Alfresco Software is readying the final piece of its open-source enterprise content management (ECM) software suite with the unveiling of a preview of its Web content management product.The startup plans to release its Web Content Management Preview by early next week with a final first release of the offering due by year\u2019s end, according to Ian Howells, Alfresco\u2019s chief marketing officer.Since its founding last year, Alfresco has developed software to handle the management of collaborative documents, records and images as well as e-mail archiving. The company began work on the last piece of its ECM suite, Web content management (WCM), about a year ago, but the effort accelerated in May when Alfresco hired a group of developers formerly at Interwoven, Howells said. Interwoven and Vignette are the market leaders in the WCM market and likely competitors for Alfresco in the future.Alfresco\u2019s new WCM software uses the same repository as the company\u2019s other ECM components. The product is based on open-source components including JavaServer Faces (JSF), Spring and Hibernate. The WCM offering includes a virtualization server so users can preview what changes to their websites might look like online and a compliance server to audit all alterations to the site.One of the early testers of Alfresco\u2019s WCM software is Virgin Money, Virgin Group\u2019s financial services arm, in Norwich, United Kingdom.The company is looking to move away from its largely static websites to make its online presence tailor to individual customers, according to David Scarisbrick, technical program manager at Virgin Money."We have had good experience with other open-source products and development frameworks, and it made sense to go open source if possible for WCM," he wrote in an e-mail. "Alfresco offers the advantages of open source, open architecture and standards, but also includes a good support model making it a robust enterprise-level solution at low cost." When coming up with a list of suitable WCM tools, Alfresco was the only one that made Virgin Money\u2019s short list, Scarisbrick added.Virgin Money isn\u2019t using Alfresco\u2019s other software, but once it\u2019s finished the rollout of WCM, the company may consider implementing the rest of the startup\u2019s ECM suite, he wrote.As a financial services company, Virgin Money\u00a0deems compliance\u00a0to be\u00a0very important. Alfresco WCM provides the ability for Web designers and applications developers to work collaboratively in a version-controlled environment, Scarisbrick wrote. Virgin Money\u2019s compliance team can also use the software to review its website and look at any previous versions of the site and roll back to a particular day\u2019s version if necessary.To date, the majority of Alfresco\u2019s users are enterprise-level financial services and publishing companies and governments, Howells said. The company has 60 paid-support contracts with organizations. In the overall ECM market, the startup competes against Microsoft\u2019s SharePoint and more established ECM players IBM, FileNet and EMC. IBM is in the process of acquiring FileNet.-China Martens, IDG News Service (Boston Bureau)Check out our CIO News Alerts and Tech Informer pages for more updated news coverage.