ArkCase solution for Legal community

We have so far worked on A number of System for Education, Business, and Communication.
We currently are not serving users of the Legal area.

I embarked on sourcing possible open source solutions that can integrated into NethServe for LAW.

here is a possible list that we can work on and possibly work on Integrating into Nethserver.

  1. ArkCase
    Ark case is an Open source Case management system, with ECM,BPM and CRM built in.
    Here is the source code, and link to install on github: https://github.com/ArkCase/ArkCase

The software has quite a number of great functionalities as well as LDAP support, calendar and file editing.

Other Solutions for the same we can look into are:

  1. CaseBox https://www.casebox.org/
    installation https://www.casebox.org/dev/install/

  2. ClinicCases, (Designed for Law schools) https://cliniccases.com/
    Package: https://github.com/judsonmitchell/ClinicCases/releases/tag/v7.3.3

Which one can we begin with? @stephdl @mrmarkuz @robb

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Are these solutions all similar or overlapping in functionality? When we put effort in an application to add to the community modules repository we should have a fair idea if that solution is going to be used and what the Legal community’s needs are in an application.
I must say I have no clue what a law firm could/should need.
Are there any numbers on usage of these applications?
If they are just basic php/mysql (or postgrsql) web applications, it shouldn’t be to hard to get them installed on CentOS7/NethServer.
Are there any caveats like not fully open source or limited ‘free’ use? (I haven’t looked into the different options.)
An important part of the first choice should be to investigate the maturity of the project, (for instance amount of devs, activity on development, if there is a(n active) community etc…)

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I have a slight idea on what the legal industry requires. As with all industries, there is a smaller need and niche, as well as larger requirements.

I am currently implementing a solution for a small law firm, so along the way i will get to understand some use cases and scenraios.

Initially i wanted to use a standard CRM system, with nextcloud for them to manage their matters, i was to substitute projects with cases, and other matters. But i noticed there are other things not covered.

As for the first project, it is select open source, but most premium features, a firm would have to be very large to need them, for the free features, they work fine for all, just like gitlab.

I have done selective analysis, but not exhastive to figure out exactly all the components.

The first one seems to be feature rich. I have not really dug in to all the rest.

There are others which seem to be simple php mysql, but others requires other additinal functions for installation.

To be able to know which one can be fully supported, I first need to install and test, to be completely sure.

Then afterwards, depending on which one is easy, well supported and more feature rich, with at least wider community, that’s what we can have fully.

This one looks more feature rich.
though the installation has so many oving parts.

Nodejs, tomcat etc. Not sure how it interferes with webtop etc.

As a lawyer myself, I’d love to see this (even though I wouldn’t be able to take advantage of it, as I work for the government and we have our own POS case management system).

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wow, @danb35 you are a lawyer?!

Yes, for over 20 years now.

It looks like ArkCase requires Alfresco, which is available in both a Community and an Enterprise edition–the differences are laid out here: https://www.alfresco.com/ecm-software#detail Pricing for the Enterprise edition isn’t published. The community edition really wants to run in Docker, it looks like. This seems to be the “content management” piece, and I’m guessing it does case document management. The Outlook connector from the enterprise edition would be awfully handy.

It also uses Frevvo forms, and it looks like it wants a pretty out-of-date version of it (they seem to want 6.1; the oldest supported version I see on Frevvo’s site is 7.5.4). That’s looking like commercial software, and I don’t see that there’s a free/open source version available. It wants to live on port 8082, which IIRC conflicts with Collabora/Nextcloud. I guess this is needed if you want web forms. Once again, pricing isn’t published.

Pentaho seems to be available in a free version. It would be used for generating reports.

Snowbound, which would be used as a document viewer, appears to be commercial-only. Once again, pricing isn’t published, other than the “starter kit” for US$5k.

It looks like a pretty involved installation (though it’s possible that there are alternatives for some or all of these pieces). On the plus side, CentOS 7 is a supported/tested environment, so it should be doable on Neth.

It looks like there are instructions here for setting it up in a VM, but I don’t think I’m familiar enough with either Packer or Vagrant to figure them out:

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Can we do withou t frevvo forms, as it is only for automation,

As for document viewer, replacing that with outlook of collabora that we already have.

Yes it is extremely an involving installation, one more than even the phabricator one (which i need to make a module for…)

I tried to run ArkCase on NethServer with phpvirtualbox but without success, I used a 10GB RAM VMware VM. The virtualbox VM (need 8GB RAM) is aborted after some time while having higher CPU load.

