Here at Blue Fish, we are frequently asked about the differences between Alfresco Community and Alfresco Enterprise. The Community edition is free to download and use, so it can be attractive as a way to get started with Alfresco. However, there is a fairly substantial list of technical features that requires the use of Enterprise, and are not part of the Community platform. These feature differences should be reviewed to determine if the Community Edition would be a suitable platform for a deployment.
In addition to technical feature differences, an active Enterprise license gives access to Support. Community users can get questions answered on the Alfresco Forums, but there is no formal support process for this (and no Service Level Agreement (SLA)).
Alfresco actually maintains and updates a list of feature differences on a page on their Wiki. We want to highlight this page for two reasons: 1) It is a comprehensive list maintained by Alfresco and 2) It is updated with new releases of Alfresco. This second reason is important because new features are being added to the product all the time.
The Wiki page can be found here, and it is definitely worth reviewing:
From the Wiki, here are some highlights that would impact the decision to choose Enterprise over Community (please review the Wiki page to see the entire list):
- Alfresco Community does not support clustering. If the deployment requires multiple servers (for example, for high availability (HA)), only the Enterprise version can support this.
- Support for Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server is only part of the Enterprise release. Community can use MySQL or PostgreSQL as its database.
- JMX connectivity for remote monitoring and management of Alfresco requires the Enterprise version.
- Synchronization with a cloud instance of Alfresco requires Enterprise.
- A formal Support agreement requires an Enterprise license.
- Support from Alfresco Partners requires the use of Enterprise.