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Alfresco Integrates ECM and BPM Solutions

Alfresco Software, a provider of open source enterprise content management (ECM) and business process management solutions (BPM), has made updates to its flagship Alfresco One hybrid cloud ECM and Alfresco Activiti enterprise BPM solutions. With the release of Alfresco One 5.1 and Activiti 1.4, the company is further integrating ECM and BPM to improve flexibility and user productivity.

The macro idea of the Alfresco product integrations, based on years of working with customers, is that documents and business processes are usually tied together, and - particularly when they are important - rarely are either handled in isolation, explained Thomas DeMeo, Alfresco vice president of product management. Typically, if there is an critical document, there is a related process, and when there is a key business process, there are supporting documents.

The Alfresco integrated solution not only brings together process and content into a single solution, but also captures approval flows and relevant content to help a company address its compliance requirements.

While there has been some integration in the past, the new releases extend the integration with process and workflow steps that make the combination more seamless to users, said DeMeo. Tight integration of ECM and BPM is useful, for example, when a financial services company handles a loan application because the processes involve managing multiple documents from applicants as well as internally created files.

A key new capability in the Alfresco One 5.1 ECM solution is the ability for non-technical users to configure Alfresco to their specific business data model in a “no code” environment that embeds more intelligence into the content being managed. In addition new Smart Folders make it easier for users to access content with a consumer-like “intelligent playlist” experience.

Alfresco One 5.1 also includes additional APIs that support broader customization; extended usability and search capabilities; and updated iOS and Android mobile apps, as well as an SDK (software development kit) for further app customization.

Key elements in the Activiti 1.4 BPM solution are no-code development for business rules to improve process decision making; tighter integration with cloud file sync-and-share solutions; and mobile support with a dedicated app. The new release also features an enhanced BPMN (Business Process Model and Notation) 2.0 process engine.

What makes the Alfresco approach unique, DeMeo noted, is that instead of "people cobbling it together," Alfresco "built this from the ground up.” With this release, and in the future, rather than the products “leapfrogging” each other, they will be released in tandem reflecting their close relationship, he added.

For more information, go to www.alfresco.com.

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