Normally in this space we look back over the current month and forward into the next month at what the various open source CMS projects are up to. But rather than blindly putting out an update for January, we thought we'd look farther ahead into what everyone wants to accomplish throughout next year. Call it our open source 2010 predictions with less guesswork and high hopes.
We posed a set of questions to participating open source CMS projects regarding their own plans for 2010, and their thoughts on where CMS in general is going for 2010. If you feel that your project was left out, we invite you to add your comments below and then send us an email at [email protected] with a pointer to who we should contact in the future. All open source content and document management projects are welcome.
Nancy Garrity with Alfresco (news, site) points out that January 2010 marks the project's 5th anniversary. For the highs Alfresco would like to achieve in 2010, she says that the expected ratification of the CMIS specification is a game changer.
An early adopter in the CMIS space, Garrity says of Alfresco, "We are planning an Enterprise release in early 2010 that supports CMIS 1.0, we will expand and refine the CMIS training that we have already begun to deliver and we are working on developer resources for CMIS applications."
Other items they have coming in 2010 include:
- Their next Enterprise release will offer their DoD 5015.2 certified records management module
- Further enhancements and improvements for their cloud application development toolkit
- Continued work with the Spring community to improve their Spring Surf Extension web application development framework
- Extending team collaboration development
- Greater support for virtualization in the cloud
- Alfresco-based WCM content rich applications
For their community, Alfresco is hoping to:
- Gain a broader foothold in the Spring community and watch their Spring Surf Extension evolve
- Prepare their community for CMIS, Surf development and cloud computing, developing community-wide resources for the purpose
- Form a committee made up of community leaders to implement a new process for community contributions
- Gain valuable feedback through the customer advisory group formed around their Enterprise offering
Regarding the economy, Alfresco is positive about 2010. Part of this bullishness comes from the fact that they believe the recession has changed the way corporations evaluate software purchases, making it harder to justify large up-front purchases and license fees and far easier to take the try before you buy approach offered with open source.
"Organizations of all sizes and industries are looking for immediate business value from solutions that are easy to deploy and work with their existing infrastructure investments -- the CMS market is no exception," says Garrity.
Bill Beardslee from dotCMS (news, site) says that what he'd like his project to avoid in 2010 is, "A slow-down in bringing products to market. Everyone benefits when we can make decisions quickly, provide developers and the community with concrete direction and push the product to market the moment it is ready."
Features they'll be focusing on for 2010 revolve around the needs of larger enterprises, specifically CMIS and push publishing. "All large organizations struggle with integrating distributed applications and databases," says Beardslee. "Later in 2010, dotCMS will allow organizations to pair the most powerful content with commercial opportunities."
Regarding how the idea of CMS will evolve in 2010, in answer to what new challenges will come to the forefront, he answers: "Balancing the notion of a 'CMS in a box' with the realities that every enterprise requires customization. Many vendors are driving toward simplifying the build of a CMS, but at the expense of creating a solution that meets the needs of the business (and importantly, the visitor). If SquareSpace represents the 'CMS in a box' and Vignette represents the ultimate in customization, the middle ground will emerge as a fertile area of the market."
Finally, when asked what new ideas/concepts will be embraced, Beardslee says, "As the amount of content continues to grow exponentially, search will continue to grow in importance. Creating connections between content and providing contextual reference for content will define the success of many marketers."
When it comes to the economic climate for 2010, he characterizes himself as somewhat positive.
Shaun Walker, the founder of DotNetNuke (news, site) says that he hopes the project hits the following milestones in 2010:
- Surpassing 750,000 DotNetNuke sites in active production
- Exceeding 900,000 registered community members on DotNetNuke.com
- Surpassing 6,500,000 downloads
Other accomplishments he anticipates include:
- New wrappers for the free DotNetNuke that allow users to better leverage the RadControls toolset to achieve that "cool factor" for their dynamic sites
- Increasing localization capabilities with rapid adoption as they're added
- Continued rapid growth of the commercial DotNetNuke partner program
Walker's prediction is that cloud computing will drive continued CMS evolution in 2010, with many offerings evolving from stand-alone products to web-delivered services. He's also bullish on the growth of DotNetNuke in 2010, even if the worldwide economy has difficulties. "The slow 2009 worldwide economy drove interest in open source solutions like ours," he points out, "and will continue to drive our success in 2010 no matter which direction the economy heads."
In a chat with Dries Buytaert of Drupal (news, site) he mentioned that the huge thing for 2010 is the release of Drupal 7, with its focus on usability and scalability. Also coming (though not necessarily at the same time) is a Drupal.org site redesign and relaunch, which will give a much better first impression to new Drupal users.
With the launch of Drupal distributions (Drupal with configurations and modules packaged with it for specialized uses), Buytaert expects Drupal to evolve from a platform into solutions throughout 2010. Adding Drupal Gardens and Buzzr into the mix to offer SaaS Drupal sites to the masses will increase that momentum further, as some clients discover that they're outgrowing the SASS version and need to move to a full Drupal implementation.
For trends in 2010 he feels that social software is more than just hype, social publishing will grow and that Drupal is uniquely positioned to ride the wave.
When it comes to what to avoid in 2010, Buytatert says that he'd like to introduce more process into Drupal development but not too much. The open source Web CMS keeps getting bigger and better and at a point you get slowed down without some process in place. But there's a definite line where too much process can also slow you down. So the challenge is to maintain high velocity and keep innovating while still growing and not collapsing under their own weight.
