back-office programs document-capture-enabled,
  • Cost Savings which comes with the removal of paper document management.

Protecting our customers’ best interest and always aiming towards achieving the best, our team decided that a document image processing solution like Ephesoft Transact is a must for our customers.

If you want to find out more about our collaboration with Ephesoft or about our Solutions, don’t hesitate to contact us.

What are your thoughts about digitalization? Please share them in the comments section below.

First Look at Alfresco Development Framework (ADF)

First Look at Alfresco Development Framework (ADF)

Alfresco development framework ADF

While looking for a replacement for an Alfresco Workdesk solution for our client at USDA, I heard from a co-worker that Alfresco had released their next generation UI Framework, aka Alfresco Development Framework (ADF), to replace their Share framework.

After reviewing the community documentation and list of components catalog, I determined that ADF could be a suitable replacement for our client. After doing a few prototypes and then refactoring ADF as the replacement UI solution for our customer, I learned the following, which may be useful for the Alfresco development community.

This blog describes how to get ADF running and then discuss the pros and cons of the product. Subsequent blogs will follow, which will further decompose and discuss other salient features of the framework and why it is a good alternative to Share.


To use Alfresco Development Framework, you must meet the following requirements.

  • You need Alfresco 5.2 or above – since ADF is dependent on the Alfresco API specifications in Alfresco 5.2, the minimum requirement to use it is Alfresco 5.2.
  • If you want to use Alfresco Development Framework with both ECM (Alfresco) and BPM (Activiti) – you will need Activiti 1.5.1 or higher as well. ADF is fully integrated with both with no dependencies on having one or the other.
  • You also need to enable Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) on both Activiti BPM and Alfresco ECM

Why Alfresco Development Framework

why ADF

The first question that everyone asks is why ADF?  The most prominent answers are:

  • It uses up-to-date UI technologies – Alfresco Development Framework is based on the Angular JS framework. It is always up to date with the latest version of Angular. This provides an improved, fast and flexible single-page experience. We can easily incorporate, extend and customize different Angular components and services into the application easily.
  • It uses out-of-the-box components – The ADF team has already developed multiple components that can be used without any custom code. All the components are easily configurable and manageable. You can find a list of components
  • It is easy to connect to Alfresco Content Service (ACS) – As ADF is fully dependent on Alfresco, its use and integration with Alfresco is easy to configure. ADF leverages Alfresco’s REST APIs to communicate with the Alfresco content repository. These REST APIs are utilized using Alfresco-js-api.
  • It is easy to integrate with Alfresco Process Service (APS) – If you plan to use ADF only with Alfresco Process Service (APS, i.e., Activiti BPM) or with both ACS and APS, the configuration is still simple. Again, ADF uses Alfresco’s REST APIs to communicate with Activiti. For out-of-the-box ADF, the configuration can be done by simply changing one JSON file.
  • It is easy for developers to get started – There is a lot of documentation, guides, demos, and tutorials to get anyone up and running with Alfresco Development Framework, including those with little Angular experience. You can also use the demo shell (Alfresco Content App – fully developed app) to get started.
  • It is recommended over Share by Alfresco – Although Alfresco will continue to maintain Share, they recommend custom applications be developed using Alfresco Development Framework. In addition, customizing Share is cumbersome and complex compared to ADF. Unlike Share, ADF is the best solution for a simple and flexible application.

My Experience

When I first heard about Alfresco Development Framework, I was not too familiar with Angular, so I spent some time educating myself with the Angular JS 2 framework. It is quite different than version 1 of the framework, so anyone wishing to migrate an application from version 1.x to version 2.x, plan for a multi-month effort.

After my initial education and training period, things got easier. The ADF documentation and catalog gives some insight on how to get started working with ADF. For our project, we only needed to use ADF with (ACS). However, based on this experience, using it with APS or both should be nearly the same experience.

Major Alfresco Development Framework Components

components of ADF

Listed below are the major Alfresco Development Framework components that were used in our project and would most likely be used in other AD projects.  A brief description of these is provided, which will be followed by detailed examples in subsequent blogs.

Login Component – The main login page provides basic username-password authentication, using Alfresco REST APIs to authentic the user to the content repository. Alfresco ticket authentication is used across the application and the ticket is added to every request after the user’s initial login. The login page can be customized as-needed by adding or removing some of its properties.

Document List Component – The document list is used to access, view and manage folders and documents in the Alfresco content repository. The document list table view can also be easily customized to display custom and out-of-the-box properties in the table column.

Content Action Component  – This is used to add actions to a Document List. Content Actions can be used to perform many out-of-the-box repository actions like copy, move delete, download, etc. I also added custom actions by creating Angular components and executing them from the Document List.

Data Column Component – As mentioned above, this can be used to display the metadata of a folder or a document in the Document List and can be used to sort the columns and display custom properties.

Pagination Component – This component can be used to add pagination to a component. I used this in the Document List component to paginate the listed documents, and in the custom, search component to display paginated search results.

Tool Bar Component – I used this component as a container for headers, action, and titles.

Viewer Component – This is one of the major components that Alfresco ADF includes out-of-the-box. The viewer converts files to PDF for preview. This component can easily have added to the Document List.


I faced some challenges on my first Alfresco Development Framework project.

  • ADF upgrade is frequent – This is a positive most of the time, but sometimes it caused instability in UI. During the upgrade, some of the CSS customization were overwritten and messed up. For instance, I started using ADF version 2.2 and then upgraded to version 2.3.  When I upgraded to version 2.4, the UI customizations were messed up. Therefore, I stayed with version 2.3.
  • Proxy settings and deployment – If you deploy the application in the same webserver container as Alfresco, there are no problems. But in my case, I deployed the ADF application to a separate webserver. To resolve this, I included the ADF application in a springboot project and used zuul proxy-to-proxy the requests to access Alfresco
  • SSO – Single sign on using external configuration was not easy to integrate. According to the ADF Team, this was implemented in Alfresco 6.0. After version 6, Alfresco added the ability for an external application to connect to Alfresco through single sign on. This was implemented using Keycloak and JWT tokens. If you are using Alfresco 5 with Kerberos, the default ADF configuration should work fine, but if you use any other external SSO with Alfresco 5, you will need to develop your own implementation from the Alfresco side and design a new login component on the ADF side.


When looking for a UI framework to integrate with and manipulate Alfresco or Activiti, ADF is the best choice. It provides a modern UI framework with many pre-built, out-of-the-box components. The steps to get started and integrate the framework are easy, which is another plus.

The Alfresco Content Application (ACA), the sample application shipped with ADF, can be used to get started. This sample application touches on most of the out-of-the-box features of ADF. I recommend starting with this application when developing with or customizing your ADF application.

I recommend ADF for anyone looking for a new user interface to work with Alfresco or Activiti. The challenges I face were resolved with some custom coding and twist. The ADF community is always available to help if there are any challenges during development and customization.

As we learn and implement this evolving technology into our internal and customer solutions, we will provide our lesson learned for the entire Alfresco ADF community.

Helpful links

  • Getting started page



  • ADF (Ng2) – components



  • Supportive materials



  • Videos

* Alfresco DevCon 2018: Play with ADF 2.0

* Tech Talk Live #100: Application Development Framework

  • Webinar

Get Started with Alfresco’s Application Development Framework (ADF)