Document Certification - Alfresco & jBPM


Client wanted a comprehensive real-time certification portal that will allow users to authorize, digitally sign and verify the authentication of electronic documents. System should specifically address entwined nature of document certification processes using workflow, digital seals and digital rights management technology; and, consequently, provides a highly reliable, cost effective and scalable solution.


  • To keep TCO low, client wanted to use open source Content Management & Workflow systems as core subsystems.
  • Deploy the system as Software as a Service (SaaS) to cater to multiple countries, with provision for customization and configuration for each country, additionally ensure robustness of application and security concerns.
  • Full document life cycle support, giving users the ability to create, edit, approve and distribute documents.
  • Integration with multiple subsystems – OpenLDAP, Oracle IRM, Document Sealer, Alfresco, jBPM etc.
  • Providing configurable workflow for each country.
  • Providing configurable workflow for each country.
  • Maintaining high availability and failover support.
  • Complete audit and logging for all the operations performed in the system by any user.
Case Study Hurdles


Based on requirements, use cases and client discussions, subsystems were selected (from various commercial software, open source & new development). Decision analysis was done by defining key selection attributes, and weighing options on them.

Alfresco was chosen as content management system because aim was to look for an open source solution that would not tie it to a proprietary vendor and that had a flexible pricing model. Alfresco’s ease of integration, open architecture, ability to scale-out and support available were the other key attributes. Documents can be created inside the system or imported from outside.

We chose jBPM for workflow because of its lightweight processes and ease of integration with other applications. Its process definition language and APIs allowed us to define complex flows including parallel steps.

We architected a thin workflow/process wiring framework that could be used across different user interface (UI), authentication, and business process and integration components.

A highly configurable, robust and secure solution was prepared based on multi-tenant SaaS architecture which could be easily configured for multiple clients. Design ensured that application can be configured for different countries with minimal development effort.

Linux HA – H Linux HA – Heartbeat and Apache mod_jk modules were used for ensuring high availability and load balancing of the software solution.


  • Facilitated client to keep TCO low, and provided flexibility of choosing between varied databases.
  • Hosted four different certification processes from the SaaS based system.
  • Scalable, failover support, highly configurable (for different countries).
  • Provided client with various deployment options based on cost & country regulations.
  • Provided highly secure authentication and document protection mechanisms using OpenLDAP, Oracle IRM, Sealing mechanism etc.


Tools and Technologies

RedHat Linux 5.3, Java 6, Seam 2.1.1, EJB 3.0, Richfaces 3.3, Oracle IRM, Alfresco 3.0.1, jBPM 3.2.2, Evident SDK, PostgreSQL 8.3, Fusion Charts 2.1, iText 2.1.5, OpenLDAP