Hosted solutions that provide all the necessary management, workflow and content controls—without the often-complex and costly initial deployment that a software solution can entail—are an attractive option for many companies making the move into full-bore Web content management.
However, as a corporate Web sites needs change, a company may find that a hosted solution is no longer the best fit for the site and its content. For these businesses, one very sensible solution is a product that is available as both a hosted service and as a licensed software offering. The reason is that the product could allow an organization to get the initial benefits of a hosted solution and then move seamlessly to an internally installed version of the same product when such a switch makes sense.
A good example of this type of solution is Quantum Art Inc.s QP7.Framework (formerly known as Q-Publishing). QP7.Framework, available now, provides all the capabilities required to manage large, complex Web sites, portals and intranets—and all these capabilities are accessible through an intuitive, detailed, browser-based interface.
This interface works only with Microsoft Corp.s Internet Explorer, but the product will soon support the Mozilla Foundations Firefox, Quantum Art representatives said.
In eWEEK Labs tests of the hosted version of QP7, we could configure and manage multiple sites from a central interface. We could create users and groups directly on the system, but we could not configure the product to integrate with an internal LDAP or Microsoft Active Directory server. (QP7.1, released shortly after our testing of QP7 was performed, includes support for direct integration with LDAP and Active Directory servers). Rather than assigning users to roles for access rights, user and group access rights are defined directly within content and objects in the system. The workflow capabilities, although not the most extensive weve seen, were solid overall, letting us define step-by-step workflow processes for content creation, editing and approval.
The underlying technology in QP7 is based on Microsofts .Net and Active Server Pages. Managing the design and templates for site content requires familiarity with the .Net platform.
When they first log in, system users see a portallike interface that lets them quickly view the content they are working on and any important changes or information about the site. Content creation and editing can be done through the rich GUI editor or by importing content. The product has all the necessary versioning and archiving options that a busy site requires.
Prices for the hosted version of QP7 start at $1,000 per month, and the installed version starts at $16,999.
For more information, go to www.quantumart.com.