Alfresco Case Study: go2 Media

boompikeInternet and Web Development

Dec 8, 2013 (4 years and 5 months ago)


Founded in 1999, go2 Media™ is a mobile media company that provides users with a valuable and
compelling information service fine-tuned for their mobile device. The company has delivered over
one billion mobile page views of local content to mobile phone users across all U.S. carriers. go2 is
currently ranked by Nielsen Mobile as one of the top 20 mobile content sites in the U.S. and
M:Metrics ranks go2’s traffic in the top five for mobile search sites along with Google, Yahoo, MSN
and AOL. The go2 Mobile Content Network includes over 350 location-enabled mobile web sites and
has created numerous other mobile sites including go2 Movies®, go2 Dining, go2 Shopping, and go2
Business which are all dedicated to specific demographics. Millions of users visit go2 each month to
find information and go2 Media is accessible through the majority of U.S. carriers today.

Enterprise Scale Content Management

go2 Media was using a customized version of WordPress as a content management solution (CMS)
for its mobile media service business. WordPress is not a traditional CMS system but allowed go2’s
writers to log in from anywhere and generate content that could be pushed to the company’s main
server. However, as the business grew and users increased to the millions, scalability became an
issue. go2 found that scalability and maintenance were extremely difficult with WordPress because it
was very tied to the PHP model. go2 realized that it needed a true enterprise scale content
management system that would allow it to more easily and quickly create and update content for its
growing mobile sites.

Why Alfresco was Chosen

go2 explored a selection of Open Source content management solutions including Joomla, Drupal
and JCR. However, these CMS’ were database-centric which would make scalability difficult.
Additionally, these solutions were more costly and would require more go2 engineering resources for
development which would increase the ongoing maintenance and manageability. Ultimately, go2
chose Alfresco Software because it was a more flexible, scalable and cost-effective solution.

Alfresco offered a componentized solution, utilizing proven technologies such as JBoss, J2EE,
Tomcat, and SQL that made it simpler to scale, manage and maintain. This allowed go2 to add
features more easily because it was already familiar with these technologies and could use any
combination of databases and flat files for storing content. With Alfresco, go2’s content model was
designed so new sites could be added easily with minimal changes to the model. go2 had many
pages in its old system which they were able to reuse and redesign without requiring engineering
resources, which was much more cost efficient than writing code internally.

“We really like the fact that with Alfresco we were not tied to any particular
technology and could easily mix and match components as needed. By looking at
Alfresco’s componentized architecture, we could easily understand how to scale
Alfresco to our network of millions of users and that kind of flexibility really sold us
on Alfresco.”
Rekha Singh, Chief Architect at go2 Media.

With Alfresco, go2 was able to take content from one server and push it to 15 different Web servers.
It enabled over 100 go2 content contributors across the U.S. to enter content or design pages and
Alfresco Case Study:
go2 Media

Alfresco Software,
Suite 700,
2839 Paces Ferry Road,
Atlanta, GA, 30339, USA
Tel: 877-238-4651

Alfresco Software,
The Place, Bridge Avenue,
Maidenhead, SL6 1AF, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 1628 876 500

Fax: +44 1628 876 501

push it out to production in real-time. This made serving content to the Web much easier and faster
because there was no querying of databases and associated delays. It also sped up the delivery time
of content to end-users which is key for go2’s mobile customer base that wants instantaneous
access to information.
“We were very impressed by how quickly we were able to customize
and implement the solution. Alfresco allowed us to increase content
delivery time to sub-second, which is very fast and important for our
end-users. We can also produce more pages more quickly which allows
us to display more advertisements. As a company whose revenue is
based on the number of advertisements, that kind of speed is critical.”
Componentized Architecture

go2 selected Alfresco in December of 2007 and was able to get the Alfresco content management
solution up and running in approximately four weeks. The application ( is live and has
been very successful.

An Alfresco systems integrator, Rothbury Software (, was selected to
assist with the design and implementation of the content management solution. Working with go2,
Rothbury architected the system taking advantage of the Alfresco Content Model and webscripts to
provide the content management functions to the go2 UI.
“Alfresco’s architecture gave us the ability to build a custom solution to
meet go2’s requirements very quickly,”
Malcolm Teasdale, Director at Rothbury.

Alfresco’s componentized architecture allowed go2 to separate the content management in the back-
end and the user interface (UI) in the front-end. This separation of the CMS and UI quickened
implementation time as go2 development resources didn’t need extensive knowledge of CMS to
build the UI. Alfresco Webscripts were used to provide an interface for read/write/create functions
between the Alfresco repository and go2’s UI. go2 used Ajax and Javascript to create a custom user
interface. By creating a custom UI independent of the CMS, go2 was able to include richer drag-n-
drop UI features to appeal to its techno-savvy customers.
“The ability to separate the API from Alfresco’s CMS was another key
capability that improved our service significantly and made our
implementation faster. Other content management solutions would
require us to write different databases for every e-content site.
Alfresco’s design allowed us to just introduce another data element and
quickly propagate it everywhere.”

Benefits of Using Alfresco

By using Alfresco, go2 was able to address its main issue of scalability. Also the flexibility and
componentized nature of Alfresco’s architecture provided many additional benefits. As a result, go2
was able to:
• Scale its network easily to millions of users;

Alfresco Software,
Suite 700,
2839 Paces Ferry Road,
Atlanta, GA, 30339, USA
Tel: 877-238-4651

Alfresco Software,
The Place, Bridge Avenue,
Maidenhead, SL6 1AF, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 1628 876 500

Fax: +44 1628 876 501

• Speed delivery of content to mobile customers to sub-second record times;

• Improve quality of the user experience and customer satisfaction through a richer user
• Increase advertising revenue and advertiser satisfaction by delivering more pages more
• Create new sites quickly and easily without any changes to the CMS structure;
• Simplify management and maintenance of CMS;
• Reduce overall cost, and:
• Maximize productivity of engineering development resources.

“We love the simplicity of Alfresco’s content management solution. It
gave us a lot of flexibility to change and customize it any way we
wanted and because it was built upon J2EE technology we had infinitely
more scalability options than with other vendors. We have a self-
maintaining CMS now that has made a real difference in our business
agility and competitive differentiation.”