Alfresco Digital Business Platform Adds Federated Enterprise-Wide Search

Alfresco Software is offering a new extension to Alfresco Digital Business Platform to help helps enterprises better manage, connect, and protect their important information.  Alfresco Federation Services lets knowledge workers search across 60+ business and content repositories.

Tags: Alfresco, cloud, distributed, federated, hybrid, repository, search,

Alfresco Software is offering a new extension to Alfresco Digital Business Platform to help helps enterprises better manage, connect, and protect their important information. 


Alfresco Federation Services works with enterprise-wide assets across multiple, disparate content applications, network file shares, and email systems. It enables designated employees to conduct simultaneous searches across more than sixty popular business and content repositories. 


Alfresco Federation Services works with Box, Documentum, Dropbox, IBM FileNet, Google Drive, Microsoft SharePoint, Network File Shares, OpenText, Slack, and many other content systems) from a single, controlled interface to serve up relevant information quickly.


Content chaos, or content sprawl, results when documents are stored in multiple repositories, in different business applications, or on network drives. While a single repository can offer significant advantages and “a single source of truth,” the considerable migration effort can be risky. 


Alfresco Federation Services avoid the risks of complicated migrations and lets users find and manage information faster across more than 60 leading business systems and content repositories such as Documentum, OpenText, and IBM FileNet as well as network drives and emails.


Tony Grout, Alfresco’s chief product officer, noted that the work-from-home reality arising from the coronavirus “is fundamentally changing the way enterprises need to operate,” especially with how information workers collaborate. 


“Working from home has become the new reality placing an enormous strain on enterprises with 5,000, 20,000 or more employees,” Grout said. “These organizations must implement systems that allow every employee to gain access to the information they need to complete their tasks – a bigger challenge for those organizations that rely on legacy, on-premise systems that now must move to the cloud. Of particular concern is the underlying security, regulatory compliance, and records management that needs to be put in place.”


Alfresco Federation Services lets companies and individual workers ‘manage-in-place’ so they can control and secure content and records across multiple systems, Grout noted.  


“Regardless of where the content lives, employees can search and govern documents (as well as apply consistent retention policies across their content) irrespective of whether it is stored in Alfresco or non-Alfresco applications – without ever leaving their Alfresco environment – and take action upon the search results,” Grout added.


Making sure that all this easy access translates into value for workers is the Alfresco Federation Services’ “federated search’ capability. 


This allows enterprises to access content across systems from Alfresco without a bulk migration.  

Federated Search also provides a number of benefits – to both knowledge workers and admins, including: 

  • Extension of Alfresco search and discovery to other outside third-party systems and cloud services
  • Single source of truth – enterprise-wide content is available through one system
  • Flexible interface allows users to work in the environment they are accustomed to – and still gain easy access to the information they need
  • Extend Alfresco use cases across repositories for a 360-degree view. For example, enable enterprise-wide case management.
  • Intelligent migration – Configure rules that migrate content to decommission older systems over time


Alfresco Federation Services also sports other ‘manage in place’ features that provide centralized control over content and records distributed across different systems. 


Companies focused on growth will inherit content management systems from merger-and-acquisition activities. However, harvesting this diverse content and related data with interoperability or federation capabilities is often a faster path to business value than costly migration efforts. Alfresco Federation Services protects the integrity of content with records management and open government standards compliance. 


In specific, Alfresco Federation Services helps companies:  

Increase user adoption: A user can access and manage content in its current location (“manage in place”) from a single user interface.


Apply retention policies consistently: A user can gain centralized control over content and records that are distributed across different systems. Quickly identify which records to archive or destroy, and which require constant access.


Increase compliance: It delivers the right information to the right users at the right time, and meet records management and open government compliance standards worldwide, including ISO 15489, ISO 16175, FOIA, U.S. DoD 5015.02 CH2 and CH3, VERS, EgovG, and MoReq.


Easier and Rapid eDiscovery: It places content on Legal Hold (lock-in remote systems); export in Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM) XML format to ingest to eDiscovery systems.


Intelligent Content Migration: With this platform, you can migrate content over time, with minimal disruption to mitigate migration risks. 

Alfresco also aims to help users migrate “in the background” with minimal disruption to the business, processes, or users. In fact, it’s practically invisible to users. Whenever an end-user opens a document, it gets immediately migrated to Alfresco, the company noted. 


Once the Intelligent Content Migration is verified as complete, the legacy systems can be switched off, and the organizations can benefit from a single central content repository.

Alfresco offers a proven migration tool when a bulk migration is required to decommission a legacy system immediately.


Notably, these features also work with Alfresco Governance Services to ensure security and policy compliance for documents and information.  


In a blog post, Alfresco’s Chief Strategy Officer Dave Giordano summed up how Alfresco’s latest offering meets the present needs for better work-from-home control and sets the stage for how users will think generally about working with distributed information into the future. 

Once the pandemic is over, many are predicting that innovative companies will take advantage of the lessons learned to offer remote work to a wider number of their employees. Key to the long-term productivity of remote workers is working efficiently with documents rather than relying on email or messaging attachments with modern document processing tools like Alfresco.

Alfresco Federation Services is the latest add-on to the Alfresco Digital Business Platform.