Just because the researchers at Gartner chose to overlook open source offerings
in their latest enterprise content management evaluation does not mean that decision makers within your organization should go the same route.
To help fill the not so minor gap left by Gartner, Infoworld recently compared five open source content management products that are worthy of any IT manager's shortlist -- though with Alfresco stacked up against the likes of Drupal, perhaps not the same shortlist.The criteria used to evaluate the five open source
products naturally includes available functionality, but there are other aspects that are often taken for granted with commercial offerings.
Yet it is vital that these details not be over looked when working with open source applications. This extended criteria includes the frequency of updates to the core application, the health and availability of the user community, and the availability and quality of professional support.
Using this criteria, author Mike Heck compared features and functionality for:
* Alfresco Community Release 2.1
* DotNetNuke 4.5.5
* Drupal 5.2
* Open Source Matters Joomla 1.0.13
* Plone 3.0
We encourage you to read the article
in its entirety as it provides excellent details about the author's real world experience installing, configuring, and interacting with each application. But in the meantime, allow us to summarize some findings:
* Alfresco Community Release 2.1 is far and away the preferred offering from the above list. The solid document management core with enhanced functionality in records management that is extended to a new-and-improved web content management capability makes Alfresco's
open source version the clear favorite. In fact, the author had nothing negative to say about the product which is a red flag in any pacage evaluation
* The remaining products are described in a generally positive light with a few warts being exposed. Specifically, Drupal
is dinged for the lack of a rich-text editor and DotNetNuke is called out for lacking CMS features such as versioning and workflow that are available in Alfresco and Plone.
Overall, the Web CMS that your organization chooses to implement needs to fit the circumstances as closely as possible. It is important to remember that every CMS will require a certain amount of customization. To paraphrase the wise Jamie Zawinski, "Open Source Software is free only if your time has no value."
Falling in love with Plone
and its multilingual support or DotNetNuke and its built-in support for Google AdSense is going to be counter productive if your organization is a pure Java shop.
Within the framework of doing what makes sense
for your organization's Web content management needs, this comparison is an excellent starting point for your open source web CMS package selection.
Does your organization currently use any of the aforementioned products? If so, take a gander at the Infoworld article and tell us what you think