education · Linux · Open Source

File sharing, Document management and collaboration with Alfresco


Document collaboration:

Document and file collaboration is a process which should allow multiple people work together on a single document or file and produce a final document. For example if you plan to develop an IT policy for your institution, and you assign a 5 member team to develop it and come up with an approved version; all these users will be working on a single file to come up with a final version; in this case some will contribute, some will review, some will approve. However at the end we will have a final version of the document without losing any changes made.

In last few decades after the birth of internet, collaboration is becoming one of the major means for creation and productivity.  There are many from of collaboration among all document collaboration is one of the standard from. Collaboration used in business world is equally important for children to learn as a method starting from Schools just like any other discipline.

File sharing

All organization requires document and other media contents available to various group of user for consumption and contribution. These files require having different permission sets according to their access level.  Electronic resources need to be accessed easily from standard computing devices; also one should be easily search and locate the right file.

Traditionally file sharing is done through windows file sharing technology also known as SMB or CIFS. These system allows windows OS to easily access files stored in a central server with user logging.  Windows file sharing supports user home drive and different level of access to different group of users. This system is sometimes limited to local area network.

A basic windows file sharing system is an essential IT service for any educational instruction.  May still uses windows file sharing for storing personal data of the user in a central server and share files among different group of users.

Enterprise content management/Document management System:

Technology has moved a long way from the day of simple windows file sharing. A document management system (DMS) or an enterprise content management system (ECM) is a computer system (or set of computer programs) used to track and store electronic documents and other medias. It is usually also capable of keeping track of the different versions modified by different users (history tracking). The term has some overlap with the concepts of content management systems. It is often viewed as a component of enterprise content management (ECM) systems and related to digital asset management, document imaging, workflow systems and records management systems.

Alfresco an enterprise content management and document management system:

Alfresco is an open source enterprise content management system for Microsoft Windows and Unix-like operating systems. A software/tool what can be used as described above. Alfresco support document management, content management, document collaboration, record management and much more. Alfresco is an enterprise content platform that you can use in the cloud or behind your firewall. It helps you store and share the documents that every business depends on. Alfresco is built for the portability of the tablet and the power of the cloud.

Key Features of ECM/DMS:

  • Complete web based ui
  • Document management (Version control, file locking, concurrency control, tag, search, site, category)
  • Activities workflow (eg. assigning tasks, and various automation)
  • Repository access via CIFS/SMB, FTP, WebDAV, NFS and CMIS
  • Web content management and Integrated publishing
  • Repository-level versioning (similar to Subversion)
  • Records management
  • Image management
  • Learning content management support for learning management systems (e.g. Moodle)
  • Desktop integration with Microsoft Office, OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice
  • Supports various authentication systems for application integration
  • Multiple database support
  • For document management and electronic content management in business of any type
  • Educational institutions for training and content development
  • For any basic to advance document collaboration activities
  • Managing other electronic media
  • Record management
  • Document and website publishing

Use of ECM/DMS (for and in)

  • For document management and electronic content management in business of any type
  • Educational institutions for training and content development
  • For any basic to advance document collaboration activities
  • Managing other electronic media
  • Record management
  • Document and website publishing

Document management with Alfresco in a school and classroom

For educational instruction we propose a complete such document management system using Alfresco which can be used to develop documents though collaboration. Alfresco is open Source and can be used free of licensing cost.

In an education setup

it can be used for developing curriculum documents using, developing policies, accreditation report which all require high degree of document collaboration.  Creating content independently and with collaboration of a very important everyday activities for the students; a document management system such as alfresco is perfect in such scenario.

In a classroom setup

Alfresco will allow student and staff to store their private document, share and collaborate on documents with their peers over a simple interface. Documents can be accessed as a network driver or cloud from the local network or over internet. Ipad and android apps are also available which provides access to all your documents on the fly over a smart interface. We can integrate alfresco with Moodle’s document repository. Alfresco helps students to learn how to do document collaboration, by developing collaborative document as class projects as they would do in their professional life just like any other skills such as email or presentation skills.  It also can help students understand the process of collaboration and take advantage of collaboration at an early stage.

How to have a document management system for your institution

You can deploy Alfresco in open source or commercial edition as per the institutions requirement. You may have running it on the cloud or in your local server. Alfresco can be integrated with your authentication system for single sign-on also as document storage for Moodle. Other application integration can also be done as required.

To implement and manage OTRS for your school, educational institution or other business you may contact me directly or contact you may contact me directly or visit http://xeois.com and http://globalsm.pw/. These companies are run by a team of people who have long experience with education industry.

Tag: International school, School, Alfresco, document management, file sharing, collaboration, education, educational institutions

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One thought on “File sharing, Document management and collaboration with Alfresco

  1. Hi, thank you for this post I agree with you that Document and file collaboration is a process which should allow multiple people work together on a single document or file and produce a final document, useful information

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