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Alfresco Content Connector for Azure

Install the Azure Connector

Use this information to install the Azure Connector as an alternative content store.

Using an Alfresco Module Package (AMP), the connector allows an additional content store option for the file system underlying Alfresco Content Services.

Starting from version 1.2, the Azure Connector module provides out of the box content store subsystems, which can easily be set up based on the most suitable configuration. The subsystem approach allows a more flexible use of the Azure content store, even in conjunction with existing content stores.

The steps for both options are very similar, but the second allows you to add AzMultipleStorageContainers as a third alternative for the Azure content store subsystem.

Prerequisites for using Azure Connector

There are a number of software requirements for installing Azure Connector.

Alfresco requirements

See Supported Platforms.

You need an Azure storage account so that you can configure the Azure Connector successfully.

Install options

To install the Azure Connector, you can chose one of the following options:

  • Install the Azure Connector (standard)
  • Install the Azure Connector with AzMultipleStorageContainers subsystem

Install the Azure Connector

These steps describe how to install the Alfresco Content Connector for Azure to an instance of Content Services.

The Azure Connector is packaged as an Alfresco Module Package (AMP) file.

Note: Ensure that you don’t start Content Services before installing the Azure Connector AMP.

  1. Go to the Alfresco Support Portal.

  2. Download the alfresco-azure-connector-1.2.x.amp file.

  3. Use the Module Management Tool (MMT) to install the AMP into the repository WAR (alfresco.war).

    For more information see Installing an Alfresco Module Package.

    Note: You must install the Azure Connector AMP using -force.

  4. Check that the configuration is set up correctly for your environment.

    Note: Starting from version 1.2, the Azure Connector has the deleted content store disabled by default, since this feature is already present in Microsoft’s Azure Storage services. For details on how to re-enable it, see Azure Connector deleted content store.

  5. Start Content Services.

Install the Azure Connector with AzMultipleStorageContainers subsystem

These steps describe how to install the Azure Connector to an instance of Content Services, and how to enable the AzMultipleStorageContainers subsystem sample.

The Azure Connector is packaged as an Alfresco Module Package (AMP) file.

Note: Ensure that you don’t start Content Services before installing the Azure Connector AMP.

  1. Go to the Alfresco Support Portal.

  2. Download the alfresco-azure-connector-1.2.x.amp file.

  3. Use the Module Management Tool (MMT) to install the AMP into the repository WAR (alfresco.war).

    For more information, see Using the Module Management Tool (MMT) and Installing an Alfresco Module Package.

    Note: You must install the Azure AMP using -force.

  4. Unzip the alfresco-azure-connector-1.2.x.amp file.

  5. Copy the three sample files and rename them by removing the .sample extension.

    The sample files are located under alfresco-azure-connector-1.2.x.amp/config/alfresco/extension/.

    • azure-multiple-storage-containers-context.xml.sample
    • subsystems/ContentStore/AzMultipleStorageContainers/AzMultipleStorageContainers/azure-mc-contentstore-context.xml.sample
    • subsystems/ContentStore/AzMultipleStorageContainers/AzMultipleStorageContainers/azure-mc-contentstore.properties.sample

    Copy these files to the relevant paths under the following folder: $CATALINA_HOME/shared/classes/alfresco/extension/.... The renamed files are:

    • azure-multiple-storage-containers-context.xml
    • subsystems/ContentStore/AzMultipleStorageContainers/AzMultipleStorageContainers/azure-mc-contentstore-context.xml
    • subsystems/ContentStore/AzMultipleStorageContainers/AzMultipleStorageContainers/azure-mc-contentstore.properties
  6. Check that the configuration is set up for your environment.

    1. Check the Azure Connector properties for store 1 (for example, connector.az.*).

      See azure-mc-contentstore.properties for the complete list.

      The minimum properties required are:

       -Dconnector.az.account.name=${AZURE_STORAGE_ACCOUNT_NAME}
       -Dconnector.az.authentication.mode=sharedKey
       -Dconnector.az.account.key=${AZURE_STORAGE_ACCOUNT_KEY}
       -Dconnector.az.containerName=${AZURE_CONTAINER_NAME}
       -Dconnector.az.deleted.containerName=${AZURE_DELETED_CONTAINER_NAME}
      

      See Configure the Azure Connector for the supported authentication modes.

