Simplifying Alfresco Extension Development
Bindu Wavell, Chief Architect at Zia Consulting
This project also includes some wizards for adding common extensions such as actions, behaviors, models, and web scripts to your project. Additionally, it has helpers for adding AMP files to your project. One of these helpers is alfresco:amp-add-common. Based on which version of the SDK you are using, and if you are targeting Community or Enterprise, this will offer you a list of third-party AMPs that can be added to your project (multi-selection is possible).
In order to do this, the generator relies on these modules being published to a public Maven repository such as Maven Central or Alfresco Artifacts. Initially, the only two AMPs available from one of these repositories were Support Tools for Enterprise installs and Uploader Plus.
There are now a growing number of high-value AMPs available via one of the public Maven repositories. These include common modules such as:
- Alfresco Office Services (AOS)
- Records Management (RM)
- Support Tools
- Uploader Plus
In addition, we have recently seen some more specialized projects pushing their AMPs to a public repository, these include:
- JScript Extensions
- Share Inbound Calendar Invites
- Share Site Announcements
- Share Site Creators
- Share Site Space Templates
The alfresco:amp-add-common sub-generator supports adding any/all of these to your Yeoman generated projects with a single command.
For years I have felt it should be possible for developers to jump from any node in a document library view directly to the node browser. This is a very simple customization and I finally got around to coding this up in a reusable project. The project is called alfresco-dev-helper and is now also published to Maven Central and has been added to the alfresco:amp-add-common subgenerator.
Besides the new open in node browser document library action, this add-on enables the execute script action that is provided out-of-the-box, but disabled by default. It also exposes the change type action on the browse screens.
My plan for this project is to include simple extensions to the platform and share those that will be most useful for developers. I would not expect this module to be deployed to production.
In summary, we are continuing to make progress on the Yeoman generator for Alfresco. Recently, we have been making it easier to quickly add some useful AMPs and have started work on a sister project to the Yeoman generator where some helpful developer tools that run inside the platform and share will be made available to you.
Bindu Wavell is the Chief Architect at Zia Consulting. He has been involved in enterprise system integration consulting for the past 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.