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Alfresco’s Attribute Service

Alfresco’s Attribute Service provides nodeless cluster-safe storage to code running in the Alfresco Repository. This type of storage can be very fast for CRUD operations and supports a simplistic querying capability that works against the database — no node storage or full text indexing lag between write and read. Developers can maintain efficient node-related data without modifying nodes.

Alfresco has not provided documentation for this service on their wiki or docs sites at this time. As such be wary that it’s quite possible this will change over time without warning.

View this presentation from Zia’s Bindu Wavell for more information on the Alfresco Attribute Service.


Whiteboard Series: “ACE – Advanced Closing Extraction for Ephesoft”

We’ve posted the next video in our Whiteboard Series: “ACE – Advanced Closing Extraction for Ephesoft.”

Join Pat Myers, EVP of Zia Consulting, for an overview of Zia’s Advanced Closing Extraction (ACE) for Ephesoft solution.

Advanced Closing Extraction (ACE) for Ephesoft provides enhanced capture for mortgage documents. With the size of an average mortgage loan at over 500 pages, and hundreds of different document types, the labor intensive and costly methods of processing loans used in the past are no longer possible for banks that want to compete. Now, many of the most data intensive documents such as HUD-1, GFE, Truth in Lending and more can be managed securely and efficiently with Zia’s Advanced Closing Extraction. Using Ephesoft Intelligent Document Capture, ACE automates mortgage data collection with quick implementation, carefully extracting necessary information and ensuring compliance.


Watch on Vimeo here.

White Paper: The Future of ECM from the Founder and CTO of Alfresco


From our partners @Alfresco:

Traditional ECM is not adequate

If you’re still using legacy ECM platforms like Documentum, FileNet & OpenText, your ECM infrastructure cannot adequately adapt and scale to support the explosive and disruptive changes that mobile, social, cloud and rapid globalization bring to the ECM landscape.

Bolt-on products aren’t the answer

Traditional ECM technologies were architected in a time when users and content stayed behind the firewall, on servers and PCs. They don’t have capabilities that adequately or scalably address next-generation ECM challenges – and no amount of acquisitions or bolt-on features will compensate for that lack in the core product.

Get ready for content-as-a-service

Read this thought-provoking white paper, from Alfresco CTO & Founder, John Newton, to learn how and why these technology and industry disruptors are forever changing the ECM landscape – and how you can get your organization prepared for the new, scalable content-as-a-service model required to successfully manage and leverage content in this new era.

Download the White Paper Now.

What’s in your Liferay 6.0 lar file? Part 1


We have written a lot about Liferay over the last few months touting its benefits as an integration platform and its flexibility. Recently I needed to transfer content from on Liferay system to another. I only wanted content changes that occurred in a certain date range. To do this, I navigated to pages in the control panel clicked on the export tab and selected the desired date range as shown in the picture below.liferay_lar

The resulting lar file was much larger than I anticipated. This got me thinking…what’s actually in a lar file? …  

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Alfresco Names New CEO


Alfresco has appointed former SuccessFactors President Doug Dennerline as their new CEO.  Doug was previously President of the Software as a Service (SaaS) provider SuccessFactors which was acquired by SAP last year for $3.4 billion; before that he was chief executive of the Webex division of Cisco.

Doug replaces John Powell, cofounder with John Newton of Alfresco Software in 2002 and CEO up until now.

We have enjoyed a great relationship with John Powell over the years and have appreciated his support.  John visited with us last October when he gave a keynote address at the Zia sponsored Paper to mobile Summit here in Boulder.  (you can see his address in its entirety here.)  While he was here we had a chance to interview him about Alfresco’s relationship with Zia.  Here’s what he had to say.

inside_look icon


Check out this inside look video.


And of course, we are  looking forward to working with Doug going forward.  We are impressed with credentials and with his vision for ECM and we are anxious to share our views with him.

You can read the complete text of the Alfresco press release here.


5 Things We Love About Liferay

Liferay Gold Partner


There are a number of things we like about Liferay and once you start using Liferay it is easy to see why. Liferay is a leader in the portal space (according to Gartner, not just Zia). It also has a highly flexible user interface and integration platform that makes it easy to use. In fact, we recommend it as a go to technology for Web development and integration.

With so many great things about Liferay, it was hard for me to narrow it down to 5 things for our recent Webinar. In case you missed the “Favorite Things about Liferay” webinar, here are the top five reasons Zia loves Liferay:

1) Open architecture – Liferay is extremely flexible as an environment and can be used with any Java application server and any database that is JDBC compliant. This means that most companies will able to leverage existing technology investments with Liferay. You can use products like Tomcat, JBoss, WebLogic, WebSphere, MySQL, Oracle or SQL Server. You can also use any Java web framework such as Liferay MVC, Spring Portlet MVC, Struts, JSF or GWT. As with any open source product, Liferay customers benefit from being able to ‘see under the hood’ and look at the source code to address problems and report bugs/fixes. This open architecture makes Liferay both an excellent social platform (wikis, blogs, etc.) and integration platform. On a recent customer engagement, I used Liferay to integrate with an ERP, CRM, ESB and several web services.


2) Fast Site Creation – For any company that is consistently adding or updating site content, Liferay makes it easy to quickly create and add a web page. Content creators can create new pages with little technical background and with minimal or no IT involvement. This puts the control back in the content creator’s hands and frees up IT resources. From a developer standpoint, it is easy to mock up sites for new projects and manage overall site creation. Liferay’s content management system manages all file types including images, documents, videos, and web content. Web content can be a simple snippet of HTML, or a complex mix of images and HTML that are neatly organized using structures.  The structure is then combined with a template for displaying the web content, so that content contributors can focus on the content and not technical details. Liferay makes it easy to create content, update navigation menus, and create pages and sites in minutes.


