These challenges—and the responses to them—can be seen clearly in two recent releases of Web content management products: the open-source Magnolia 2.0 and the commercial Rhythmyx 5.5 from Percussion Software Inc.
In many ways, Magnolia represents the third wave of the open-source challenge to commercial Web content management products. Bricolage (bricolage.cc) took on the high end with enterprise-class features capable of running the busiest, most complex Web sites. Plone (www.plone.org) provided an easily deployed, highly configurable platform ideal for portals and company intranets. Now Magnolia 2.0 takes on the usability of low-end and midtier Web content management products, providing an easy-to-use, intuitive interface that rivals or exceeds those of most competitors.
Many commercial Web content management vendors have responded to these challenges by climbing the enterprise platform software stack and offering more broad-based enterprise content management products, either through mergers and acquisitions or through increased feature sets.
Rhythmyx 5.5 marks another step in Percussions progression toward full-on enterprise content management, with increased document and digital asset management capabilities and content retrieval features.
Companies evaluating Web content management applications must decide upfront if integration with other enterprise applications is necessary for their implementation.
In most cases, this means looking at midtier to high-end products such as Rhythmyx.
However, any company that needs a product only for running a Web site, no matter what the size or complexity, would be foolish to omit open-source options such as Magnolia from its evaluations.
Labs Director Jim Rapoza can be reached at email@example.com.