Alfresco Hack-a-thon 2014 – Brussels

Last 16-th of May has been the first Alfresco Global Virtual Hack-a-thon day. One of the physical locations was Brussels, more precisely the CIRB-CIBG (here the post about the event).

I was there with the AAAR project and, as usual, lots of “old” and brand “new” friends. Thank you to Boriss Mejiass, Lanre Abiwon (DarkStar1), Cristina Martín Ruiz, Ole Hejlskov and all the other attendees.

Below a short video about the nice time together.

Francesco Corti

ffmpeg for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (mandatory for Alfresco)

ffmpegIn a past tutorial (one of the most accessed post of the blog) I shared a step by step tutorial describing the installation of Alfresco using an more controlled and “enterprise” approach respect to the bundle. The tutorial referrers to Alfresco Community Edition 4.2.c on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS and few days ago has been released the brand new Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Operating System.

Installing Alfresco as usual, I have found the FFmpeg is not included in the Ubuntu repositories and it has been replaced by libav (an ffmpeg fork of the project). For further details, you can read something here:

Waiting for an official answer from Alfresco, I found how to solve the problem. In particular, how to install ffmpeg on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS that is mandatory to make Alfresco works.

Other instructions on how to install Alfresco 4.2.f on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS are similar to the tutorial, so I don’t want to repeat them here (probably I’ll refresh the post in the future).

Coming to the solution…

To install ffmpeg on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS you have simply to open a terminal and execute the commands described below.

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:mc3man/trusty-media
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ffmpeg gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg

I hope this information will help you to install Alfresco with success in your environment. 😉

Francesco Corti

Your Alfresco custom theme deployed as AMP or ZIP file

Alfresco ShareIn the various posts of this personal blog, the development of a custom theme of the Alfresco Share front end, is one of the most relevant and accessed. In a past tutorial, I share a simple way to develop your own theme for the Alfresco v4.2.c distribution.

In this post I would like to reach them same goal, but with an important improvement: the release of the theme in an AMP file or a ZIP file. All using an automatic solution based on a Java project managed by Eclipse IDE and Apache ANT.


To understand how this solution works, you should have confidence with Eclipse IDE, Java projects, Git, Apache ANT and of course Alfresco (in particular with the AMP format). If you don’t have confidence with all of those things, this use case could be a way to improve your skills but, please, refer to the official documentations to learn how to use them before trying to test the content of this post.

Alle the source code described in this post has been tested in a Ubuntu 12.04 LTS operating system with Alfresco Community Edition v4.2.f on board, installed as bundle distribution. All the content should be valid for all the Alfresco distributions of the v4.2 family, both Community and Enterprise.

The git project my-first-alfresco-theme (on GitHub)

githubIn the repository below, you will find a Git repository called ‘my-first-alfresco-theme’, developing a copy of the ‘Green theme’ contained in the Alfresco vanilla installation. The developed theme is called ‘Alfresco themes – My first theme’.

The first task to do is to import the project from the repository, using Eclipse IDE at the link below:

If you are not confident on how to import a project from Git, please refer to the web with a huge amount of tutorials or documentations. 😉

Once the project has been imported with success in your Eclipse IDE, in the ‘build’ folder you will find the two packages containing the theme: one in AMP format (‘alfrescoThemes_myFirstTheme.amp’) and one in ZIP format (‘’).

If you want to re-build the packages after customizations, the build file (‘build.xml’) into the ANT view, is what you need for that purpose. If you are not confident on how to build a project with Apache ANT, please refer to the web with a huge amount of tutorials or documentations. 😉

How to deploy the theme in AMP format

The deployment using the AMP format should be preferred to the ZIP format. Below the step by step description of the task.

  • Open a terminal and go to the folder where Alfresco is installed (for example ‘/opt/alfresco-4.2.f’ on a linux platform).
  • Stop Alfresco (for example ‘./ stop’ on a linux platform).
  • Copy the AMP file from the ‘build’ folder of the project in the ‘amps-share’ folder (if you use an Alfresco bundle installation).
  • Go to the ‘bin’ subfolder and run ‘apply_amps’ script.
  • Go back to the Alfresco installation folder and start Alfresco again (for example ‘./ start’ on a linux platform).
  • Once Alfresco is started, open a browser with Alfresco Share, login as administrator and access to ‘Admin tools’ item in the menu.
  • In ‘Applications’, change the theme to your custom theme.


That’s all!

How to deploy the theme in ZIP format

The deployment using the AMP format should be preferred to the ZIP format. Below the step by step description of the task.

  • Open a terminal and go to the folder where Alfresco is installed (for example ‘/opt/alfresco-4.2.f’ on a linux platform).
  • Stop Alfresco (for example ‘./ stop’ on a linux platform).
  • Unzip the ZIP file from the ‘build’ folder, directly in the Alfresco installation folder (you can merge the folders/subfolders/files to correctly install the theme).
  • Start Alfresco again (for example ‘./ start’ on a linux platform).
  • Once Alfresco is started, open a browser with Alfresco Share, login as administrator and access to ‘Admin tools’ item in the menu.
  • In ‘Applications’, change the theme to your custom theme, exactly in the same way is described in the picture before.

That’s all!

Francesco Corti


A.A.A.R. bugfix: Invalid column for cmis:document cmis:objectid


While getting the parent path of the Alfresco nodes, the CMIS query could contain a bug in the ‘cmis:objectid’ field. Instead of ‘cmis:objectid’ should be used ‘cmis:objectId’ (pay attention to the camel case). A new FAQ has been added to the A.A.A.R. FAQ page.

