DevCon 2018 - Behind the scenes of Alfred Finder

Posted by Daniela Di Noi on 12/10/18 11:11 AM

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UX design is crucial to just about everything. It renders the latest technology accessible to the masses, makes our apps and websites a pleasure to use, and determines which brands and products we return to over and over again. To put it simply, design matters. 

Alfred Finder is a web application, React based, that allows you to quickly find documents on an Alfresco back-end, preview them and process metadata. When customers use a software, most of the time, they don't think about the choices that are behind the development of it.

Last year, we demonstrated how Alfred Finder looks like and how it's easy to find and retrieve documents and information.


Alfred Finder-2


In the third article of this blog series, Jasper Hilven, Software Engineer at Xenit, explained how to:

  1. Manage complexity to keep things simple and to get things done fast,
  2. Ensure quality at multiple levels.


managing complexity 

As Google Trends reveal, Angular and React are two of the most popular web technologies in 2018.

Angular has more search hits than React, however it does not necessarily mean that one is better than the other. But this indicates what people find interesting, whatever the reason may be. It’s important to be aware that people may exchange between keywords such as AngularJS or Angular, and thus lead to higher search hits.

React has an a time-to-market advantage, since it was released 3 years prior to Angular. And that means it has faced lots real-world problems, gone through critical tests, and overall has developed into an adaptable and flexible fronted-library which many love. ("A comparison between Angular and React and their core languages").

As we already mentioned, Alfred Finder is React based and this choice is a logical consequences of keeping things simple. Jasper shared his approach and tips on building the UI of the application.


Alfresco User Interface Alfred Finder React



 ensuring quality

 "You need to find a balance between getting things done and ensuring quality", Jasper claims. In the Alfred Finder team, we are focus more on:


  • Quality of the code

At Xenit, we use Typescript to type-check each single line of code. The cost of these checks are rather low, and it happens each time you write a single line of code. We also use a Linter for style checking. Its called Typescript Linter. This is very useful if you have multiple people working on the same project. " 


  • Quality of the components

Components are the building block of software. We use unit tests to test our components. As soon as somebody breaks a component, a test complains about it. Then we can fix the issue long before the customer notices anything. "Its like having a machine that checks all the bricks each time again and again, before you are even building your house."

  • Quality of checks

We automatically run (almost) everything a user can do, each time we change something. Jenkins runs all these tests and keeps all the reports of all the performed tests. In this way we are not only delivering a product, we are delivering quality and value.


A 30-day free trial of Alfred Finder is available. You can experience the new Alfresco searching interface, personalize the layout, preview information and edit metadata. 




Topics: Alfresco, Alfred Finder, Searching for information, UI, UX

About Xenit 


Xenit is a Belgium-based IT company, focusing  on content services solutions, and covering all document-related business processes, from data migration to digital archive to hybrid/cloud hosting solution, to help organizations get control of their information. Premier Partner and System Integrator of Alfresco Digital Business Platform, Xenit has more than 10 years of experience in Alfresco Content and Process Services.


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