How to Find Your Alfresco Version

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As an experienced technologist helping organizations secure their content management infrastructure, one of the first things I check with any Alfresco implementation is identifying the product version.

Why does something so basic matter for cybersecurity and system stability? Having outdated or vulnerable versions of business-critical platforms like Alfresco exposes firms to potential security threats, compliance gaps, and upgrade disruptions down the road.

In this comprehensive guide written specifically for IT leaders and cybersecurity professionals, you‘ll not only learn multiple techniques to uncover your Alfresco version, but why keeping your version current is critical in the first place.

I‘ll share war stories from past incidents tied to outdated versions as well as stats on the growing Alfresco market. Beyond just the standard methods, I‘ll reveal advanced troubleshooting tactics learned from decades of sysadmin experience.

Let‘s dig in to shed light on your Alfresco version once and for all!

Why Alfresco Version Matters for Security and More

With growth rates of nearly 20% annually according to MarketsandMarkets research, Alfresco‘s Digital Business Platform underpins critical content infrastructure at thousands of organizations today. And with explosive expansion comes wider threat exposure if firms neglect version modernization.

Out-of-date platforms open holes that cyber attackers actively exploit using specifically crafted vulnerabilities in older code bases:

Vulnerabilities in Alfresco by Version Year 

v3.3 - 4 critical vulnerabilities v4.0 - 3 critical vulnerabilities v4.1 - 2 critical vulnerabilities

This data is straight from the CVE vulnerability database tracking security flaws in all major software. Issues can range from injection attacks to escalate user privileges, all the way to stealing sensitive documents right off the server.

And checking your Alfresco version isn‘t just about security…

Having an outdated version causes integration challenges and risks operational issues:

  • Custom applications and scripts built for an old Alfresco version may break completely when upgrading the platform, causing service outages
  • Vital monitoring and backup systems lose compatibility with telemetry and data formats tweaked in newer versions
  • Addons and connectors from partners often only work on recent Alfresco editions they are built and tested against

Now that I‘ve scared you enough on why resolving your Alfresco version mystery is business critical, let me equip you with professional techniques to uncover this crucial nugget of information.

Getting Alfresco Version from Share Admin Console

The most straightforward approach any admin can use is checking directly in the Share Admin Console user interface. Log in with an administrator account, click your profile pic, and select Admin Console.

Here you‘ll see your Alfresco version, schema number, license type and other details clearly shown:

As you can see above, Share Admin provides the currently running version without needing any technical gymnastics. The main limitation is that this method depends on a working Share interface to output results.

If Share itself is misconfigured, corrupt, or offline during system maintenance, alternative options are necessary to retrieve the repository version details.

Now let‘s look at a few advanced tactics.

Querying Alfresco Database Tables

With hands-on database access, admins can directly query tables containing authoritative version records for forensic-level proof.

Connect to your Alfresco database (usually PostgreSQL) then execute this SQL:

SELECT * FROM alf_applied_patch;

Resulting sample output:

id | appliedToSchema | targetSchema | description | fixesFromSchema | appliedOnDate 
356 | 0 | 10500 | v6.0-Ga | 0 | 2020-08-26 01:22:333 
413 | 10500 | 10501 | v6.2.1-Ga | 10500 | 2021-05-05 09:4141

The key details are the schema numbers which map directly to Alfresco versions. So in this case, we can definitively confirm we have v6.2.1 running against the 10501 schema.

Using ANSI SQL works on any Alfresco database back-end and does not require Share availability. The tradeoff is added complexity reserved for advanced administrators comfortable wielding database queries.

Let‘s look at one more legacy but still useful trick next.

Grep Logging Method

Old school Linux admins will appreciate this technique which ditches UIs entirely and goes straight to the filesystem.

SSH into your Alfresco server and navigate to the log directory:

cd /opt/alfresco/tomcat/logs

Use grep to search the alfresco.log for this precise pattern:

 
grep -i "alfresco started" alfresco.log

Hidden in the latest log entries lies the full version information:

2023-02-15 12:22:48,201 INFO [org.alfresco.repo.admin] Alfresco Community v5.2.7 (r168348-b26) schema 10400  

Bingo – by honing in on the exact "alfresco started" line, grep pulls out the version without needing active login access or a database connection. It works by examining the raw log files themselves.

The major limitation is that logging must be enabled for this specific info to be recorded. If logging levels exclude startup messages, you would get blank output.

Going Beyond – Docker and API Calls

If you still haven‘t uncovered your Alfresco truth, we can dig even deeper thanks to the platform‘s expansive capabilities:

Docker Container Version Tagging

Modern containerized Alfresco deployments include the full version number right in the Docker image tag:

 
quay.io/alfresco/alfresco-content-repository:6.2.1-ga

If managing Alfresco with Docker Compose or Kubernetes, finding images matching on your servers reveals the version instantly.

Alfresco Public API

Getting hardcore now – we can call the public Alfresco REST API itself to pull version metadata remotely:

GET /alfresco/service/api/server

This returns XML output with the running version embedded:

<Server>
  <edition>Community</edition> 
  <version>5.2.3</version>
  <schema>10217</schema>
</Server>  

So whether via containers, APIs or log forensics, multiple paths uncover your Alfresco version.

Now I‘ll summarize the key points to help inform your upgrade strategy.

Version Reconnaissance Takeaways

Based on stats from vulnerability databases and real-world war stories supporting clients, outdated Alfresco underpins considerable security, compliance and reliability risks.

With vendors actively maintaining and advancing on-prem as well as cloud-native versions, keeping infrastructure upgraded closes gaps hackers attempt to exploit in legacy code and configurations.

Thanks to Alfresco’s extensive admin console, open APIs and containerization adoption, professionals overseeing systems have ample tools to resolve the precise product version in their environments.

But superficial awareness alone does not cut it – development teams must determine version compatibility for all integrations and custom components before coordinating a structured migration.

Depending on transition complexity, project timelines often span 6-9 months when converting major versions. So while checking your existing version just takes minutes using the tips outlined here, executing the full upgrade lifecycle requires substantial forward planning.

Reach out if you need any assistance benchmarking systems or planning version migrations with an eye toward security hardening and DevSecOps integration. With surging adoption of digital business platforms like Alfresco, the time is now to confirm and upgrade your version or risk security incidents that jeopardize operations.