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 protected].
When choosing a Web content management system, there are several questions a companys IT workers should ask of themselves and of the software.
- What are my platform requirements? Is this a heterogeneous shop? A Windows shop? Do you need the content management system to be able to integrate with other enterprise applications?
- What are my developer expertise specifications? In any Web content management application, you will have to customize templates and other aspects of the software on a regular basis. Do you have mainly Java expertise or .Net skills? Do you have site developers who know or are willing to learn other scripting languages such as PHP or Python?
- Who will be adding content to the site on a regular basis? Will only skilled Web authors be adding content directly to the site, meaning a rich-text editor is unnecessary? Will novices be regularly updating the site, making an intuitive and simple content editor a necessity?
- Will there be a simple path to approving content for the site? Or will content need to go through several editing and approval levels, making a robust workflow system a requirement?
- How vital are uptime and support? Is your site primarily informational, meaning it wont be a disaster if it goes down, or is it a main business center that requires 100 percent uptime?
- Do our needs match what were paying for? Many corporate sites are well-served by open-source or inexpensive low-end and midtier content management products. Make sure you have six-figure needs before choosing a six-figure (or more) application.
Source: eWEEK Labs