First, a little background information …
What is Alfresco?
Alfresco is an open source ECM system that enables the end user to store information, collaborate on content and projects, track major and minor versions of documents, use online discussion forums to raise and discuss issues, and create virtual teams. It is relatively simple to use, making it one of the most popular open source repositories used.
What is an Enterprise Content Management (ECM)?
ECM is a system used to manage the life-cycle of information within an enterprise from the initial publication or creation of information, all the way through to its archival and eventual disposal. It encompasses document management, web content management, search, collaboration, records management, digital asset management (DAM), work-flow management, capture and scanning. The aim of ECM is to make the management of corporate information easier through simplifying storage, security, version control, process routing, and retention. Benefits to an organisation include improved efficiency, better control, and reduced costs.
Alfresco and Moodle
With many corporate organisations now using systems to manage their information as well as systems to deliver their training requirements, it makes sense to develop a tool so that users can work seamlessly between the different systems.
Currently Moodle 2 has a repository plug-in to connect to Alfresco. This plug-in enables users to link to or copy files from Alfresco into Moodle. It is limited in that it does not allow users to link files the other way – from Moodle into Alfresco.
After several months of working with Alfresco and Moodle 2.0, Brightcookie has released two repository plug-in versions that allow Moodle users to upload, embed and manage files and documents from Moodle to Alfresco.
1. Extended Moodle 2 Alfresco repository plug-in
This plug-in extends the current Moodle 2 Repository plug-in with the “Manage” feature (see screenshot) which allows users to browse and upload files and documents to Alfresco.
In this plug-in, the Moodle administrator can allow users to either log-in using their own Alfresco account or an Alfresco preset account. If the administrator uses an Alfresco preset account, the system will log in to Alfresco automatically when the user opens this plug-in.
2. Alfresco plug-in using Portlet
This is a full Alfresco plug-in in Moodle with uploading, embedding, editing, downloading, previewing files and documents, and controlling meta-data functions. Theoretically, this plug-in can be used as a single sign on (SSO) solution (e.g. CAS). In this case, users do not need to re-log in to Alfresco; the system uses the same authentication that Moodle uses to log in to Alfresco. Brightcookie is currently in the process of conducting final tests with this plug-in.
If you want to have more details or discuss about these plug-ins, please contact us.