Monday, April 18, 2005

Existing WCMS-es

This is a from an internal discussion at work..

Jahia seems nice on the demo, but they are quite outdated on the open source part (using old stuff like struts and ant, no JSR-170). Same thing goes for the very popular Liferay.

Swedish SiteVision is also good, but Objectware have alread got the under their hood. Magnolia as well, but the (like us) are based on persisting the content with Jackrabbit, and at this point there is no DBMS support there (though this is right around the corner). Magnolia's developers, the commercial company Obinary, are offering their customers an other JSR-170 compliant repository: CRX from Day. I suspect that the CRX is heavily based on Jackrabbit, since the Day developers are the core of the Jackrabbit crew.

Here's an incomplete overview:

Company      Open Source produt         Commercial product
-------------------------------------------------------------
Obinary Magnolia Compass
Day Jackrabbit CRX
Senselogic -- SiteVision
eXo eXo Platform --
Liferay Liferay --
Alkacon OpenCMS --
Us -- P

All the companies above also gather some revenue in consulting and hosting services.

So where should we position ourselves? We could keep developing our own CMS and
use Jackrabbit at persistence level, but that would leave us in competition with
Obinary (which is not where we want to be).

Perhaps we should build on Magnolia instead of making something on our own.
It would save us quite an amount of development with the cost of giving us
a lesser understanding and custom-tailoring of the CMS. But we feel we will
make up for the lack of functionality by spending the time saved on making
Magnolia extensions and modules.

This could lash right back our face. Magnolia can turn out to be too complicated
for someone outside Obinary to understand (like our previous CMS stroke us) and
too hard to modify for our customers' needs.

We also have to consider the transaction of articles and data from the old
database onto the JCR. We might even (like Magnolia) have to invest in an more
solid JCR implementation like CRX to ensure scalability, if Jackrabbit proves
incomplete to the task, that is.

Day has a nice faq about CRX and JCR:

http://www.day.com/content/en/product/jsr_170/content_repository/crx_faq.html

CMS-wizeguy Öbergs ramblings:
http://www.theserverside.com/news/thread.tss?thread_id=32890#164178

The more I think about it, and study our competitors, the more convinced I
become that we should build on what others have built. I'm worried that if
we keep developing a CMS on our own, it will take too much resources, and
no matter what always reside some paces behind Magnolia.

We've spent some time increasing our knowledge of Jackrabbit, JSF, Tomcat
and other useful technologies. Perhaps this knowledge is better put to work
if we join up with the present kings of content (kongene på haugen).