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Why upgrade to Alfresco 7?

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by Jérémie Lesage/ on 02 Mar 2023

Why upgrade to Alfresco 7?

As a general rule, it is important to keep your software up to date, beyond new features, updates usually contain security or bug fixes.

In the case of Alfresco, upgrades are scary (service interruption, data loss, loss of functionality, etc.), but they are still necessary. We have been working on Alfresco Community since 2008, since version 2, and since then we have upgraded many Alfresco servers while maintaining service continuity.

Alfresco Community 7.0 was officially released on 18 March 2021, almost 2 years ago. The last stable release of Alfresco Community – 7.3 – was released on 16 November 2022. This is most likely the last version 7.

It is therefore a stable, proven and up-to-date release. It is also the first major release under the Hyland brand after the October 2020 company buyout.

Il est important de migrer sur Alfresco 7, en voici les raisons :

What’s new in version 7?

If you currently have Alfresco 6, Version 7 brings many consolidations and performance improvements:

  • In particular the move to Solr 6.6 which improves search and indexing performance.
  • The implementation of the T-Engine makes it possible to develop transformers in the form of microservices very simply. Like our EML transformer.
  • For small installations, an AIO (All In One) transformer can be set up that includes all transformers (LibreOffice, ImageMagick, Alfresco PDF Renderer, Tika).
  • Developments on the REST API to facilitate integration and development with Alfresco, specifically with our [Pristy] interface (
  • The latest Alfresco 7.3 release also brings support for Java 17.

Upgrading from Alfresco 5

Migration from Alfresco 5 or earlier provides:

  • Upgrade to Spring 5.3 ;
  • Java 11 support ;
  • Externalization of transformers;
  • Provision of a new version of the REST API.

What’s going away:

  • NTLM v1 authentication and the CIFS protocol is no longer supported. There is still the webdav protocol for setting up network drives and for bulk file drops. It is also still possible to use FTPs.
  • The connection between Alfresco and Solr in an unsecured way is no longer possible.
  • Some libraries have been removed (in particular those linked to transformers) which may cause problems with your specific developments.
  • Finally, the management of keys has evolved, which may complicate the update.

Which versions are supported

With Alfresco Community, only the latest stable version is supported (currently Alfresco 7.3). With an Alfresco Enterprise licence, maintenance is provided for three years after release. For example, Alfresco Enterprise 7.0 is supported until March 2024.

For earlier versions: Alfresco 6.2 is no longer maintained since November 2022; Alfresco 5.2 since February 2022; Alfresco 4.2 since May 2019!

What do I risk with an outdated version?

Mainly with Java and Tomcat, but also because of all the Java libraries embedded in Alfresco.

Table of Java and Tomcat versions according to Alfresco version.

Alfresco VersionV. JavaV. Tomcat
Alfresco 7.0OpenJDK 11.0.7Tomcat 9
Alfresco 6.2OpenJDK 11.0.1Tomcat 8.5.43
Alfresco 6.0OpenJDK 11.0.1Tomcat 8.5.34
Alfresco 5.2Oracle JRE 1.8.0_111Tomcat 7.0.82
Alfresco 5.0Oracle JDK 8 U65 X64Tomcat 7.0.82
Alfresco 4.2JDK 7 U79 X64Tomcat 7.0.59

Keeping a version of Alfresco 5.2 or earlier is unwise as Tomcat 7.0 is no longer maintained since March 2021.

In terms of legality, what is the risk of not securing the data?

[Article 32 of the RGPD and Article 121 of the French Data Protection Act ( remind companies of their obligation to secure their data.

It should be noted that even in the absence of proven prejudice, a breach of the obligation to ensure data security can be retained.

Our expertise

How long does an upgrade take?

There are two elements to take into account when upgrading Alfresco: the presence of specific developments and the volume of data.

Without any specific development to migrate, we can do a migration in a few days, after having validated the procedure on the new environment.

In the opposite case, thanks to the automated deployment, we are able to considerably reduce the downtime; it is impossible to predict the migration time without specification.

Our experience

We have done several migrations from Alfresco 5 or 6 to Alfresco 7. We have done migrations from Alfresco Enterprise and Alfresco Community.

Upgrading Alfresco is an opportunity to migrate from an Alfresco Enterprise version to a Commmunity version, or a Pristy version. No longer interested in hosting your Alfresco? Take the opportunity to upgrade to our SaaS offering, hosted by OVHCloud.

To find out more about our Alfresco services, please visit the Alfresco maintenance page.

Contact us to know more

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