I’m investigating the context because not all the environments requests that camel case format. Until than, if you have a message below:

Failed to execute script 'classpath*:alfresco/template/webscripts/org/alfresco/cmis/’:
Invalid column for cmis:document cmis:objectid

Please modify the query under ‘/Alfresco/Staging/Utility/Set folder’s children’ as described below:

cmis:objectId as cmis_objectid,
cmis:name as cmis_name
and cmis:lastModificationDate >= TIMESTAMP ”${cmis_last_update}”
and cmis:contentStreamLength >= 0′);

Many thanks to Micheal Fraser and Hu Ting Ung for the investigation and correction. Please, don’t stop contact me making suggestions, improvement and corrections to the solution.

Francesco Corti

Alfresco Audit Analysis and Reporting version 2.0 in Pentaho Marketplace.

AAAR_for_marketplaceThe Alfresco Audit Analysis and Reporting has been released with a major version 2.0. What I enjoyed most developing this brand new version is to develop directly in the new Pentaho 5 Suite, using the new Sparkl Application Builder with the support of Webdetails. About this, I would like to explicitly thank Pedro Alves (SVP of Community for Pentaho) and Pedro Vale (Product Development Leader at Webdetails).


This new release contains lot of relevant improvements (link to change log) but the most important ones are:

The recent section of the Alfresco forum about Business Reporting is a good place to receive support from all the interested people about tuning, customizations and support in general. But if you ask you what to do for the project (and for you, by consequence) take a look here.


Alfresco forum opens a new section dedicated to reporting and analytics

alfresco logoA new section dedicated to reporting and analytics on Alfresco has been opened in the Alfresco forum during last month. This is a request submitted from the users (bisana in particular) and accepted from the administrators (Mark Rogers in particular).

In my opinion this is a good news for the ones like me, that work specifically on that task. Last but not least, I submit to your attention the current topics of the brand new section:

Alfresco 4 Enterprise Content Management review

Alfresco 4 Enterprise Content Management During this last period I read the new book about Alfresco. The book is titled “Alfresco 4 Enterprise Content Management Implementation” and is Published by Packt Publishing.

The book it’s the natural update and evolution of the famous “Alfresco 3 Enterprise Content Management Implementation”, published in June 2009 and today not so updated. And before, of the “Alfresco Enterprise Content Management Implementation”, published in January 2007 by Packt Publishing.

You know, Alfresco features are growing very rapidly, month after month and release after release.

The fact that the book has more than 500 pages and it is written by 8 different authors (all of them are skilled IT professionists of Cignex Datamatics) clearly means that the content is relevant and detailed. Reading this book, infact, you will find that the content is not so narrative but oriented on practical topics and solutions.

The goal of the authors is relevant: explain Alfresco to IT specialists, starting from scratch and diving deep in the user experience, the customization, the development and the administration. Not bad in a single book!

The book is not specifically for developers (like the authors says) but for administrators, experienced users, developers, in particular for IT consultants.

I have found the description of the installation of the so called “Alfresco bundle” release together with the installation of all the Alfresco components, very useful because it’s not so easy to find, around in the web.

Very interesting, in my opinion, the description of the workflow using Activiti (JBPM is not described even if it supported by Alfresco 4) because it is concrete, developing practical examples for real life cases.

Last but not least, one final consideration about the explanation strategy: in my opinion too much descriptions are developed on Alfresco Explorer. We all know that Alfresco Explorer won’t be improved by Alfresco developers and Alfresco Share is the “modern” user interface. I think could be a good idea, for the next edition of the book, to move the most part of the examples (and images) to it.

In conclusion, I suggest this book to all the people that are not Alfresco Experts but would like to understand better what Alfresco is and how Alfresco works, with a good level of detail.

Have a good read during the next holidays. 😉

Alfresco Summit 2013 – Reporting in Alfresco speech.

2013-11-06 Alfresco summit - Presented atLast november in Barcelona the A.A.A.R. solution has been presented to the Alfresco Summit 2013 together with other two different solutions for reporting in Alfresco. Tale a look to the whole speech, if interested.

I hope you enjoy like I did!

(Contribution starts at 23′:50”)

Here a brief description of the presentation together with material.

New A.A.A.R. Alfresco audit analysis and reporting v1.5 release


A new version 1.5 of the A.A.A.R. – Alfresco audit analisys and reporting has been released with a smarter installation wizard and the compliance to the recent Pentaho 5 release (the compliance with Pentaho 4 still remain). This version makes the adoption of A.A.A.R. solution very easy and (quite) ready for the inclusion in the Pentaho marketplace. Stay tuned for new updates!

Below some useful links:

Alfresco Audit Analysis and Reporting installer

Do you want try the A.A.A.R. solution but you think the installation process it’s a little bit tricky?

Are you wondering an easy wizard with a few-click process without the need of technical skills?

Do you want to see the A.A.A.R. solution immediately in action with sample data inside?

pentaho-logoStarting from now I plan to work on that task. In particular, I would like to explicitly thank Pedro Alves of the Pentaho team for the suggestions and strategy, making what is going to be, really simple to install and easy to use in few minutes of your (precious) time.


To be a little bit more clear, I’m going to release the A.A.A.R. solution in the Pentaho Marketplace with a Sparkl integration. This means that the Alfresco analytics will be available with an automatic installation procedure that will not require technical skills. Want to know more technical details? Take a look here.

In particular the process will be:
1) Install the Penthaho Suite.
2) Install A.A.A.R. from the marketplace.
3) Next, next, next… and enjoy!

Some of you are asking me about the release of the A.A.A.R. Analytics.
I plan to release it under this new installation package so, please, a little bit of patience and stay tuned. 😉

Thanks for the comprehension.