Yes the files must be imported into Alfresco so that things like versioning, access control, and ILM can function properly. Those capabilities wouldn't be possible if Alfresco simply pointed to files that are outside its control (and note that this has nothing to do with the import tool - that's just how Alfresco works).
The bulk importer is the best way to perform this kind of import, and as you say it requires that the source file be locally readable by Alfresco. This doesn't mean that the files have to be physically copied or moved to the Alfresco server, mind you, just that the Alfresco server can read them via the filesystem.
So what I'd suggest is mounting those FTP servers etc. into the filesystem of the Alfresco server, and then pointing the import tool to that mounted directory. The import won't be as fast as reading from local disk, but if your network is good it should still be plenty fast enough (and faster than other options).
The tool will then take care to physically copy the data in those files into the Alfresco repository, allowing Alfresco to properly manage it (including via CMIS).
If mounting the FTP servers isn't possible for some reason, you could also implement a BulkImportSource that acts as an FTP client and have it read directly from those FTP servers. It would be great to see this code published as open source, if you decide to go down that path!
Apologes for speling & gramar erorrs - sent from mobil deivce
> On Mar 26, 2017, at 12:58 PM, Alejandro Rivas Martinez <alex.r...@gmail.com
> Good Afternoon sir, my name is Alejandro and I'm a software engineer student From Cuba. I'm working in my thesis and right know i have a situation and I cant find a proper solution to my problem. So sorry to disturb you, i know that you are a very busy man, but hopefully you can dedicate a few minutes of your time.
> The Situation:
> I'm going to implement a digital repository using alfresco community version 5.1 to manage our university digital content which is stored at a moment in differents ftp servers (software installers, books, thesis). I intent to use alfresco as a backend and Orchard CMS as our intranet frontend which is a non functional requierement and communicate both with CMIS. The general idea is that we use a social networking approch in which every user can modify metadata, add tags in order to improve the search, which by the way is the general objective of my work (allows searches and download to the digital content of our intranet , because right know it takes a lot of time to find anything because it is storage in a ftp server without a good cataloging).
> I already successfully created a custom data model but when a decided to migrate the content from these ftps, i didn't find any documentation about it. I read about bulk import tool but it happent that i need the data locally in the same computer that runs alfresco, and as i said, the data source are different ftp server.
> So How can i migrate data from differents ftps servers as datasource to Alfresco?.
> Is it necessary to physically import files to Alfresco or can i work with index pointing to the ftp files (keep the files in the ftps and have in Alfresco a reference of that object (I only have search and download functional requierements))?.
> Please I need your help as a guidence because here in cuba we dont have experience working with Alfresco and it is very difficult to have access to internet. So if you can point out the way of fixing this, or any recommendation i will be forever greatfull. Thank You and Again so sorry to disturb You