Alfresco, the open source enterprise content management company, has unveiled a developer program for those looking to host both the community and enterprise versions of its software on the Amazon EC2 cloud computing platform. Alfresco is a leading open source alternative for document and Web content management, competing strongly with ECM giants like Open Text, Documentum, and SharePoint. Enterprises might still have reservations about cloud computing. But Alfresco is attempting to capitalize on companies ready for the cloud with this new software stack and development kit.

The core of what Alfresco is offering is an AMI (Amazon Machine Image), a pre-built software package for creating a virtual machine on EC2. Only a select number of companies with enterprise content management software, such as Oracle, are officially supporting their products on EC2 or offering AMIs.

The first Alfresco AMI is only for the community edition, and doesn't include their SharePoint module or the mobile browser UI for accessing Alfresco from smartphones. Alfresco is planning future releases that will support all editions.

Alfresco follows a typical open source strategy, offering a free community edition and an enterprise edition with full support, bug fixing, and maintenance. One of the company's primary selling points has always been reduced costs, both in up front price and cost of ownership. Sticking to that strategy naturally leads to embracing the pay-as-you-go cloud, in this case EC2 from Amazon Web Services.