At Atlassian we’re always looking for ways to expand the utility and functionality of our products. Sometimes this means we develop that code ourselves, and sometimes it means our community fills in the blanks. Such is the case with a new integration we’ve been working on with Alfresco, an open-source content management company, and Sourcesense, a mutual partner of Atlassian’s and Alfresco’s. In a nutshell, we’re integrating Alfresco with Confluence to bring OpenSearch to Confluence wiki pages and to embed Alfresco-stored documents into Confluence, among other things.
One of the best things about this integration is that it speaks to both the power of Alfresco’s open-source code and Atlassian’s open APIs: the integration was started without any formal communication between the three companies. All the more reason to add another party to the mix: YOU!
While the integration is still a bit rough around the edges, we’re inviting you to get involved and take the integration in the directions that you’d like to see. We’re basing the initial integration on the new CMIS (Content Management Interoperability Services) standard, which means that not only can we build a range of new functionalities on top of the baseline integration, but we can also extend the integration to a diverse range of different technologies.
We’ve Accomplished So Much Already
The current Alfresco Plugin for Confluence provides a set of custom macros that enable Confluence wiki pages to display or embed Alfresco documents or document metadata through ID reference, Path reference or CMIS Search Query. The expectation is that we can provide a seamless experience to users of both platforms:
- Search integration within Alfresco: By adding OpenSearch capabilities to Confluence, Alfresco is now able to aggregate search results from Confluence wiki pages and the Alfresco repository. So, for example, a user logged into Alfresco will be able to retrieve data from documents hosted in an Alfresco repository and any Confluence page she’s got access to. This is a good example of what open standards and extensible systems can offer.
- New macros for Confluence, providing wiki users with the ability to interact with an Alfresco repository in a number of ways, such as:
- Browse an Alfresco repository
- Reference (link) and embed (display directly) documents stored in Alfresco
- Build custom reports (such as listing documents that match specified criteria) by running queries against the Alfresco repositories
- Use Web Scripts or CMIS: As an added bonus, macros are implemented using either Alfresco-specific technologies such as Web Scripts or a pure standard-based approach (CMIS). The Web Scripts technology is very, very cool and opens the door to do some interesting new capabilities for Confluence.
This is only the beginning
Even as I type this, an email has hit my inbox noting that new features, like the ability to pull Alfresco Share (Alfresco’s collaboration application) site activities into Confluence via an Atom feed, have been added. We’d love to have you help us figure out where to take this integration, and to fill in pieces you think are missing. That’s the benefit of open standards and open source: Confluence can be even more than Atlassian envisions.
We’re hosting the project on Google Code: http://code.google.com/p/confluence-alfresco/. Please stop by and get involved.
You can also get SSO w/ Crowd for your Alfresco install: