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In the briefing room: Alfresco 3.2 Records Management

The sheer volume of content that is generated by an organization in this day and age is nothing short of staggering.

Even more daunting is the task of managing that information for compliance and record keeping. The records that an organization must keep clearly qualify as content, and in today’s volatile economy and regulatory climate, records management functionality in an Enterprise Content Management system is not simply a nice-to-have capability, but a necessity.

To meet the need for managing the lifecycle of content and information, Alfresco recently announced version 3.2 of its ECM solution. Significantly new in the release is a records management module, Alfresco RM, as well as some advanced e-mail archiving functionality.

The Records Management module meets the Department of Defense (DoD) 5015.2 certification and it is thus far the only open source solution to achieve this. The RM module enables administrators to set up storage policies that manage the retention of data so that records that are no longer needed for compliance may be deleted or archived. The module also defines rules for moving content, so that the most current versions of records are kept in easily accessible storage locations, such as faster drives, while archived material is stored on slower drives. This not only keeps records organized, but also speeds up the process of accessing the content.

As an integrated component of Alfresco ECM, the RM module uses the same single repository as the rest of the suite. The module also features support for complex transfers, role-based permissions, legal holds, and saved searches to speed up searching for content.

The new e-mail archiving functionality in Alfresco 3.2 leverages new IMAP support, which allows users to access content via an e-mail folder in any IMAP client. Through the folder, content can be added into the central repository by drag-and-drop. The new functionality also supports the ability to configure attachment handling, such as pulling out attachments from e-mail and archiving them, or keeping them embedded in the e-mail.

The ability to manage records and integrate tightly with e-mail clients for archiving adds to Alfresco ECM’s appeal as a solution for organizations that need to manage content and ensure compliance. Managers seeking an integrated approach would do well to consider this solution.