Adobe and Alfresco announced a significant partnership today to embed Alfresco's content management software into Adobe's LiveCycle Enterprise Suite. The inclusion of Alfresco enriches the Adobe LiveCycle experience, as Adobe's Brian Wick notes:
For example, if a user is filling out a loan package, the application would go into the repository to package together other content related to the process.
"It's much easier, much quicker for our customers to build LiveCycle apps with the content services piece built in," Wick said.
I'm biased, but I see this as one more step to facilitating content as the center of the web/software experience. As Adobe customers like the State of Louisiana are suggesting, it makes it easy to link content to a process or application. It has wide applicability to governments, healthcare organizations, and other enterprises that need to wrap business processes around content.
Adobe notes that Alfresco was a clear choice:
Alfresco has a fantastic light-weight installation. It is J2EE server based so it is very much aligned with our architecture. We're able with this release to totally embed it. We've done extensive customization to the UIs to add additional capabilities to them. We've integrated them tightly with the various solution components within LiveCycle.
Adobe "gets" content. It's one of the only credible competitors to Microsoft in the office productivity application market, and doubly so because of the way it ties content into enterprise business processes. Microsoft does this with Sharepoint, but it's hard to name any other competitor that effectively does the same.
It will be fascinating to watch how this plays out. Adobe is increasingly friendly to open source (Flex, etc.), while Microsoft continues to struggle to embrace open-source disruption. Could open source give Adobe an edge?