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Enhanced Alfresco Repository Manual

Table of Contents

1. Overview

The Enhanced Alfresco repository provides access to a Moodlerooms hosted Alfresco repository instance. This plugin works with the Enhanced Alfresco SSO plugin to provide users with access to the Alfresco repository content in each of the following collections: user, course, shared and cohort. Users can add resources to the course and activities, or upload files to Alfresco from within the Moodle file repository interface.

2. Benefits

The Enhanced Alfresco repository plugin provides the following benefits to Moodlerooms clients above and beyond the core Moodle Alfresco repository plugin:

  • Upload files into the repository and course simultaneously
  • Search, browse, and select course files from the repository
  • Create file folders in each repository area
  • Move from Filepicker directly into Alfresco application by clicking the "Manage" button
  • Enjoy all of the rich file management (e.g. workflow, previews, and browsing) from Alfresco's own application
  • From the Filepicker, the repository file is copied into the LMS
  • From the Linkpicker, the repository file is linked to the LMS
  • Multi-files can be uploaded very easily to the course

3. Usage Scenarios

3.1. Course Resource Repository

This is the most common usage scenario where Alfresco is used as a repository for course materials and users are not allowed to have their own repository directories. In this scenario a directory is created for each course where files are stored. Files can be linked or copied from courses from semester to semester but are not stored in Joule. Student's files are stored in Joule as responses to assignments.

3.2. Personal File Repository

In this scenario all users are provided with their own personal repository directory, in Alfresco, to store files in. The student and teachers are allowed to store files here. This is beneficial to students who want to be able to load files up once but use them in multiple courses. Student files are also not stored in Joule but are linked to Alfresco. This also allows instructors to store files in one location and find them even when they are not teaching a course.

4. User Documentation

Depending on how your Joule Administrator has configured Joule and Alfresco students can have access to Alfresco as a personal file repository. This means that from within Joule the student can do the following:

  • Access/View Alfresco files from Joule's file picker
  • Search for Alfresco files in their personal repository
  • Manage/Access Alfresco directly from Joule
  • Upload new files to the Alfresco repository
  • Create a folder in the current directory of the Alfresco repository

4.1. Accessing the Enhanced Alfresco Repository

There is one component of Joule that allows a student to access the Enhanced Alfresco Repository and that is the file picker. The file picker is displayed to a student in four areas of Joule:

  1. In the My Private Files block by clicking the Add... button
    My private files manage files area with the add button to open the file picker
  2. When uploading a file in an assignment by clicking the Choose a file... button
    Assignment file upload page with the Choose a file button to open the file picker
  3. When uploading a file to a forum post by clicking the Add... button
    Forum post page with the add button to open the file picker
  4. In the HTML editor when adding a link to an image by clicking the Image button
    TINY MCE HTML Editor with the link 
    1. Link to a file by selecting text and clicking the Link button
    2. Link to video or media by clicking the Moodle Media button

Once you have clicked the required button to open the file picker a modal will pop-up.

file picker modal without a repository chosen

Click the Enhanced Alfresco Repository link in the left column of the file picker. The modal will change to display the Alfresco repository similar to the image below.

File picker with the Enhanced Alfresco Repository selected

From this screen the user has access to their user directory, which can be access by clicking the Myfiles link.

User's My files home displaying the action bar

The user has access to the action bar where actions such as search, manage, upload file(s) and create a folder can be performed on the current directory in the Alfresco repository. The directory path is displayed below the action bar and a user can click on any of the directory names to navigate to that listing in Alfresco. Below the directory path all of the files and folders within that directory are listed. Clicking on a file name will bring up the select file screen, similar to the image below.

File has been selected and the information to be save to Joule is listed

From the select a file screen the user can add the file to one of the four locations where the user accessed the file picker from.

4.2. Searching for Files in the Repository

The action bar allows the user to search for content in all directories they have access to in the Alfresco repository. To search for content, click on the Search link in the action bar of the file picker.

Enhanced Alfresco Repository plugin in the file picker with the search link

After clicking the link a search modal will appear.

Search modal with the keyword field

Enter keywords in the Keyword text field. The keyword search is very sensitive and the use of the ampersand (&) is recommended for searches where you want a lot of results and the file name has the search string somewhere in it. For example if you are searching for a file that contains the word "table" in it you would use the following search table. If you wanted to search for all Word documents, you would use .doc this will retrieve both .doc and .docx files. You can use search operators, as well as "and", "the" and "or" when searching for content.

Indexing is not instantaneous
You might notice if you search for a file right after uploading, the file may not appear in the list of found files. This is because Alfresco does not index files instantaneously. It can take up to an hour before Alfresco includes an uploaded file as part of the search results.

