CMDBuild Newsletter n. 53

CMDBuild Newsletter n. 53

CMDBuild Newsletter n. 53
 
 

CMDBuild Newsletter n. 53

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CMDBuild

January 2016

Summary

Work in progress for version 2.4

CMIS protocol support

CMDBuild on the field: Medical Device Manufacturer (USA)

New interface to manage second level localization

New Self-service Portal in openMAINT

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Work in progress for version of CMDBuild 2.4

The developing activities of CMDBuild 2.4 are going on!

The latest version will be released at the beginning of coming March 2016.

CMDBuild 2.4 will include the following main news:

  • Basic functionalities of the new relation graph (see the previous newsletter)
  • CMIS protocol support for the interface with the documental management system (thanks to the contribution of the University of Bologna, see follow news)
  • Extension of the workflow permission management, with the possibility to grant the reading permission also to user groups not involved in the process activity (thanks to the contribution of Trentino Network)
  • Additional interface for a centralized management in the second level localization (see follow news)
  • View of navigation history carried out in the current session, with the possibility of quick return to one of the visited entities
  • Update to Java 8
  • Performance optimization

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CMIS protocol support

CMDBuild has been using (since the beginning) the open source document management system Alfresco as document repository in embedded mode through the webservice SOAP available in that moment.

That webservice is not longer supported and this is the reason why CMDBuild still necessarily needs the 3.4 version of Alfresco, released in 2010.

The new version CMDBuild 2.4. overcomes this problem and goes really further thanks to the CMIS protocol implementation, realized by Luca Bompani from the University of Bologna and made available to everyone as a contribution to the project.

CMIS (Content Management Interoperability Services) is an open standard that allows different document management systems to interoperate using web protocols, supported by the main sector products.

Thanks to this protocol, CMDBuild not only will use the latest versions of Alfresco, but also will allow the integration with other document management systems, both open source (see Liferay) and proprietary softwares.

The adoption of the CMIS protocol, even if it modifies some implementations, will preserve in this first release the current functionalities of CMDBuild: the possibility to attach every kind of files to data cards in every class or process, the attribution of the category to each file, the visualisation of the uploaded files.

In the following releases the users will benefit of all the potentialities of the new protocol.

It will be possible to implement new functionalities, among them the possibility to view the versions history of one document, the possibility to include in the advanced search filters also conditions about the attached files, the possibility of display preview images of the documents, ecc.



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New self-service portal in openMAINT


A lot of issues in maintenance management involve not only the technical operators, but also to the company staff or external staff.

A breakdown for example can be found by who is occupying the area where it occurs (a broken light bulb in the office) or more in general by who has noticed it accidentally (smoke in a warehouse, water loss in the toilets, etc).

To collect, track and give feedback of these kind of problems, we are implementing in openMAINT an intranet “self service” portal, connected to the breakdown maintenance management workflow.

Thanks to this portal, implemented with the CMDBuild GUI Framework technology, the following functions will be available:

  • news consultation (logistic, new services, service interruptions, etc.)

  • opening maintenance requests and monitoring the activities carried out

  • integration of purchase requests concerning maintenance items

  • consultation of FAQ related to maintenance issues and security

  • check of the information related to the connected person and to the managed items

  • useful links

Additional functionalities can be implemented for who needs customised solutions.

For example:

  • consultation of information about the security system

  • reservation of common spaces

  • reservation of equipment

  • management of visitors

The portal will be available from the version 1.1. of openMAINT, that will be released at the end of March in order to integrate the new “engine” CMDBuild 2.4.

Useful links

CMDBuild

SourceForge Project

Twitter @cmdbuild

LinkedIn Group

CMDBuild READY2USE

openMAINT

Tecnoteca


CMDBuild and openMAINT are open source software developed and maintained by Tecnoteca and released with AGPL license.

CMDBuild on the field: Leading Medical Device Manufacturer (USA)

Leading Medical Device Manufacturer in USA chooses CMDBuild as an Asset Management System for Medical Devices. In this issue we have the testimony of the IT consultant.

