Industry analysts are predicting content management will be one of the top five application software growth segments of 2011. Popular open source portal/CMS, Liferay (news, site), is building on its success last year and preparing to take advantage of the expected market growth.

Growth, Community Support and Liferay Portal 6EE

Liferay, for those not familiar with the platform, provides a Java-based portal framework for building sites and web applications. The product is available in two levels, the free Liferay Portal Community Edition and the commercial Liferay Portal Enterprise Edition.

CMSWire spoke with Liferay CEO, Brian Cheung, and Paul Hinz, CMO, about their accomplishments last year and their plans for the remainder of 2011. By all measures, Liferay had a big year in 2010. The company experienced a 100% growth in revenues and employee headcount; they also managed to expand their partner network to 89. Liferay demonstrated its commitment to the open source model growing its community to 35,000 members and hiring a community manager from commercial software behemoth Oracle.

From a technology perspective, Liferay made equivalent strides with the introduction of version 6 of its portal platform. Version 6 introduced features such as:

  • Enhanced workflow
  • Rules engine integration
  • Custom fields
  • One click page creation
  • Configurable teams which sub-divide communities

These features were welcome additions to the platform and well received by Liferay users. In addition to the 6EE release, Liferay launched new projects like Alloy UI and an Eclipse-based integrated development environment.

We weren’t the only people that took notice of Liferay’s progress. water & stone name the Liferay portal as the popular Java CMS in their annual Open Source CMS Market Share Report. Gartner's Magic Quadrant for Horizontal Portal Products recognized the Liferay as a leader in the visionary quadrant for 2010.

Company leaders aren’t taking a break to bask in their CMS goodness; the company has big plans for 2011 and beyond.

What’s Coming in 2011

Liferay is continuing to focus on its active open source community. This year the company is introducing community projects and an incubator process. Cheung said,

It is very important to us to embrace and support the community. Unlike some companies that are moving to become more closed, we are doing just the opposite.”

Community projects will allow contributors to develop complimentary to enhance the functionality of the Liferay platform. Liferay will also be engaging its community by providing contests, training, international roadshows and more documentation.

The company is also making an effort to provide more whitepapers and blueprints to provide guidance and best practices on the platform. The additional documentation will be a valuable asset to those using or considering adoption of software.

A Marketplace for Liferay

Liferay’s move to support community projects compliments its other big 2011 announcement, the Liferay Marketplace. The Marketplace will allow anyone to buy and sell Liferay modules as well as advertise jobs or find resources for working on the platform. Liferay’s Marketplace will likely be a good move for the company and for the community given the success of similar ventures by open source CMS platforms like Drupal (news, site).

Liferay 6.1 Plans

The next release of the platform, version 6.1, will feature significant enhancements. Cheung indicated we can look for features such as:

  • Superior Doc Library
  • Google-like Enterprise Cal
  • Microblogging: OSGi and more
  • User Data Lists, Workflow-enabled Forms
  • Advanced Plug-In Management

in the spring release.

The Java-based Liferay portal is somewhat of a rarity in a Web CMS market dominated by platforms using web languages like PHP and Ruby. The team seems to be proving that it has no trouble finding its place and providing some notable competition.