Once you have the string you think will return the Alfresco content you want, click the Submit button. The search modal will close and any results will appear in the file picker modal, similar to the image below.

File picker search results

Click on the file name you are looking for to bring up the select file screen, similar to the image below.

File has been selected and the information to be save to Joule is listed

At this point you can change the name of the file in Joule by changing the text in the Save as text field. You can also change the author and set any licensing for use you want. Click the Select file button to add the file to the file picker in the activity or repository you brought up the file picker from.

4.3. Managing Files within the Repository

The action bar allows a user to navigate to Alfresco via the Manage link.

Enhanced Alfresco Repository plugin in the file picker with the manage link

The Manage link on the action bar pops up a new window and redirects the user to the Alfresco Repository after signing them in. The new window will look similar to the image below.

Student view of Alfresco

From here the user is in Alfresco and can interact with the Alfresco repository in the standard way. For more information on how to use Alfresco please go to the Alfresco Documentation

To navigate back to Joule click on the Joule window open in your browser.

4.4. Uploading Files to the Repository

The action bar allows a user to upload files to Alfresco via the Upload File(s) link.

Enhanced Alfresco Repository plugin in the file picker with the upload file(s) link

The Upload File(s) link in the action bar allows a user to upload one or more files from Joule to the current directory in Alfresco. Clicking the Upload file(s) link brings up the upload file(s) modal, similar to the image below.

Upload file or files modal

The user has to have permissions in Alfresco and Joule to add files to the directory. If the user does not have permissions a modal will pop-up after clicking on the Upload File(s) link stating the user doesn't have permissions.

Upload permission error modal

The upload file(s) modal has the Select File(s) button, which is used to select one of more files to upload and a progress column, which displays the upload progress of all files being uploaded. Clicking on the Select File(s) button brings up a browser file selection interface. Select one or more files to upload and click the window's OK or Open buttons depending on your browser. The file(s) will be added to the progress area similar to the image below, but the files will not start uploading.

Files have been selected to be uploaded

Click the Submit button to submit the files for upload, or click the red X icon to delete to the left of a file name to delete it from the upload queue. After clicking the Submit button the files will begin uploading.

Files in the process of being uploaded to the repository

If a file exists with the same name as one of the files being uploaded, an "Overwrite File(s)" warning will pop-up. The pop-up will inform you of how many files will be overwritten.

Overwrite these files modal

If you want to overwrite the files click the Overwrite Files button, if not click the Cancel button, which will return you to the Upload File(s) modal. Overwriting a file will delete the file from Alfresco and upload a new file. Overwriting a file DOES NOT create a new version of the file it deletes the existing Alfresco content.

Once all the files have been uploaded the Upload File(s) modal will close automatically. The file picker will reload and the files will be displayed within the directory listing for the Enhanced Alfresco Repository.

Files finished uploading and the file picker has been reloaded

4.5. Create a Folder in the Repository

The action bar allows a user to create a new folder in Alfresco via the Create a Folder link.

Enhanced Alfresco Repository plugin in the file picker with the create a folder link

The Create a Folder link in the action bar allows the user to create a new folder within Alfresco as a sub folder of the current directory. Clicking on the Create Folder link in the action bar will bring up the modal to name the new folder, similar to the image below.

Create folder modal

The user has to have permissions in Alfresco and Joule to create a new folder within the directory. If the user does not have permissions, a modal will pop-up after clicking on the Create Folder link stating the user does not have permissions.

Create folder permissions error modal

Enter the name of the folder in the Folder Name text field and click the Submit button. The folder will be created in the current directory and the file picker will be reloaded to display the new folder.

New folder created in the repository

5. Teacher Documentation

The teacher in a course has access to two additional directories within the file picker that a student does not. These directories are a course specific directory, named based on the course shortname, and the shared directory, which contains files that are shared by all Alfresco users. When a teacher accesses the file picker from within a course, a directory with the shortname of the course will appear in the Enhanced Alfresco Repository plugin at the very beginning of the directory listing.

From within the course specific, My courses or the shared the teacher can use the same actions in the action bar a student can to search, manage and upload files.

6. Global Settings

  • Repository plugin name: is the name of the repository plugin as it appears in the file picker interface. If you leave this empty the default name will be used.

7. Permissions

  • View Joule repository: The user can view the enhanced Alfresco repository and access it based on the permissions in the repository.
    • Default Permissions
      Role Not Set Allow Prevent Prohibit
      Manager X      
      Course Creator X      
      Teacher X      
      Non-Editing teacher X      
      Student X      
      Guest X      
      Authenticated User   X    

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