My client, a United States leading supplier of medical devices, assigned me to research and evaluate a variety of Asset Management Systems for use in servicing their U.S. and international business. The following is a brief overview of the types of asset management systems I researched for them and how, at the end of this process, they came to select CMDBuild as the best option available.

I began the evaluation process with IBM’s Maximo. This was an incredibly flexible and robust enterprise grade SaaS (Software as a Service). I had no doubt that Maximo could be configured to fit their business model. IBM is very proud of Maximo. We calculated that the user based licensing fees would run $200,000 per year—at a minimum. Ouch! From my viewpoint, this is affordable by only 2 types of businesses.  If your business tracks assets with very high profit margins, or you have a very low ratio of administrative users to assets, you may be able to afford this solution. It was not a good fit for them.

Next, I researched a series of asset management systems that could best be described as “homegrown”. Most of these started out as custom web applications for a single customer. Later, this code base was repurposed for a 2nd and a 3rd and a 4th customer. At some point, the developers decided their code base was a “product”. They also made a lot of assumptions about your business model. If they started off as an asset management tool for an architectural firm, and your business happens to be an architectural firm, then chances are that tool could be a good fit for your business at a very affordable price. However, if your business model differs from the assumptions this software is based on, then trying to making it fit your business model is going to be like shoe horning a size 12 foot into a size 9 shoe—very difficult and painful.

Thankfully, I discovered a different class of tools. CMDBuild is a Configuration Management Database. It makes no assumptions about your business model. It abstracts the power of a fully relational database and makes it available through a web interface that’s already been tested and vetted against a wide variety of browsers. You can create your own tables and define relationships between the tables. You can create your own work flow processes and define the logic which takes users from one stage of the process to another. It has a powerful permissions system that can be incredibly granular. You can define permissions by group or even by user, by data class (table) data process (work flow) and even by column (field).

My client has very specific business processes. Providing service and support for medical devices is heavily regulated and trying to shoehorn this business process into somebody else’s software assumptions was just not going to work. CMDBuild’s flexibility seemed ideal for them. CMDBuild is also an open source application. You can deploy it without user based licensing fees!

CMDBuild is meant to be tailor fit to your business model. It starts off as a blank slate and you (with some help from Tecnoteca) define the classes, properties and workflows that match your business needs. You can define almost all of its functions through a web based administrative interface. If you are technically savvy, there’s no reason why you can’t do all of the configuration yourself. For the majority of folks that are not that technically savvy, Tecnoteca is there to support all of your needs. They can provide training for you to configure the system yourself or they can do the configuration for you.

I would recommend CMDBuild and Tecnoteca for any company exploring asset management systems.

Simplified interface to manage the second level localization

CMDBuild is a native multilanguage application.

Two different levels of localization are available:

  • Localization of interface elements: standard menu, buttons, page titles and TAB labels, header and footer of the application, administration interface, etc.

  • Localization of the full application: data model (classes names, attributes names, domains names and descriptions, lookup names), reports names, navigation menu, etc.

The second level localization doesn’t concern the basic version of CMDBuild (that doesn’t have its own data model at the download), but the preconfigured versions CMDBuild READY2USE and openMAINT, or other versions customised from / to each user.

From the version 2.4 the second level localization, until now available only in the definition form of every single element, will be simplified thanks to a centralized interface (new menu item called “Localization” in the Administration Module). It will allow the users to operate having all the texts of the localization elements in just one page.

It will also be possible to export and import the localization in the CSV format in one or more languages.

Tecnoteca collects and provides, in the standard release, the first level localization supplied by the contributors, that currently counts the 16 languages listed in the download page.

Tecnoteca provides the second level localizations in English and Italian, suppling a repository where the contributors can upload additional languages for CMDBuild Ready2Use e openMAINT and made them available for who is interested.

At the moment are available the Japanese localization for CMDBuild Ready2Use and the French localization for openMAINT.
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