The order of the Bee. Something is happening in the Alfresco community.

Order of the BeeSomething interesting is happening in the Alfresco’s community.

I’m not talking about the Alfresco Community (Edition) of the software but the Alfresco’s community composed by people and skilled professionals.

Few weeks ago a brand new organization has been created and is called Order of the Bee. Why that name? Everything was born in the past Alfresco Summit with a Community Keynote by Jeff Potts (here the complete speech).

In my opinion, and not only in my opinion, this is a good news for the (pure) open source developers and professionals. I personally decided to join the organization together with the AAAR solution¬†but I feel like something more interesting will happen in the nearest future. ūüôā

Below I would like to submit to your attention some key concepts to better understand this organization.

Yet another Alfresco Community upgrade tutorial: from 4.0.d to 4.2.f.

The task to upgrade Alfresco (Community or Enterprise) from a version to another more recent, has to follow a clear and precise path.¬†In every case it is always a critical task and in some cases could be a serious problem for the Organizations (of course this is more critical for Community Editions).¬†In some cases the only possible solution is an Alfresco-to-Alfresco migration instead of an upgrade… but this is another scenario.

In this tutorial is described a step-by-step approach to an upgrade from an Alfresco Community Edition v4.0.d to v4.2.f in one only upgrade step. In every case, even if the involved versions are different, the approach is always the same discussed here.

Needless to say: I am not responsible for any damage that may happen after following the given instructions, which hopefully will not happen.

The (only) correct approach

Before starting I would like to share the (only) correct approach: please remember that the upgrade process for the Alfresco Community Editions is tested (and not guarantee) for the closest versions (for Alfresco Enterprise you can take a look here). This means that the only path you can follow to upgrade a very old version to a recent one is always to develop multiple upgrades.

For example, if you come from the v4.0.d and want to go to the recent v5.0.a, it’s only written in the stars if the direct upgrade will work.¬†The most verified approach is to develop the upgrade process with the steps described below:
– Upgrade from v4.0.d to v4.0.e,
– Upgrade from v4.0.e to v4.2.a,
– Upgrade from v4.2.a to v4.2.b,
– Upgrade from v4.2.b to v4.2.c,
– Upgrade from v4.2.c to v4.2.d,
– Upgrade from v4.2.d to v4.2.e,
– Upgrade from v4.2.e to v4.2.f,
– Upgrade from v4.2.f to v5.0.a.

You can take your own risks “jumping” some steps, and in some cases it would work, but nothing is garantee in every case.¬†In this tutorial I decided to take a reasonable risk, often discussed in the forums and tutorials, and “jump” with a single upgrade process.

Preparing the upgrade

To develop the upgrade I need the Alfresco backup of my v4.0.e production installation.¬†If you don’t know what is an Alfresco backup and how to obtain it, I strongly recommend to take a look here.

In this tutorial I choose to define a brand new server with the recent Alfresco installation (in our case the v4.2.f) but you could choose to use the same server.¬†Of course, in this case, the task is even more critical and the steps are the same but developed in different folders from the “old” version of Alfresco.

The new Alfresco installation

As introduced before, in this tutorial I work in a vanilla server with Ubuntu 14.04 LTS on board. In the server is installed Oracle Java v1.7.60u, always installed as described here.

To install Alfresco you can follow this tutorial even if it describes one specific version (the installation steps don’t change too much).¬†Alternatively you can choose to install it using the easier wizard.¬†In every case you will install the target version of Alfresco, in our case: Alfresco Community v4.2.f.

For the purpose of the post, the way you use to install Alfresco is not relevant but remember that it will be your brand new server, so it’s always suggested to have the most robust and stable one. ūüėČ

If you have some customizations (custom models, behaviors, actions or something else) not it’s time to install them in the new server.¬†The task is always the same: stop alfresco, deploy the customizzations in the way you always do (AMP, maven, manually) and start Alfresco again.

