Alfresco announces community release with Activiti BPM integration

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Alfresco announced this week, the integration of Activiti business process management (BPM) in its latest release of Alfresco Community Edition 3.4.

Interestingly enough, Activiti has been a stand-alone open source project delivered under an Apache license, but apparently Alfresco liked what it saw and decided to integrate it into the Community Edition. It's no secret that many content management companies have been trying to show real business value (over and above purely tracking content in the database) and case management is a big part of that.

A big part of any case management solution would have to be BPM and that's where Activiti comes in. According the statement released by Alfresco, Activiti uses the industry standard BPMN to connect the work flow engine to Alfresco, as well as other enterprise applications required to complete a set of tasks.

In case you doubted the connection between case management and including Activiti in the latest Alfresco build, Tom Baeyens, Activiti Project Lead put those doubts to rest when he said, "Moving forward, our new case management vision will focus on taking BPM out of its niche and opening it up to a much wider audience, fostering an environment for even greater innovation."

The current release is labeled a "preview." Not sure how that differs from Beta, but suffice to say there's still work to be done. As with a lot of Alfresco add-ons, they get it out to the community as quickly as possible where developers, integrators and other early adopters can play around with it and build more specific implementations.

On its face, this is an interesting idea and offers Alfresco customers yet another way to use the Alfresco CMS repository. Certainly case management is a legitimate and useful way to make use of that database, but it will take some time to see how nicely Activiti and Alfresco play together.

For more information:
- see the Alfresco press release

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