Update on Canopy: The Premier Drupal/Alfresco Integration
Arnold Leung here, CEO of Appnovation Technologies. I was recently speaking with the team at Alfresco and we figured it was time for me to provide an update on Appnovation and the work that we are doing with Alfresco and other open source platforms.
Last time I was featured on the Alfresco blog it was a little less than a year ago and I did a Partner Spotlight Q&A session with Joe Tong. As some of you might know, Appnovation specializes in using Alfresco as a backend repository while integrating it with other front end technologies such as Drupal for the web and SproutCore for web and mobile client side applications. A little over a year ago, and from this experience, our Drupal and Alfresco integration solution, “Canopy”, was born. This solution provides an accelerator for development and customization of these types front-end/back-end integrations. Up to now we have used Canopy for several large integration projects for customers such as Mental Health Commission of Canada as well as Sisters of Mercy Health Systems. In these projects, Canopy has thus far mainly been code and something that you needed to be a real developer to administer.
Well, things are going to be a changing. Having recently won “Alfresco Partner Solution of the Year” for Canopy (Thanks Alfresco!) and receiving some funding from the Government of Canada to help continue the development of the platform, we plan to make it something that will be much more user friendly and easy to administer. We at Appnovation are going to be making a significant investment, both in time and money, to formalize the Canopy platform for a much anticipated future release. So that being said, you may be asking “what are the next steps for Canopy?” Well that is what I am here to tell you. Right now Canopy’s services and Api’s allow for setting up data syncing and replication between different systems such as Drupal and Alfresco.
After working closely with several of our enterprise clients we have listened to their feedback and are going forward in developing several new and exciting features on the platform. First, we are going to actually build a web based portal using Drupal that will allow the simple administration of all the different Canopy features that we have developed to this point and in the future. This new portal will allow users to now easily do content type mapping between the Alfresco repository file system and content types and nodes inside of Drupal. Before the portal, this all had to be done manually in the code. The next great feature included in the Canopy portal will be an SSO manager that will allow the easy setup of Alfresco and Drupal SSO via an LDAP server. Another feature we’ll be adding will be a file migration service that will allow all files uploaded into Alfresco to easily be migrated to the Alfresco repository in a batch manor. The Portal will also include a workflow manager for configuring workflows between Drupal and Alfresco as well one more very important feature: reporting and error handling. This feature will track and report on any errors that might occur in the syncing of the system, as well as usage stats and user actions in both platforms. After several years of experience with our own clients we’ve realized that building a portal that can easily handle these tasks in a web interface will allow them to much more easily manage their integrations between these pieces of great software. In terms of timing for the release of Canopy v2.0 we are looking at the 4th quarter of 2012.
We’re really excited about what’s coming and this new value that we can provide to customers of both the Drupal and Alfresco platforms. This new portal will allow them to truly take advantage of how well Drupal and Alfresco work together in the enterprise. Thanks for reading and feel free to shoot over any questions regarding how we might be able to help your company out with integration work between these technologies. Check out the latest conversation I had with Joe about Canopy over at the Alfresco blog