As final step, it is always suggested to switch off the indexing. In our case we suppose to use Solr but with Lucene it will be the same. To develop the task, please follow the steps below:

cd <alfresco>
./alfresco.sh stop
nano tomcat/shared/classes/alfresco-global.properties

 ...
 index.subsystem.name=noindex
 #solr.port.ssl=8443 (comment it)
 ...

Save and exit.

Database restore

Now it’s time to restore the alfresco database from the backup.¬†To do it, please be sure that PostgreSql (or the database you use) is running.¬†If you installed the Alfresco with the wizard you can use the command below.

./alfresco.sh start postgresql

To delete the current Alfresco’s database use the commands below.

cd <postgresql>/bin
./psql -h localhost -U postgres -d postgres

  ...
  DROP DATABASE alfresco;
  CREATE DATABASE alfresco WITH owner = alfresco;
  \q
  ...

To restore the database dump you can use:

./pg_restore -h localhost -U postgres -d alfresco <file.dump>

Filesystem restore

Once the database is restored you have to restore the documents on the file system from the backup.

cd <alfresco>/alf_data
rm -rf contentstore
rm -rf contentstore.deleted

Now it’s time to copy the ‘contentstore’ and ‘contentstore.deleted’ folders form the backup, directly in the ‘alf_data’.

Can’t you see the indexes are not restored?¬†If possible it’s always preferrable to rebuild the indexes from scratch.¬†In the other cases we suggest to restore them from the backup, hoping nothing changed in the structure. ūüôā

Alfresco bootstrap

Now everything is ready to start alfresco again.

cd <alfresco>
./alfresco.sh start
tailf tomcat/logs/catalina.out

You will see that the starting process is updating the database and everything is necessary to upgrade the system.¬†Errors or problems will be listed here…

Indexes rebuild

As you read before, the Alfresco update has been without the indexes.
Now it’s time to rebuild them following what you read here.

./alfresco.sh stop
nano <alfresco>/tomcat/shared/classes/alfresco-global.properties

  ...
  index.subsystem.name=solr
  solr.port.ssl=8443
  ...

cd <alfresco>/alf_data/solr
rm -rf workspace/SpacesStore/*
rm -rf archive/SpacesStore/*
rm -rf workspace-SpacesStore/alfrescoModels/*
rm -rf archive-SpacesStore/alfrescoModels/*
cd <alfresco>
./alfresco.sh start

Enjoy your brand new Alfresco installation…

Francesco Corti

Alfresco roadmap for the next 12 months

roadmapAfter some requests from some users, the new Alfresco roadmap has been released in the official wiki.¬†This roadmap doesn’t seems to be like the others of¬†the past.

I read that the amount of topics are less than the past. By the way, each topic seems to be more detailed and “complete” (in the past most of the items were less specific than this). Comparing with the past roadmaps I can read a lot of “Enterprise only” in some important new features.

Have your own opinion reading the complete roadmap below.

https://wiki.alfresco.com/wiki/Product_Roadmap

Francesco Corti

New FAQ: CmisRuntimeException with an Internal Server Error running A.A.A.R. with Solr Indexing

During the past months few users emailed me to ask for a support becausealfresco-pentaho they received an ‘Internal Server Error’ while running the A.A.A.R. v1.3. I would like to thank them for the energy they put to solve the problem and specially Gabriele Barbara that wrote the post I share below. The current post has been added to the A.A.A.R.’s FAQ hoping will help someone else.

Gabriele Barbara say:

Using the latest version of A.A.A.R. (v1.3) on Alfresco Community 4.2.c, Windows platform and MySQL database, you could get an error message.

…
ERROR 19-05 13:33:54,593 - Cmis Input documents before last update - Unxpected Error
ERROR 19-05 13:33:54,593 - Cmis Input documents before last update ‚Äď org.apache.chemistry.opencmis.commons.exceptions.CmisRuntimeException: Internal Server Error
…

After running:

kitchen.bat /rep:"AAAR_Kettle" /job:"Get all" /dir:/Alfresco /user:admin /pass:admin /param:get_parents=true /level:Basic

The problem appears when the job goes to step “get nodes” (if in fact you are running

kitchen.bat /rep:"AAAR_Kettle" /job:"Get audit" /dir:/Alfresco /user:admin /pass:admin /level:Basic

¬†the job ends properly) and seems to be linked to the “SOLR SSL certificate”.