    2. Check the Azure Connector properties for store 2 (for example, connector.az.store2.*).

      See azure-mc-contentstore.properties for the complete list.

      The minimum properties required are:

       -Dconnector.az.store2.containerName=${AZURE_STORE2_CONTAINER_NAME}
      
    3. Set Azure multiple storage containers as the default file content store subsystem:

       -Dfilecontentstore.subsystem.name=AzMultipleStorageContainers
      
  7. Check that the [Configuration](/microsoft-azure/latest/config/ is set up correctly for your environment.

  8. Start Content Services.

Azure Connector deleted content store

The deleted content store support in Content Services moves the deleted content into a dedicated storage container. This is defined by the connector.az.deleted.containerName property. System administrators can schedule a job to delete the binaries from this location.

The deleted content store support is provided both from the repository and also by the Azure capabilities.

When using Azure Connector 1.2, the deleted content store is disabled by default because this feature is already present in Microsoft’s Azure Storage services. However, you can enable the Content Services deleted content store, if required.

Add a context file, such as enable-deleted-content-store-context.xml in the extension directory.

$CATALINA_HOME/shared/classes/alfresco/extension

You can find a sample file in alfresco-azure-connector-1.2.x.amp.

enable-deleted-content-store-context.xml.sample in config/alfresco/extension

This creates a proxy bean to the deleted content store defined in the subsystem. By doing this, the repository knows about it when the subsystem is started.

    <bean id="deletedContentStore" class="org.alfresco.repo.management.subsystems.SubsystemProxyFactory">
        <property name="sourceApplicationContextFactory">
            <ref bean="${filecontentstore.subsystem.name}" />
        </property>
        <property name="sourceBeanName">
            <value>deletedContentStore</value>
        </property>
        <property name="interfaces">
            <list>
                <value>org.alfresco.repo.content.ContentStore</value>
            </list>
        </property>
    </bean>

The sourceApplicationContextFactory property has to point to the name of the bean which defines the subsystem.

Upgrade

Use this information to upgrade the Azure Connector from a previous version for Tomcat-based deployments only.

  1. Stop the Content Services server.

  2. Navigate to the root directory of your installation.

  3. Use the following command to check for the module you wish to delete:

     java -jar bin/alfresco-mmt.jar list tomcat/webapps/alfresco.war
    

    This displays a list of the installed modules. Make a note of the module ID of the module you wish to uninstall, for example, org_alfresco_integrations_AzureConnector.

  4. Use the Module Management Tool (MMT) to uninstall the AMP from the repository WAR (alfresco.war). For example:

     java -jar bin/alfresco-mmt.jar uninstall  org_alfresco_integrations_AzureConnector tomcat/webapps/alfresco.war
    

    For more information, see Using the Module Management Tool (MMT) and Uninstall an AMP file.

  5. Navigate to the amps directory.

  6. Delete any previously installed Azure Connector AMP.

  7. Copy the AMP file you downloaded during installation to the amps directory.

  8. Use the Module Management Tool (MMT) to install the AMP into the repository WAR (alfresco.war).

    For more information, see Using the Module Management Tool (MMT) and Uninstall an AMP file.

    Note: You must install the Azure Connector AMP using -force.

  9. Check that the Configuration is set up correctly for your environment.

    Note: When upgrading from Azure Connector 1.0, make sure you define the Azure authentication mode and a supported value in your alfresco-global.properties file.

    Note: To upgrade a system that’s never used the file system (for example, an on-premises installation without locally saved binaries), we recommend that you choose a pure Azure content store. See Azure content store subsystems for more details.

  10. Start the server.

    Note: Starting from version 1.2, the Azure Connector has the deleted content store disabled by default, since this feature is already present in Microsoft’s Azure Storage services. For details on how to re-enable it see Azure Connector deleted content store.

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