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Enterprise content management (ECM) is
characterised by a combination of electronic
document management tools (EDM or DMS) and
content management systems (CMS).

ECM can increase an organisation’s efficiency by

offering its personnel a practical and efficient solution
for creating, locating and using information – whether
or not it is structured or included in a document.
At present, open source EDM solutions have reached
an extraordinary level of maturity and can compete
on equal terms with the main commercial products,
providing unique benefits in terms of openness,
longevity and pricing.
Alfresco, Nuxeo, Knowledge Tree, Maarch, Jahia and
more: the available supply of open source document
management solutions is expanding every day.

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Alfresco

Version studied: 3.4
Website: www.alfresco.com
Vendor driven solution (Alfresco Software)

Alfresco is the ECM solution created in 2005 by British vendor Alfresco Software, itself
founded the same year by former executives at Documentum and Business Object. The
company now operates directly in England, France and the United States.
Alfresco offers all the expected document management functionalities: metadata, document
types, document workflows and advanced workflows, category management, collaboration
tools, searches, management of multiple, independent databases, web content management
and more.
Alfresco comes in two editions: a free Labs edition under the GPL and an Enterprise edition
that gives access to the vendor’s warranty, to RM and integrated clustering modules and to
intermediate versions.
Alfresco is written in JEE and has strong development dynamics as well as a large community
of users and developers. The Alfresco Forge site is also worthy of note, with its wide variety of
plug-ins.

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Page 232

Nuxeo

Version studied: 5.4.2
Website: www.nuxeo.com
Vendor driven solution (Nuxeo)

Nuxeo is a French company founded by Stéfane Fermigier, that has been producing an open
source EDM solution since 2001. Nuxeo Enterprise Platform is the result of the migration of
the Zope based version in Python to Java. The company currently operates in France and the
United States.
The solution provides for complete enterprise content management, incorporating metadata,
document types, advanced workflows, category management, collaboration functions,
searches, complex content management (web, multi-file, structured, etc.), multiple database
management and more. The tool sets itself apart thanks to various special aspects: a theme

editor, the concept of typed “relationships” between different contents, vocabulary

management, the concept of the publication section, completely modular architecture, etc.
Nuxeo is published under the LGPL.
Nuxeo is built on JEE technologies and uses open source components from the JBoss, Apache

and Eclipse projects and from Sun’s open source projects.

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Page 233

Knowledge Tree

Version studied: 3.7
Website: www.knowledgetree.com
Vendor driven solution (Jam Warehouse)

Knowledge Tree is an EDM solution developed by the South African company Jam
Warehouse.
Knowledge Tree has a complete set of functionalities and multiple modules that provide for
good integration with an office environment. The application is well crafted and provides for
simple and efficient EDM. We particularly appreciated the streamlined, immediately
operational standard interface, the advanced search functionality that will meet the most
demanding needs for complex searches, the admin functions, the default virtual navigation
modes and the ergonomics of the module when integrated with MS Office, to name but a few
aspects.
The open source edition of Knowledge Tree incorporates the majority of its functions,
although a number of modules, namely those concerning workstation integration (hot folder,
navigation, MS Office integration, a scanner management application, etc.), are distributed
under a commercial license. The vendor’s website posts a comparison of the different
editions.
Knowledge Tree is written in PHP and runs on a LAMP platform.

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open source by Smile

Page 234

Maarch

Version studied: 1.2
Website: www.maarch.com/en
Vendor driven solution (Maerys)

Maarch is an ECM solution developed by the French firm Maerys. Its product line includes
Maarch Entreprise and Letter Box, an application dedicated to mailroom management.
Letter Box is a vertical application that can, in particular, interface with a scanner and can
manage the life cycle of correspondence circulating within the company: receipt, response
handling and archiving. It is delivered with a set of functions and an interface that is
completely mailroom oriented. Maarch Entreprise is dedicated to application design. This
distribution also includes the functions needed for corporate EDM.

The solution is licensed under the GPL v3. It should be noted that the solution’s community is

rather small, revolving closely around the vendor.
Finally, Maarch is build on an in-house PHP framework, Maarch Framework 3. This orientation
provides a solution for the design of corporate document applications.

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Page 235

Other

In the world of document management, open source supply is particularly strong. By way of
example, over and above the products presented above, the following tools can also be
added:

Name

URL / Website

Jahia

http://www.jahia.com

Freedom

http://www.dynacase.org

Quotero

http://www.quotero.com

eXo DMS

http://www.exoplatform.com

May 2012 © Copyright Smile – Open Source Solutions – Unauthorised reproduction prohibited

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open source by Smile

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