Friday, 1 April 2016

3 Alfresco Share add-on topics to enhance user experience with Alfresco

Add-on is a great way to have additional functionalities/features/customization added on top of out-of-the-box Alfresco. Having the add-on with great functionalities which is freely available adds a lot of value for anyone using Alfresco.

I have 3 topics in my mind for Alfresco Share add-on and I think once implemented they surely will be useful for the users using Alfresco and will enrich their experience using Alfresco.

The list goes as following.

1. Workflow routing when user is out-of-office
Workflows are the integral part of any business solution implemented using Alfresco. Think of a scenario where a user is going on vacation and he wants to set someone else as an approver on his behalf for that specific duration. Hence, during his vacation period all the workflow tasks those are going to be assigned to him, should be sent to the approver he has setup. This seems to me a very generic functionality and having it implemented will surely complement out-of-the-box Alfresco Share workflow functionality and will help end users to have a simplified process.

2. Workflow assignees from a specific group
Sometimes in a workflow process, it may happen that you want to assign task to some users from some specific group only (not want to assign workflow task to entire group) and not want to search for users from the entire repository while selecting the assignee for the task. Instead you just want to have the select assignee popup pre-populated on the left hand side with users from the specific group for the workflow task and from this list user can select assignees. This will make it very easy for the end user to select the next approver and need not to worry about searching specific user from the repository in such scenarios.

3. Enhanced view of document details
Presently, from the document library, user clicks on a document which opens up document details screen and from there if user wants to take a look at another document, he has to come back to document library folder again. What if we have an additional view where the document/folder tree would be on the left hand side on document details page and click on it and the document details get updated with the newly selected document. Hence, from a single screen user can take a look at details of document without going back. I think this will be very useful.

These are the topics at high-level and if I get time would like to work on it to get them implemented and available as freely available add-on. If you have any comments to share on this ideas or any thoughts you have on this ideas, do share your thoughts. Also, if you would be interested to develop and contribute them as freely available add-on you are most welcome.

Another one topic that is not related to user experience however, it can help while working on some production issues. Sometimes it may happen that some functionality is not working for some XYZ user in production environment. While solving the functionality, only the issue description would not suffice and you may have to do followups with user in order to understand the problem. What if there is an option, wherein admin user has privilege after login to alfresco to run as other user. For example, admin user selects to run the present session as XYZ user to see what is going wrong and later on switch back from this context to his own. Just an idea and not sure how feasible it is, however I think could be a great help while solving/debugging some critical issues.


  1. I also want to take the time to work on the item 2, as I consider that to be important and useful.
    About that, I have found this blog post that could be useful

    I would love to work on that with you.

    Let me know what you think.

    1. Thank you Douglas C.R.Paes. Surely, We can work on item 2. It would be great to work with you on it. Kindly let me know if you have any thoughts on how shall we proceed on it.

    2. I'm starting to work on this in the next week.
      I will let you know about it

    3. Hello Ramesh.

      Just to let you know... I've just released a first version of the project

      Please, check it out and let me know what you think.

    4. Thank you Douglas C.R.Paes. I will update you soon on it.

    5. Hi Douglas C.R.Paes, This looks good and would surely be very helpful. Thanks a lot for taking this up. Really appreciate it.