3) Liferay Plugins – With Liferay you do not need to re-create the wheel. The functionality you need to build your web presence is often available in an existing Liferay plugin. A brief list of the most commonly used plugins are web content display, sign in (user login and forgot password), social media features (such as chat, Wikis, message boards, blogs, etc.) and web proxy. The web proxy feature is great because it allows you to expose legacy web applications in your enterprise through Liferay so that they are all managed the same way. You can customize Liferay plugins in several ways, including the portlet’s UI configuration settings, control panel, and This saves time by avoiding rewriting code. If configuration changes are not enough, you can use Liferay hooks to change JSPs, CSS, and actions (to name just a few). Zia has a lot of experience customizing Liferay using hooks. For example, we have helped many companies customize the sign in plugin by putting in a company’s own look and feel or adding in pages and documents / terms that a user has to agree to. Hooks can also be used to integration with other systems such as LDAP, ERP, CRM, etc.


4) Fast Theme Development – Themes are a common way to customize the ‘look’ of a portal. Using themes is easy in Liferay compared to other technologies. In some cases it might be fine to build a quick site using the Classic theme that comes with Liferay. For a public facing site or sites geared towards a large number of users – custom themes are a must. You can modify the look and feel using basic web technologies such as Velocity, HTML, JavaScript, CSS and images.


5) Responsive Layout – A major trend in the web world is responsive layout. This allows a website to be used on any web enabled device – not just the traditional desktop. With tablets and smartphones dominating the marketplace, companies need websites that work on these smaller screen sizes. Responsive layout enables you to develop a site that works on tablets and smartphones. This ensures that your site will be relevant for a long time, thereby reducing your annual IT spending. Liferay can detect the screen width of a device, using CSS media queries and JavaScript. All you need to do is specify the CSS for each of the four common display sizes. A great example of this is the Liferay website. Test it using your iPad, iPhone and desktop. You will see how the images decrease in size or are hidden while the content and navigation remains the same. Companies need to incorporate this into websites today to avoid building new websites in a year or two.

There are lots of things I love about Liferay and these are just the top five. One additional feature specific to Version 6.1 that I am excited about is the out of the box previewing of PDF and Word documents. This will save companies a lot of development time.

If you want more information on these features, view our On Demand Webinar to see how easy it is to create pages, use plugins and custom development pages. Or contact Zia directly for more information on how we can help you leverage Liferay in your organization.

Simplify Invoice Processing Using Ephesoft

Invoice processing is no easy task and can be a time consuming and resource intensive task. Even with a variety of different solutions on the market, most companies still manually process invoices. Technology costs and complexity have been barriers to automating invoicing, but with Ephesoft that is no longer the case.

We recently helped a growing ecommerce site,, implement Ephesoft to automate its invoicing processing to improve overall procurement and accounting processes. Like most growing businesses, eReplacementParts’ manual invoicing process had become inefficient. For a company that promotes reuse and sustainability, the process was anything but green.

Zia worked with eReplacementParts to assess their needs and determine how Ephesoft could be used in their environment and on their budget. eReplacementParts is a tech savvy company and while they did the implementation themselves – they needed help to ensure they configured and customized the system properly for their environment. Zia also provided support through their implementation.

Today, the company can quickly and easily convert paper invoices to electronic ones – regardless of document format documents to electronic. When invoices are received they can be scanned into the system and sent directly to the Ephesoft server where text is extracted from the documents into forms and integrated with the company’s ERP system. The system retrieves the appropriate data fields for classification and validates the information with POs. It will also flag exceptions or direct a document to the appropriate system for processing.

With Ephesoft, eReplacementparts has moved from a manual process to an automated process – saving time, improving system accuracy and reducing paper waste. They are a great example of how companies can cost effectively use intelligent document capture technology to simplify the task of invoice processing. If you are struggling to manage your invoice process – Ephesoft could be the right solution for you!

Download the full case study to learn more about eReplacementparts use of Ephesoft or check out our newly published book on Ephesoft titled, Intelligent Document Capture with Ephesoft


Ike Kavas CTO Ephesoft on Document Capture Technology

We were fortunate to have Ike Kavas, CTO of Ephesoft at the Zia Paper to Mobile Summit held at the Zia HQ in Boulder.   Ike provided us with a very entertaining and informative keynote address reflecting from a technology perspective on the past, present and future of document capture.  Have a look and enjoy!


Check out this inside look video.


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Why are we so excited about Ephesoft?

We have worked with a lot of different document capture technologies over the years and we believe Ephesoft is truly a next generation product.  This year Zia Consulting was named Ephesoft 2011 Partner of the Year  and we create solutions with it every day. Based on our experience creating Document Capture solutions for our customers, here are a few key reasons why we are so excited about Ephesoft and why you might be too.

Cost Savings

Yes, there is a huge cost savings associated with Ephesoft and it is clearly seen for those high-end customers that have complex document capture requirements.  For example, Kofax is very module and volume driven which can drive up the costs – especially for those customers that require its full functionality. If you using Kofax Transformation Modules (KTM) with invoice processing, 10 fields of extraction and table extraction, etc. – then you will see a 90 percent savings by moving to Ephesoft.  For these types of customers, it’s an easy value proposition which translates to tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of dollars saved.  However, not all companies will see this type of savings – it depends on the type of solution / features you require.


John Powell CEO Alfresco Keynote Address Video

We all know that ECM doesn’t rate too high on the “glamorous business” scale, but if there were an ECM superstar, John Powell CEO of Alfresco, would be the guy.  We were all very excited when he attended the Zia Paper to Mobile Summit held at the Zia HQ in Boulder and presented a keynote address.  See what he has to say about the history of Alfresco, the current state of ECM and what the future holds with Alfresco.


Check out this inside look video.




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