Common Questions: Books on Writing JavaScript for Alfresco

Writing JavaScript for Alfresco

As a leading Alfresco partner, we receive a lot of questions on best practices for implementation and usage of the platform. We will begin sharing this ECM knowledge through a series entitled Common Questions. In this installment, we look at a question we received about the best books and resources around writing JavaScript for Alfresco. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us today.

Alfresco 3 Cookbook – Writing JavaScript for Alfresco

Alfresco 3 Cookbook – Snig Bhaumik


Do you have any recommendation on JavaScript books for Alfresco? We found Alfresco 3 Cookbook online and would like to know if there is a more recent version or of any resources you have around writing JavaScript for Alfresco.


Unfortunately, the Alfresco 3 Cookbook has not been updated in a long time. While you may find some great material in there, your mileage may vary.

We know that Packt is working on a new version of the Alfresco Developer Guide as Bindu Wavell, our Chief Architect, is a technical reviewer. We do not know the release date at this time.

Alfresco Development Tutorial – Writing JavaScript for Alfresco

Alfresco Development Tutorial – Jeff Potts

The current updates to this book include several recipe-style, step-by-step sections to quickly get things done. This is a go-to book for Alfresco development, but the current edition is old enough that some key things—like how to create an extension project—have changed significantly. A lot of this information comes from Jeff Potts’ Alfresco Development Tutorial series. He has done a great job of keeping this series up to date.


Another book from Packt that talks about writing JavaScript and Java for WebScripts can be seen here. It’s quite a bit newer than the previous one and is focused on WebScripts rather than covering more general topics.

You can also view Bindu’s Alfresco Summit presentation where he talks about creating JavaScript administration scripts.

Another great new resource is the Alfresco community site. This is a Jive platform site that has all the old forum and wiki content, but also a lot of activity from the community. It’s a great place to ask development questions and get answers from true rockstars in the community.

Finally, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention that the developer documentation at Alfresco has improved drastically over the past year and a half. You may find some good info here.

Case Study: Athabasca University – Document Management 101


Athabasca University: Document Management 101

Customer Facts

Company: Athabasca University

Technology: Alfresco and Ephesoft

Solution: Utilizing Ephesoft and Alfresco, Athabasca optimized the processing of student-related documents for the Office of the Registrar


  • Average processing time reduced from 13 weeks to four
  • Reduced costs associated with maintaining microfiche and microfilm tapes
  • Employee hours are now spent more efficiently
  • Student satisfaction has increased thanks to faster replies
  • Solution is compliant with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy act

About the Company
Athabasca University is a world-class leader in distance education with an average of 40,000 students spread over multiple campus centers and countries.

The SituationAthabasca University–Quote
The university had been using microfilm and microfiche machines to store 34 types of student documents including transcripts, credit transfers, third-party billings, and name change requests, to name a few. More than 20,000 transcripts alone are processed per year for the student body. Each campus had to email the main campus to do a document retrieval, causing delays. The wall of tapes was becoming overwhelming and difficult to manage. Document retrieval required logging in to a system to find the appropriate row number, then finding the tape, then finding the document, printing it out, and mailing it if needed. One typo meant the tape couldn’t be found among the thousands stored. Compliance with the Canadian government for disposal was crucial, wait times for students needed to be reduced, and employee hours to be used more efficiently.

The Process
Zia Consulting had worked previously with Athabasca University to implement Alfresco in other departments. The success they saw helped them to decide to implement it in the office of the registrar as well. They knew the system would work for document storage with the capability to search. The university also had Ephesoft prior to the project beginning. Based on their deep experience with both Alfresco and Ephesoft, Zia was contacted in order to create a solution that would utilize these technologies to efficiently classify and extract from the various document types, as well as store the records.

The Solution
Zia assisted Athabasca as a consultant to streamline the document system and make it accessible to all campuses. The process started with creating a system for managing transcripts. Through Ephesoft, documents were tagged with metadata using OCR, and then every document was verified by operators before it was sent through Alfresco.

Once the initial test was determined to be a success, a project was started for the other 33 document types. Since this is a government institution, all compliance procedures must be followed. The project was approved and a general batch class was started with different document types. This was developed and the batch class was launched, handling everything from the office of the registrar regarding students.

An on-demand migration was decided on so that any student documents that are pulled from the tapes are then uploaded into Alfresco. Older tapes are set to a disposition schedule that is in keeping with government mandates.  

The Results
Once the solution was live, the benefits became apparent almost immediately. Across all campuses, employees were able to get the transcripts when they needed them and average evaluation time dropped from 13 weeks to four. Employee satisfaction was high with this project as time spent looking for documents was decreased as were frustrations. The microfilm and microfiche tapes were used minimally.

The Athabasca team is now looking to implement similar systems to other departments in the university. As with the office of the registrar, these departments are currently processing many of their required documents manually—from applications to invoices.

In addition, Athabasca believes they will also save money when a program is put in place to utilize the system for exam grading. Though an online university, Athabasca has exam centers across Canada and the US where students take exams which are then mailed back to the university. By giving exam centers a way to scan and email the exams, they can automatically go to Alfresco and into a folder where an email is then sent to the appropriate professor. After grading, it goes back into Alfresco and results are emailed back to the student.

