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Alfresco web tier and Surf

Alfresco provides ECM capabilities as data services, user interfaces, and user applications. The user interface capabilities are provided by applications and application components using Alfresco’s web tier, Surf, originally developed as a faster way to develop content applications using scripting and REST architecture. Alfresco contributed Surf as a project to the Spring community for use with other Spring web tier components, such as Spring MVC, Spring Webflow, and Grails.

Web scripts provide REST-based development and rely heavily on the Web 2.0 style of scripting: interpretive execution of small code pieces that can be configured at runtime. This allows the system to be adaptable and speeds development of new capabilities. Prototyping is very popular in this environment.

The web script infrastructure accommodates Java beans as easily as JavaScript. Web scripts add little overhead but provide a great deal of flexibility and development productivity. Web scripts in the web tier let you quickly build user interface components with Surf or simple HTML and deploy them as Alfresco Share components, portlets, or other web platforms such as Google Gadgets.