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Alfresco API opens up cloud service to mobile developers

Mobile developers will be able to embed Alfresco content management capabilities within their applications.

Alfresco on Tuesday announced an API (application programming interface) that will allow developers to integrate their applications with the company's cloud-based content management service.

There are a growing number of options for developers who want to add cloud-based features to their mobile applications, including Amazon Web Services' Mobile SDK (software development kit), and now Alfresco's cloud API.

Alfresco also pitches the interface as a more enterprise-ready alternative to APIs from services such as Dropbox, Box or Apple's iCloud.

"We have been offering a cloud-based version of Alfresco for a while and what we really wanted to do was open it up to developers whose applications work with files and documents," said Jeff Potts, chief community officer at Alfresco.

The API allows developers to implement features to manage content, and users of their apps will be able to add ratings and write comments. There is also support for taking advantage of metadata, according to Potts.

The recently announced Alfresco Connector for Salesforce is the first to use the new cloud API. The connector allows users to upload, share, tag and edit content directly from within Salesforce.

To simplify the development work, Alfresco will also release SDKs for Android and iOS at the end of October.

Alfresco's cloud API is based on Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS) and developers who are familiar with it will also be familiar with most parts of the interface, according to Potts. There are also proprietary parts that have been added to build on the functionality CMIS offers, he said.

There are two versions of the API: one that is used when an application is being developed and one for production use. The difference is the number of calls applications can make per second and per day, but both are free.

Alfresco is demonstrating the new cloud API at JavaOne this week in San Francisco. Potts will also reveal more details during his "Building Content-Rich Java Apps in the Cloud or On-Premises with the Alfresco API" presentation at JavaOne on Tuesday.

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