Beyond the direct cost and time benefits, governance has also been significantly improved. Security is now stronger and Athabasca is compliant with Alberta’s Freedom of Information and the Protection of Privacy (FOIP) act.


AIIM Conference 2017 – The Process is Right

AIIM Conference 2017The Process is Right at AIIM Conference 2017

Zia Consulting is sponsoring the  AIIM Conference 2017 in Orlando March 13–16. This year’s focus on digital transformation promises an insightful event with topics such as:

  • The future of enterprise content management
  • Business process management improvements
  • Gaining insight to better understand and engage your customers and employees

Stop by and see Zia at booth #29 to play our fun game, Zlinko, for a chance to win a pebble watch or Apple TV. We’ll have demos and information on automating document processes to increase productivity and decrease human error. Our solutions leverage modern intelligent capture to automatically classify, sort, and extract data from paper, fax, and electronic documents—from the mailroom to the mobile device.

Visitors to the booth will also learn about Captricity handwriting recognition technology. It helps leading organizations unlock access to customer data to optimize business processes, improve decision making, and enhance the customer experience. As the most accurate data capture solution for complex handwritten and typed forms offers access to transactional and legacy data trapped on paper forms—fast, secure and 99.9%+ accurate.

Don’t miss these sessions at AIIM

Unlock the Power of Handwriting Recognition to Optimize Your Business Processes
Mike Mahon, Co-Founder and CEO at Zia Consulting
3/15, 11:40am–12:25pm

Content Solutions: How to Transform Your Business Without Replacing Your Core Management System
Brian Gray, CIO at Baldwin & Lyons Insurance
3/15, 3:35–4:20pm

To set up a meeting during the AIIM conference along with a personalized demo, contact us today.

Zia Consulting to Sponsor Alfresco Day NYC 2017

Alfresco Day NYC 2017Alfresco Day NYC 2017: Learn about automation solutions from Zia Consulting and hear from leaders in ECM and BPM.

Zia Consulting, Inc., the leading provider of Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and Intelligent Document Capture business solutions, and three-time Alfresco Partner of the Year, will sponsor Alfresco Day NYC 2017. The event will take place Tuesday, February 7, 2016 from 8:30a.m.–3:45p.m. at the Apella Event Space at Alexandria Center.

Digital technology has changed the business landscape in every imaginable way. How employees work, where value comes from, how to gain an edge, and the importance of security to name a few. In the current environment of “anywhere, anytime, always-on” innovation and productivity, businesses are looking to leverage technology in order to extract the most possible value for workers and customers.

During this one-day seminar, attendees will hear from Alfresco executives, customers, and partners on how they are leveraging the Alfresco platform to:

  • Regain control of critical business content
  • Strengthen compliance
  • Optimize processes
  • Gain a competitive edge

Emily Long, Senior Director of Business Development at Zia Consulting, said, “At Alfresco Day NYC 2017, we know that many of the attendees will come from financial services organizations. Our experience in delivering automation solutions across insurance, mortgage, and others rapidly improves profitability and enhances compliance.” Zia will show how their automation solutions integrate with everything from Salesforce to Microsoft Dynamics.

The Zia Consulting table will feature demos and case studies on how their automation solutions can decrease costs, increase profitability, and address records management. For more information, or to register for Alfresco Day, click here.

Denver Event: The Evolution of ECMComplimentary event about the evolution of ECM and process management.

Zia Consulting, Inc., the leading provider of Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and Intelligent Document Capture business solutions, along with partner Alfresco, will host The Evolution of ECM—an informative event on digital transformation. The presentation and happy hour will be held on Thursday, February 16, 2017, from 3–7:00 pm MST at the Downtown Aquarium located at 700 Water Street in Denver, Colorado.

News and opinions on the recent acquisition of Documentum by OpenText has left many with questions on what it means in the ECM industry. With major changes like this, it’s clear that some technologies are advancing with the ever-changing needs of their customers and some are not. There are several key risks associated with continued use of legacy systems like Documentum, such as lack of innovation, difficulty with integrations, and an elusive licensing model.

As the complexity of content continues to grow—with multiple types of devices, accessibility anywhere, and increased security risks—companies are looking for modern platforms that can respond quickly. However, with a rapidly changing ECM landscape it can be difficult to understand the available solutions and what to consider in the buying process. Clients of Zia Consulting have reported results such as migrating 10 million documents in just seven days through a phased migration and strong user adoption by allowing employees to work in a native environment. Through intelligent classification and extraction, advanced workflow/BPM, content management, and enterprise integration, their clients see cost savings, a reduction in paper, enhanced customer service, and improved governance.

Zia Consulting and Alfresco will bring their Denver-area customers together to share their inspiration on new thinking for enterprise content and process management. Attendees of The Evolution of ECM will learn how customers have made significant technology changes and advancements to revolutionize how they do business and manage information and how they are able to build applications that meet the needs of their business faster than ever before.

For more information and to register, click here.