Chief Architect at Zia Consulting, Bindu Wavell, shares his BeeCon 2017 insights.
It’s been a few weeks since the culmination of this year’s event, but I’d like to share my personal BeeCon 2017 insights. BeeCon is an Alfresco community conference that was held in Zaragoza, Spain from April 25–28. This conference was conceived, planned, and delivered by and for the Alfresco community with the help of some great sponsors including Alfresco.
Both years, I’ve had the opportunity to take some vacation before and after the conference. As such, many folks have already summarized their experiences. Here are a handful:
On the first day there was a hackathon and training for folks who are new to Alfresco development. I was thrilled to get to take part in the hackathon again this year (last year the hackathon happened concurrently with the sessions making participation difficult to justify) which had a great turnout and was expertly facilitated by Axel Faust.
I was on a larger team with six other folks attempting to improve the Order of the Bee Support Tools add-on. Cesar Capillas from Zylk (one of my teammates) wrote up his experience:
This is a great project that got a lot of coverage throughout the conference. It is based off the original alfresco-support-tools project that is Enterprise-only and was recently merged into Alfresco Content Services 5.2. The Order of the Bee version works with Community as well as Enterprise and has already added a bunch of nice, new features, like some ability to manage share components and the ability to add and re-configure loggers—even ones that have not been declared in a
The smaller group of three folks I worked with during the hackathon added a log snapshotting feature to the log4j repository tool. You can set up logging exactly how you want, click the start button, and perform an action you want logging information for; optionally there is the ability to log lap numbers or even custom messages and when you click the stop button, a log file will be downloaded covering all log information between when each button was pressed.
The following two and a half days were packed with content on multiple tracks, so it was not possible to see all of the presentations that I was excited about. Fortunately most of the presentations are available from the schedule area on the BeeCon website. In addition, it looks like most, if not all, of the video recordings are linked from the same area now!
So while there are a bunch of presentations I didn’t see—though I’m looking forward to watching the videos—I want to call out a handful of sessions that I was able to attend and thought were particularly excellent.
It’s Time: Alfresco SDK 3.0
The Alfresco 3.0 SDK has been a long time coming. I think it’s fair to say that the awesome tooling we’ve ended up with would not have been possible without the dedication and effort of the presenter, Ole Hejlskov.
This version of the SDK has a ton to offer, I encourage you to review the deck or watch the presentation. For myself, I finally feel like the SDK has surpassed the work we presented in Tech Talk Live #69. This is extremely exciting for me and I can’t wait to get SDK 3.0 support wrapped up for the Alfresco Yeoman generator.
Making Proper Use of Transactional Metadata Queries
This was the first of two fantastic main track presentations by Axel Faust. In this first presentation, Axel covers a lot of information about transactional metadata query (DB backed queries) that is not available through Alfresco documentation or training. This is an area where I have a good amount of experience and there were three or four big “a-ha!” moments for me during this presentation.
Alfresco Best Practices
Luis Cabaceira came through yet again, with a gold mine of information on best practices. In addition to the presentation he pushed a huge post with a lot more detail to the community site. There is a ton of information here for anyone interested in technical aspects of running Alfresco.
10 Novel Ways to Use Alfresco
A great talk full of camels from Gethin James. If I’m being pedantic, there were only nine novel ways to use Alfresco. Having said that, some of these nine, like the fact that Alfresco has been shipping Apache Camel for example, warrant multiple novel ways to use Alfresco! I was particularly excited about the possibilities created by the demo of using Camel to send audit data to Apache Kafka.
The Art of the Cache
This was the second full presentation from Axel Faust, and was my favorite presentation from the whole conference. Anyone who has spent even the smallest amount of time participating with the Alfresco community over the last few years will be familiar with Axel and also will likely have a sense of how deeply he dives into things.
One of the low-level projects Axel has worked on is replacing/updating some of the caching implementation in Alfresco. Based on these efforts, Axel has amassed a huge amount of detailed information about Alfresco caches and specifically cache tuning. While this talk is primarily about repository tier caching, there is a little bit of information on caching in general and others such as SOLR caching that should be considered when optimizing Alfresco installations.
There were four full sessions of lightning talks this year. I find that these are always of great value so I went to all of them. Rather than paste links to every single presentation, following are links to videos for some that I particularly enjoyed. Having said that, I’d encourage you to check them all out!
And now, in addition to my BeeCon 2017 insights, it’s time for some shameless self promotion. I gave a talk on the last day about Supporting Alfresco Installations, the deck is here. This is a basic to intermediate talk with tips and tricks for both performing support and then escalating to Alfresco (for Enterprise) or JIRA (for Community). I was surprised and honored that so many of the community all-stars came to this talk given the more introductory nature of the material.
I’d like to send out a huge thanks to everyone who was involved in bringing this event together from the organizers, to the sponsors, presenters, and folks who came for the truly engaging presentations and conversations. This is a fantastic event and I hope it continues like this for many years to come! If you have not had the great good luck to attend this conference, I hope you will find a way to attend next year.
Bindu Wavell is the Chief Architect at Zia Consulting. He has been involved in enterprise system integration consulting for more than 24 years. At Zia, Bindu provides guidance and mentoring around enterprise content management architecture and design in addition to working hands-on with customers to deliver high value solutions. Bindu has been working on enterprise content management engagements for the past 10 years. Previously he worked at eConvergent and Aspect Communications focusing on customer relationship management systems. Bindu is passionate about tea and quite interested in hobby robotics and automation.