One of the most eagerly anticipated features soon to be part of Alfresco it would seem, is our web content management capabilities. This functionality isn’t just something that our customers are asking for, it’s something that we desperately need internally too.
Our two sites at www.alfresco.com and dev.alfresco.com currently run on an Apache/PHP server, which despite being nice open source software is a pain to keep up-to-date. Who wants to install a complete development environment and trudge their way through sections of PHP code just so they can add a news item to the site?
Well now we don’t have to. By combining the power of Alfresco’s forthcoming 1.3 release with the flexibility of the Freemarker templating engine we have a robust platform for WCM that we can use to store our web content securely, yet in a manner that drastically cuts down the time to make changes. Automatic versioning, access via CIFS, FTP, WebDAV and the web client – we’ve got it all.
It’s taken about a week’s worth of hacking to get an initial version of this up and running, most of that time having been spent building up Freemarker templates, but with some additional work to code a PHP proxy that recieves requests for freiendly URLs and feeds this request through to Alfresco, which generates the complete markup. Now try doing that with your average proprietary CMS. No? I thought not :-).