sensenet-logo-2008.jpg The Enterprise CMS socialism saga continues... Sense/Net, a Hungarian provider of open source alternative for building Enterprise CMS and Enterprise Portal (EPS) solutions, has implemented a prototype of the burgeoning CMIS spec. Joining the big guns and attaching your name to a popular concept can be very attractive. Sense/Net couldn’t resist. We talked to them to get the scoop.

Sense/Net Platform and CMIS

Sense/Net's CMIS prototype was implemented on the latest version Sense/Net 6.0, which runs on -- you’ve guessed it -- the .NET platform and, in the near future, also on Mono. The new version of Sense/Net 6.0 sees the Content Repository featuring a CMIS-compliant interface, while the portal will have a CMIS client portlet. This supports the move towards Web 2.0 content sharing across multiple databases. Needless to say, this is the first CMIS prototype implementation for a pure .NET CMS. “We want people to download, test and report back on their findings on this ‘community edition’ of Sense/Net 6.0,” says Sense/Net’s co-founder Tamas Biro. “For the first time, content management on .NET is freed from the constraints of SharePoint to compete on its own merits. We’re sure this will be a move that is reflected across the industry.” Sense/Net is offering a CMIS-enabled demo version of Sense/Net 6.0 at Source code for Sense/Net 6 and the CMIS prototype is available here.

Questions and Answers

CMSWire: What exactly has been accomplished in this implementation? Sense/Net: The company has developed a prototype for Sense/Net 6.0 that covers the basic functions of the CMIS standard. In particular, the listing and loading of content and syndication from our .NET/SQL-based content repository. To achieve this, we used the Microsoft Communication Foundation (WCF), which decouples the repository (data store) from the protocol implementation (service). This saves a huge amount of time. We plan to launch a fully functional CMIS-compliant repository as soon as possible. CMSWire: Can you give us more insight into your "CMIS-compliant interface"? Sense/Net: Sense/Net 6.0 is both an ECM and enterprise portal system: a two-in-one package like SharePoint. By “CMIS-compliant interface” we mean that our content repository can be accessed and used within the CMIS protocol – not just our native .NET API. So, eventually, our repository can be universally accessed from any application that understands CMIS, such as CMIS-compliant portals. CMSWire: Compared to Alfresco, Day and other vendors supporting CMIS, how do you see Sense/Net’s role in CMIS? Sense/Net: Firstly, we created a complete content repository -- the very first in the .NET world. Alfresco and others built on existing third-party Java content repositories such as Jackrabbit. Moreover, our CMIS implementation can be re-used, because our storage is decoupled from the CMIS protocol implementation using a provider model. Once our mission is complete, anyone can use our CMIS library for their CMIS implementation. Essentially, Alfresco did a great job implementing CMIS for the Java community. To further our ethos of accessibility, we want to work on this for .NET.

Bright Future for CMIS?

The industry is clearly hyped about CMIS. We, however, still don’t know if this new standard will ignite or fail as many other new standards have in the past. HTTP or TCP/IP was never made a big deal out of. Is being quiet part of being successful? The CMIS concept itself is admirable. Many organizations often run more than one CMS, struggling with multiple databases, and multiple languages and platforms. Interoperability and consistency is critical, and CMIS has the potential to expand the borders and give developers more freedom of touring the vast Enterprise CMS land sans passports and visas.