Venturing outside

About 2 years ago, I was asked to become the primary sysadmin for a new implementation of the Alfresco Enterprise Content Management system.  We’re setting it up at our university to provide a place where scholars and researchers can easily and safely gather and share digital schilarly assets, and collaborate around those assets with people from all over the world.

This was quite an undertaking for me, but–thanks to the wonderful help of a bunch of folks at Alfresco and their professional services partners, I’m feeling pretty up-to-speed these days.  (Pride goeth before the fall?)

I thought I’d create this blog to share some of the tips, tricks, and useful tweaks/tools we’ve made as we’ve figured out how to get Alfresco ECM up-and-running on our campus.

Some of the topics that I plan to cover, as time allows (please be patient–this will not be a regular publishing schedule) are listed below.  They range from the pretty trivial to the quite profoundly useful (IMHO).

Larger projects

  • Writing a script to walk the repository tree, and all the many things you can do once you have it, including dumping metadata to a tab-delimited text file.
  • Strategies for properly deleting users once they leave the university
  • Writing a script that does a pretty decent job of faking site quota functionality in Alfresco (3.3), and the gotchas once you install it.
  • Consolidating all UI customizations into a single AMP file, which makes redeploying almost trivial, and upgrades between versions a lot easier

Smaller Stuff

  • Little changes to the process of building and applying AMPs, like a small script to package up an AMP file, and a small update to the apply_amps.sh script, to keep things a little neater in the Alfresco folder.
  • Tips for how to configure Tomcat so that the root of the site is pointed to share, without having to enter /share (e.g. http://foo.bar.edu, not http://foo.bar.edu/share)
  • Tips for how to configure an Apache front end to force everything to work through HTTPS, but also to provent local caching only of the user-sensitive portions of that content
  • Smaller stuff that I’ve discovered/learned as I went along.  (Tip 1: the Google Gadgets examples work quite nicely out of the box on my 3.4EE, and provide a pretty decent smartphone-compatible interface for a few important functions.)

And so on.  I can’t promise when I’ll be able to get to writing up all of these, but I’ll attempt to do maybe 1 or 2 per month.  If there’s one that you’re particularly eager for me to write up, please let me know in the comments.

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2 Responses to Venturing outside

  1. “Strategies for properly deleting users once they leave the university” is an interesting topic.

    Looking forward to your thoughts and future blogs.

  2. icrew says:

    Peter: OK, I’ll see what I can do. I’m still very much in progress on the account deletion work, but maybe I’ll post an interim status update. Thanks for the kind words.

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