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Technology

Both Nuxeo and Alfresco are based on J2EE architecture, with JBoss as application server and a set of standards for access to documents such as WebDAV and other. Nuxeo does not implement (as of now) the CIFS access interface.

Both platforms are developing the CMIS standard for document management, with companies such as IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, EMC Documentum and Open Text.

Open source

  • Nuxeo - open source project with one version
  • Alfresco
    • Labs version - open source with own lifecycle - bug fixes, adding new functionality and removing other come together
    • Enterprise version - closed source and paid. Some features like Clustering, multiple browser support are only available in the Enterprise edition.

Nuxeo is a real open source project. Alfresco is semi-open source.

Community

  • Nuxeo - small active community with good support and response time
  • Alfresco - large community but poor support and response time

Nuxeo community is more effective with better support, Alfresco is larger with more topic covered.

Roadmap

Both products have roadmaps emphasizing on the weaknesses and therefore trying to catch up with missing functionality.

Functionality

  • Nuxeo
    • Document  Management 
    • Collaboration and Content Management
    • Renditions, preview and annotations
    • Process Management and content automation
    • eMails
    • Digital Asset Management
    • Security Management
    • Portal and Web views
    • Commonly used database systems, including Oracle, MS SQL Server, and PostgreSQL
    • Enterprise authentication schemes, with a pluggable authentication system and connections to LDAP and ActiveDirectory servers
    • Modular OSGi based architecture
    • Many external components that can bring more functionality
    • Lucene search
    • Semantic components
  • Alfresco 

As Nuxeo states it is designed by developers for developers. The Nuxeo Enterprise Platform is fully based on and built with a plug-in architecture, leveraging OSGi and a powerful extension point model. Deployment capabilities are one of the strengths of the platform, enabling a well-orchestrated and controlled delivery of new features and updates. 

Alfresco main advantage is the rich functionality and connectivity features. It has nice customization and process definition capabilities and more built in widgets. 

Nuxeo brings better abstraction on the content notion with transparent model and schemas while Alfresco introduces meta data extenstions and aspects.

Nuxeo has introduced semantic technology and it will be enhanced as seen on its roadmap.

Extensibility

  • Nuxeo - OSGi based model with components, services and nice extension points
  • Alfresco - Aspect Oriented approach

Both are extensible. Nuxeo has very flexible architecture for modular development based on plugins with components and extension points. Alfresco introduces AOP approach which can be powerful and simple for one cases and very difficult and restricting for another.

Usability

Most reviews give Nuxeo advantage in terms of simplicity and nice look. Alfresco GUI feels overemphasized and hard to work with. Both has drag&drop support while Nuxeo has better browser support. Nuxeo live edit also works in various configurations as Firefox + Open Office + Ubuntu while Alfreso has limitations. Both workflows, version and search look fairly equal from usability point of view.

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