If in the file¬†‘<Alfresco>/tomcat/shared/classes/alfresco-global.properties’¬†there is the line:

index.subsystem.name=solr

You can solve the problem by following these steps:

  • Shutdown Tomcat
  • Comment out the line below and replace with:
index.subsystem.name=lucene
index.recovery.mode=FULL
  • Save the file
  • Start Tomcat
  • Modify again¬†¬†the file¬†‘<Alfresco>/tomcat/shared/classes/alfresco-global.properties’¬†changing as described¬†
index.recovery.mode=AUTO
  • Save the changes and close the file

Now if you try again to run from the command line: 

kitchen.bat /rep:"AAAR_Kettle" /job:"Get all" /dir:/Alfresco /user:admin /pass:admin /param:get_parents=true /level:Basic

the execution of the job should be finished properly.

Francesco Corti

Alfresco Summit 2013, 5-7th of November in Barcelona to put your content to work

The next 5th, 6th and 7th of November 2013 you cannot miss the annual edition of the European Alfresco Summit (in past called DevCon) that this year will be in Barcelona (Spain).

You should come to Alfresco Summit if:

  • alfresco logoYou are an Alfresco customer looking to share your story, learn from others, and see the latest product innovations from Alfresco
  • You are an IT decision maker trying to understand how agile ECM solutions like Alfresco can improve business processes and information management
  • You are a developer who installs, configures, and customizes Alfresco and you need technical details directly from Alfresco‚Äôs Engineers
  • You are driving a content management project, and want to learn best practices from experienced ECM practitioners
  • You want to see the future of ECM that is hybrid, mobile and firewall free

What to expect:

  • Demos of new products and features
  • Customer use cases spanning government, finance, healthcare, public sector, media, business services sectors, and more
  • Networking with partners and customers from small companies to Fortune 500‚Äôs leading the way on the Alfresco Platform
  • Pre-conference training: Find out how to use Alfresco with hands on exercises, or introduce your team to development with Alfresco
  • Pre-conference Hack-a-Thon: Build something fun with other developers
  • Business sessions: Discuss market trends, hear from industry analysts, and see Alfresco in action with customer case studies
  • Technical sessions: Dive deep into the details, learn from leading developers and Alfresco engineers

Many thanks from all of us to Alfresco that organize the event.

I’ll be there with a nice surprice (stay tuned to know it) and if you are interested to the event you can see the complete agenda here. Don’t waste your time,¬†meet us in Barcelona.

Francesco Corti

PCM13 – Pentaho Community Meetup 2013 on 5th of October in Sintra (Portugal)

The next 4th, 5th and 6th of October 2013 you cannot miss the 6th¬†edition of the Pentaho Community Meetup¬†(#PCM13).¬†Today is not known the¬†final place, but it will be in¬†Sintra. It’s about 30km away from Lisbon (Portugal).

pcm13_logoThis is a community event and includes anyone that has a passion for Pentaho (being EE or CE users) and want to see the huge ammount of amazing stuff that other people build around the world.¬†This is¬†not¬†a sales event. We usually go deep in technicall stuff, showing the latest news of what’s being developed in the Pentaho ecosystem, and lot’s of focus in real world¬†use cases.

Many thanks from all of us to Pedro Alves and Pentaho that organize the event.

Agenda for the 3 days:

  • Friday evening: Networking and drinks.
  • Saturday: Main presentation day.
  • Sunday Morning: Networking and sightseeing.

As usual, all the presentations will happen on Saturday, 5th of October, but the event starts on friday evening – yes, everyone knows that the main idea of the event is fun, sun, networking and drinks. So we’ll be meeting on friday evening. Totally optional, like the last day, but… I wouldn’t miss it if I were you. ūüėČ

I’ll be there with a nice surprice (stay tuned to know it) and if you are interested to the event you can register from the¬†event page. Don’t waste your time,¬†100 people is the limit.

pcm13_banner

Francesco Corti