I normally don’t review books, but I wanted a quick way to get up to speed on the architecture and some of the features of Alfresco. Even though this book is over 3.5 years old, I figured the core features should be the same.
The book does a good job introducing the various components of Alfresco. I say components, but in reality, they are more like separate products based on same core technology. The book starts with installation of the product, followed by best practices in implementing an Alfresco solution. The inclusion of this section early on in the book was quite novel. Most IT books jump right into the product features. This is where many implementations fail. Dont build a solution around the technology, let the business requirements drive the solution. If the technology does not make sense, then a good consultant should tell the client from the get go.
The majority of the book covers product features including: security, spaces, search, workflow, and collaboration. Throughout the book, the author provides ample configuration code to drive how Alfresco can be easily customized. There is abundant amount of screenshots, which I can understand if a reader was just reading the book and not actually playing with the application. Personally, I flipped through the pages where there were a lot images and focused on the technical description of the features.
The only problem I had with the book is the chapter on workflow. It didn’t flow like the rest of the book. I’m not sure if the hodge-podge of sections was because of the technology itself or the author did not spend time to come up with a cohesive example that could be used to explain the various types of workflows.
There is also a chapter dedicated to maintenance of Alfresco. Nice touch. The final chapter talks about implementing a imaging and forms processing solution using Alfresco. I liked this chapter the most, because it ties a lot of the features discussed in the book around real use cases that a potential client might be interested in.
Would I recommend this book to someone else – definitely, if you want to learn about Alfresco. There is actually a newer version of this book – “Alfresco 3 Enterprise Content Management Implementation” that was just released last month.