Here are my notes:

yum -y install https://releases.hashicorp.com/vagrant/2.2.7/vagrant_2.2.7_x86_64.rpm nethserver-virtualbox-5.2-phpvirtualbox
/sbin/vboxconfig
su - vboxweb

Create the file Vagrantfile with following content:

Vagrant.configure("2") do |config|
  config.vm.box = "arkcase/arkcase-ce"
  config.vm.box_version = "3.3.1-r1-a"
  config.vm.box_url = "https://app.vagrantup.com/arkcase/boxes/arkcase-ce"
  # Create public(bridged) network instead of private(nat)
  config.vm.network "public_network", type: "dhcp"
  config.vm.hostname = "arkcase-ce.local"
  # disable the default synced folder
  config.vm.synced_folder '.', '/vagrant', disabled: true
end

Use vagrant to download the image and put it preconfigured to virtualbox, download took 10 minutes:

vagrant up

Use a bridge (usually br0) to be able to access the VM:

==> default: Available bridged network interfaces:
1) br0

To get the IP address of the VM you need to ssh to the VM with

vagrant ssh

Use sudo -s to get root.

Get the IP address of the ArkCase VM:

ifconfig

Now can manage the ArkCase VM in phpvirtualbox:

Set a DNS entry for arkcase-ce.local to the VM IP so your browsing client can resolve it or just browse by IP.

su - vboxweb
vagrant ssh
sudo -s

Get the PID of the stuck solr process:

[root@arkcase-ce vagrant]# ps ax | grep solr
 671 ...

Kill the process:

kill 671

Restart other main services:

systemctl restart arkcase pentaho alfresco

It takes some time until the memory is filled by the processes. You may watch it with top. If ready arkcase and the other services are reachable, if not you get a proxy error:

Proxy Error

The proxy server received an invalid response from an upstream server.
The proxy server could not handle the request GET /arkcase.

Reason: Error reading from remote server

After some time you should be able to login to https://IP/arkcase. Check out https://IP for login credentials and other running services.

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Can we work on this on a hosted vps.
I can run a similar installation on mine, while i can provide you with a testing server for the same.

I think it’s intended to work locally but installation should be possible on Nethserver as VPS too. It needs some disk space for the image, I think about 10 GB.
Honestly, I am a little disappointed that their image for people to have a look doesn’t work.

EDIT:

It’s working. I updated the quick install post.
Apache Solr needs to be killed to (re)start properly. This happens on every reboot.
I think we should first have a look if the software is useful and if yes we can think about fixing the VM problems or integrating it to Nethserver directly.

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cool, just got something new to test. ill test and anlyze its use cases, then if all is well, as metnioned, we can have the intergration into nethserver working.

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am curious about installing this on a hosted vps. You tested on a local machine it worked. i’d like to test on hosted vps, with a domain and ssl to see how the journey takes, me…

To make it work without firewall issues I used a bridged network getting IP from DHCP for the arkcase VM. If you can easily get a second public IP on the VPS it should just work.
If not you could change to public mode in VagrantFile (or NAT network for VM) and add firewall configuration.

Local services like samba are running in the VM so for production you may consider using a dummy interface for securing.

should this be nano Vagrantfile or are there more itmes to de done?

Yes, just create the file with the editor you like.

yes i can get a second ip for the server. Must it be configured that way with 2 public ips?

now am even more lost here

should this be exactly this way, or should the arkcase-ce be replaced with subdomain.

Also should this be replaced with subdomain

In this case you need to configure the arkcase VM to use a static ip or adapt the vagrantfile.

In the Vagrantfile you can choose between public and private network, I added a comment in the howto.

Exactly that way, nothing to replace here. It works with IP too no matter what you configure at that stage.

i think it can not run on an AMD machine.

There was an error while executing `VBoxManage`, a CLI used by Vagrant
for controlling VirtualBox. The command and stderr is shown below.

Command: ["startvm", "1c9e74f3-9a7f-4500-a61d-9584975a6918", "--type", "headless"]

Stderr: VBoxManage: error: AMD-V is not available (VERR_SVM_NO_SVM)
VBoxManage: error: Details: code NS_ERROR_FAILURE (0x80004005), component ConsoleWrap, interface IConsole

ill just get another intel vps and test…