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Developer(s) Alfresco Software, Inc.
Initial release October 28, 2002 (2002-10-28)[1]
Stable release

201707  (July 14, 2017; 6 years ago (2017-07-14))

Preview release 201806-GA  (June 28, 2018; 5 years ago (2018-06-28)) [±]
Written in Java, JavaScript
Operating system Cross-platform
Type Content management system
License(s) GNU Library or Lesser General Public License v2

Alfresco is an enterprise content management system for Microsoft Windows and Unix-like operating systems. Alfresco comes in two distributions: Alfresco Community Edition as free open-source software licensed under a GLPL v2 license and Alfresco Enterprise Edition as commercially and proprietary licensed open-source software. Its design is geared towards users who require a high degree of modularity and scalable performance. Alfresco includes a content repository, an out-of-the-box web portal framework for managing and using standard portal content, a CIFS interface that provides file system compatibility on Microsoft Windows and Unix-like operating systems, a web content management system capable of virtualizing web applications and static sites via Apache Tomcat, Lucene indexing, and Activiti workflow.

Product history

John Newton (co-founder of Documentum) and John Powell (a former COO of Business Objects) founded Alfresco Software, Inc. in 2005. Its investors include the investment firms SAP Ventures, Accel Partners, and the Mayfield Fund. The original technical staff consisted of principal engineers from Documentum and from Oracle.[2]

While Alfresco's product initially focused on document management, in May 2006 the company announced its intention to expand into web content management by acquiring senior technical and managerial staff from Interwoven. This included its VP of Web Content Management, two principal engineers, and a member of its user-interface team. [3] In 2010, Alfresco sponsored a new open-source business process management engine called Activiti.

In July 2011, Alfresco and Ephesoft announced a technology partnership to offer their users document capture and content management interoperability services brought together for intelligent PDF capture and search and workflow development.[4]

In 2012 January, Alfresco 4.0.0 was released with significant improvements over the user interface. The new version strove to move further features from Alfresco Explorer to Alfresco Share, as Alfresco Explorer is intended to be deprecated over time.


Features of Alfresco include:

  • document management
  • web content management
  • version control
  • transparent overlays
  • records management
  • auto-generated XForms with AJAX support
  • integrated publishing
  • activities workflow
  • Lucene search
  • federated servers
  • multi-language support
  • browser-based GUI
  • clustering support

Hardware/software requirements

Installation requirements may vary from Community to Enterprise edition. Learn more about these requirements via the Alfresco documentation.

Videos, screenshots, and other media

Screenshots for Alfresco can be found on the SourceForge site.

Videos of Alfresco in action can also be found on their YouTube channel.

Access the online demo here.

Entities using Alfresco

Examples of entities using both the Community and Enterprise editions of Alfresco include:

Aker Oilfield Services, Boise Cascade, Christian Science Monitor, Cisco, CRIX, EADS, Estrella Galicia, Harvard Business School Publishing, Hagos, H&R Block, La Poste, Merck, Molecular NeuroImaging, National Academy of Sciences, Netherlands National Vaccine Institute, New York Philharmonic, North West University, NXP Semiconductors, Office Depot, Orbitz, Plastic Omnium, Shimano, Swisscom Mobile Labs, University of Westminster

A full directory of Alfresco users can be found at the Alfresco website.

Further reading

  • Shariff, Munwar; Amita Bhandari; Pallika Majmudar; Vinita Choudhary (2010). Alfresco 3 Web Content Management. Packt Publishing. pp. 440. ISBN 1847198007. 

External links