Alfresco Module Packages, known as AMPs, are the recommended way of packaging customizations and extensions for deployment, where those extensions depend on third-party libraries, as such depedencies are not yet supported by Simple JAR Modules. Simple JAR modules are generally the preferred type of packaging for extensions where dependencies on third-party libraries do not exist.
AMPs can be used to package custom templates, custom models, web scripts, UI customizations, and can be used to implement extensive additions to the Alfresco Community Edition functionality. Records Management is an an example of an application that provides a significant enhancement to the capabilities ot Alfresco Community Edition and is distributed via AMP files.
AMPs are Zip files that follow a specific layout and can be merged with the other WAR files such as alfresco.war or share.war using the Alfresco Module Management Tool (MMT), which is available as alfresco-mmt.jar in the bin directory of your installation.
AMPs can be thought of as installable extensions to Alfresco Community Edition. Once packaged into an AMP file format, an extension can be applied to Alfresco Community Edition using the Module Management Tool (MMT). There are two directories that contain AMP files, the amps directory and the amps_share directory. Modules that extend the repository tier are located in the amps directory. Modules that extend the Share tier are located in the amps_share directory.
When a module is installed using the MMT it is applied to the relevant WAR file. Alfresco Community Edition typically consists of at least two WAR files: alfresco.war for the content server and share.war for the Share web client. The module AMP file is applied to the appropriate WAR using the MMT.
Larger, more complex modules can be distributed as two AMP files, one to be applied to the WAR file and another to be applied to the Share WAR file. Records Management, for example, is distributed in this manner.