Sunday, February 21, 2010


Here, I have another comparison report for all of you. This time I have taken up two open source portals and done the comparison. The market is flooded with open source portals these days. Some of them are fancy while others provide the bare minimum to be called a portal. But I must say, some of the open source portals can really give the major portals like MOSS and WCI a run for their money.


There are several popular open source JSR 168 compliant portals available. At present there are many free and commercial implementations of portlet containers in the market, what server to choose from and develop on depends on one’s priorities and requirements. This is a comparison study between two of the highly revered portal solutions, namely Liferay and Alfresco. Both of them are useful and there are several successful implementations of both these portals.


After analyzing both the portals, the major differences as well as similarities between both these Open Source portal solutions were collated and are represented in a tabular format below.




Liferay truly is a portal solution having a very strong & active community behind it and an impressive clientele to prove its credentials.

Alfresco though having everything in a portal, truly is an Enterprise Content Management Software which also has an equally powerful & vigorous community supporting it and an imposing set of customers using the software. This is again, the most admired ECMS solution available in today’s open source market.


It is highly scalable & this has been the main driver that helped it to be adopted in a variety of business verticals.

Scalability is not easy as far as Alfresco is considered in the area of portal implementation.


Every portal must have Content Management capabilities. Liferay’s document and content management capabilities are not that good in comparison with other portal solutions

Alfresco has been fantastic as an Enterprise Document and Content Management solution. The framework’s architecture, functionality and extensibility makes it really the best choice for an enterprise business.


Liferay is JSR 168 compliant

Alfresco is also JSR 168 compliant


WebDAV stands for Web Based Distributed Authoring & Versioning. It is a set of extensions to the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) that allows computer-users to edit and manage files collaboratively on remote World Wide Web servers. Liferay supports WebDAV

Alfresco can also be setup to implement the WebDAV feature.


Very good web user interface

Web interface is not at all suitable for business users.


Supports Single Sign On

Supports Single Sign On


Standard LDAP providers

Standard LDAP providers


Collaborative Document Management System is very good in Liferay

Collaborative Document Management System is available in Alfresco but not to the extent as if available in Liferay


Liferay supports WEB 2.0 and has launched Liferay Social Office which offers features such as Wikis, Blogs, Document Libraries, Calendar, Sites, Message Boards, Activities

Alfresco also supports WEB 2.0 and has launched Alfresco Share offering almost similar features like Document Library, Sites, Wikis, Blogs, Activities, SharePoint protocol support etc


Liferay is a non-empty portal and comes with 60 odd portlets available for free

Alfresco is also non-empty and comes with portlets and templates for free.


Latest Edition is Liferay Portal 5.2

Latest Editon is Alfresco Community Edition 3.2r


Liferay is a true J2EE application, relying on numerous patterns, EJBs and built on top of the Struts platform.

Alfresco uses best-of-breed Open Source technologies such as Spring, Hibernate, Lucene,


Liferay supports Google Analytics.

Alfresco supports Google Analytics.


Support Open Office Documents but not so well

Alfresco is very tightly integrated with Open Office and supports Open Office standards very well.


Liferay is the Leading Open Source Portal for the Enterprise

Alfresco is more known as the Leading Open Content Management System for the Enterprise


After this comprehensive study on both these open source portals it is time now to share the results.

We can conclude that Liferay is the winner over here by far in the free license portal world. This has been concluded purely on the basis of Liferay being a complete portal and provides all the functionalities that are provided by the more expensive enterprise portal vendors like Oracle and Microsoft. However there are still some miles separating Liferay from its more expensive licensed portals.

Alfresco on the other hand though a portal in its own right is now evolving into more of an ECMS (Enterprise Content Management System) solution. Alfresco is founded on the technologies of Documentum which is the worldwide leader in CMS and has recently been declared one of the best in Open Source Content Management world.

1 comment:

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