Ingeniux CMS Catches the Social Networking Train
Or so Ingeniux says with a new release called Cartella. What does Cartella do? The very basics of social networking, social content and web content management put in the same wagon.

CMSWire got a little Cartella tour from Ingeniux’s David Hillis, director of marketing and business development, and Nathan Eggen, director of technology – and this is what we’ve found out.

Bringing Cartella to Life

Cartella is a fruit of Ingeniux’s labor of many years and of many iterations. This “social content management platform” aims to address content below the “waterline” needs. This is how the CMS vendor is describing any content that is below that tip of the iceberg.

Ingeniux said the reason Cartella saw light was because they saw certain “gaps on the market” both from the functionality and price point perspectives.

What Can Cartella Do?

Ingeniux says they have integrated social networking, Web analytics and content management into one solution with modules for managing documents, wikis, blogs and rich media. There isn’t really much focus on social networking, though, despite the marketing buzz. There are no (much expected) integrations with the likes of Flickr, Twitter, LinkedIn or YouTube, for example.

One of Cartella’s modules – Documents -- is social only from a possible social collaboration point of view and really is more of a MOSS connector.

What’s interesting is that, according to Ingeniux, it takes (on average) about 6 weeks to implement an Ingeniux CMS-based website. With Cartella, however, the time to market can be as short as 4 days. We know, hard to believe.

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Cartella Social Management
 

Cartella comes in 3 flavors with the following features:

Cartella Enterprise

  • Single Sign-On
  • SharePoint connector
  • Document management
  • Federated file management
  • Workflow
  • Identity Integration
  • Auditing and compliance

Cartella Connect

  • Permissions and access control
  • Team collaboration
  • Online workspaces
  • Federated ID management
  • User notifications
  • Web analytics


Cartella Community

  • Social networking
  • Social profiles and connections
  • Notifications and alerts
  • Commenting, ratings…
  • Member management
  • Rich media transcoding video and podcasts audio

Cartella is available both on-premise and as SaaS.

A Microsoft Kind of Love

The Cartella release (at the top of its lungs) sings yet another praiseful hymn to MSFT, being way too similar to MOSS. The relationship between Ingeniux and Microsoft is quite ummm… serious.

For one, Cartella will appeal primarily to ASP.NET developers. The platform leverages / Microsoft ASP.NET MVC -- thus, again, making it highly attractive to the Microsoft folk. Why MVC, you ask? It is easy to develop, could be popular among SMBs and .edu target markets looking to standardize on that platform.

This is not to mention that MSFT is one of Ingeniux’s customers using this web content management CMS to deliver its /podcast and /video content. And Ingeniux is proud to demo that fact.

According to Ingeniux, they see a “shift towards .NET becoming hugely popular.” Although, we could argue and say that .NET has been “popular” for some time now, what is really important is to evaluate Ingeniux against other vendors offering similar solutions before you make your final decision -- unless, of course, you’re already an existing customer and wouldn’t mind trying on this new add-on solution.

Ingeniux says they want to leverage SharePoint as an enabler, using the same implementation stack. Visual Studio integration is partially out-of-the-box (for example, you can modify views in VS).

Alternatively, using Ingeniux’s transcoding technology, you can plug in any media encoder (that can provide an API), or use MVC to build out new modules.

Mixed Feelings

Cartella can integrate with a workflow. However, the idea is to skip the workflow ‘boringness’ and “really empower organizations to share information amongst people.” Strangely enough, for Ingeniux, the approach is as follows: “Let it go online unmoderated and then pull things down using search.”

Calendaring integration is available from the CMS itself, or though third party vendors. Metadata management is weak and works best with pull-type of data consumption, where Cartella can digest the existing, say, EXIF metadata. However, it seems that all you can do in Cartella is add categories and tags. When working with digital assets like images, you can only add metadata (i.e. tags), if you have the Galleries module implemented.

With Ingeniux’s Cartella, you can pull in Flickr content, for example, using RSS feeds – however, there are no seamless integrations. But other than that, and some basic blogging and .edu, old professor-style profiles functionality there is not much to it. Although, all of the “cool” apps integrations (think Twitter and Yammer) are being targeted for the next release, says Ingeniux. Wait up, progressive .edu users!

Making a Social CMS: An Easy Task Hard to Do

Innovation is not an easy task. Managing social content alongside your other web or enterprise content is no longer that breathtaking. While Ingeniux claims that they’ve unveiled the “the first unified social content management platform,” let’s just say their marketing department sure knows how to do the job.

As more and more vendors are jumping on the social content train lately, this is becoming to be an interesting journey. Some are riding in plush first class cabins, others – on the stoop. CMS vendors’ social networking/social collaboration/web2.0/whatever-you-wanna-label-it solutions have many commonalities to accomplish the most foundational objectives of managing social content. Some of them stand out with unique features not found elsewhere.

For a quick overview of CMSs gone social check out the following (in alphabetical order):

  • Day Software and CQ 5.2
  • EPiServer and Relate+
  • Vignette and VAC 7.1

If you get a chance to play with Cartella, please drop us a note and let us know your impressions.