Looking ahead past Drupal 7 further into 2010, he can see adding content staging features into the core of Drupal 8, and wants to focus more on Drupal as a product and further focus on issues such as usability. The Drupal community needs to reach a point where they're developing for the end user (site builders) rather than just themselves, making Drupal more enterprise-ready and enabling bigger and bigger projects to run on it.
As to the evolution of the idea of a CMS in 2010, Buytaert sees them becoming more social, almost a social media center. Already in 2009 the large, traditional CMS vendors are struggling to keep up on this front. Yet with the web getting faster and faster, more and more services will be launched, so there's no time to stop to breathe. He feels that closed source vendors are at a severe disadvantage in that type of climate.
Jeff Eaton with Drupal-based company Lullabot (news, site) points out that when Drupal 7 ships, developers will have a much easier time updating and building onto the ecosystem because of the automated unit testing framework that's been put into place. "It's helped the developers working on Drupal 7 reduce subtle and not-so-subtle bugs by automating thousands of tests: every patch submitted for Drupal 7 is automatically applied to the code, tested by a cluster of dedicated servers, and the results are reported to project maintainers before they even examine the code."
Eaton feels that while the testing and distribution packaging frameworks might be relatively quiet changes, they'll play a big part in Drupal's growth in 2010 and beyond.
As far as dangers to Drupal, he feels that they "lie in the balancing the needs of hardcore developers against those of more traditional site builders and designers who just want a site that works. Drupal is being used heavily by both groups, and their needs are very different. Ensuring that enhancements targeted at one group don't hurt the system's usefulness for the other is a tricky game, but it's worth the work."
According to the makers of the eZ Publish Web CMS, one thing they'd really like to achieve in 2010 is significant growth of their ecosystem and their already active core community. Part of this push includes upcoming annual conferences:
- eZ 2010 Winter Conference on January 21 and 22 in Geneva
- eZ 2010 Summer Conference in Berlin on June 23 - 25
For eZ Systems (news, site) itself, the company behind eZ Publish, they want to push forward and demonstrate that a healthy open source business model works. To do so they need to grow their market share and make significant progress with their software and services. Their focus will continue to be on Europe and North America.
When it comes to what new features to expect in eZ Publish, version 4.3 is expected in March. This version brings a redesign of their administration interface to make it more efficient, more modern, and more in line with their front end editing tool. The new admin interface also reflects a new focus on usability, with 4.3 being only the first step toward this goal. eZ Systems is hiring a dedicated UX team lead to lead the charge.
Other features coming in 2010 are:
- Their new CSS Style Editor
- An XML exporter
- A CMIS connector
- Mobile Internet publishing
- A bridge to print publishing
- Online marketing tools
The Style Editor and the CMIS connector will be released prior to 4.3 for those who want access to those features sooner.
When it comes to the eZ Publish community, 2010 brings a new community web site team, tasked with evolving the new eZ community portal through the use of a redesign contest. Longer term 2010 community goals include:
- Gain a wide adoption of the new eZ Community Partnership Program
- Grow the eZ Community
- Raise activity levels throughout the eZ Community
- Rock the summer conference in June
- Decrease dilution in community collaborative development, get people focused in fewer and stronger efforts
- Increase the community's autonomy, voice, and power regarding eZ Publish
- Improve their certified third party application program to enable more community members to build a successful business around eZ technology
What the team hopes their users achieve in 2010 includes ideas from their Digital Media industry users on new ideas and models that can be applied to Online Media. In general, the eZ team feels that CMS will become less about being able to publish your content and more about being able to leverage your content in several channels, such as mobile, social media, new devices, and even print.
"The CMS is expected to handle and create value from the content not only for the web but in any channel for anyone," said Bertrand Maugain, eZ Systems' VP of Marketing. "Whether it will be about monetizing, adding visibility, reusing, [or] re-purposing content: all those actions that are to be done after the editing and publishing process will gain more and more importance and we hope to provide features for that. Old generation CMS, or page based CMS will be strongly handicapped in that respect."
They also feel that search solutions such as text mining will grow closer to the job of a CMS and eventually merge into it, and that 2010 will be the year when all of these concerns make significant steps toward the semantic web.
Regarding the economic climate for 2010, Maugain states that they're happy to be in an industry that's still healthy and growing, but that their direct users and customers have had a hard year, particularly in the area of Media, Finance and Real Estate, where they have significant projects.
"Still," he says, "we made it and we helped some of them to face the issues of this crisis, by offering a better cost control of their solutions." He feels that this trend will continue for the first half of 2010. "Most of the budgets are already established, and priority to control cost and for short term return on investment will still be obvious. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but [it] slightly changes the profile of the project users will run. Less massive projects, [we expect] more step by step approaches, and slower decision processes."
The Hippo CMS (news, site) team has big plans for 2010. Early in the year they intend to launch a new web 2.0 platform. This open source product is aimed at the enterprise, to ensure "improved communication, collaboration and knowledge retention while lowering the burden on IT resources."
Features include an integrated approach to user-generated content, an "enterprise mash-up" functionality that focuses on matching content and applications with the needs of individual employees. Each user will get a personalized window to "content and applications inside and (cl)outside the organization, while IT keeps (or regains?) central control over security & access rights."
Instead of aiming to reinvent popular applications such as Gmail, Zoho, Twitter and Evernote, this new product aims to let companies integrate such tools within their enterprise security umbrella.
The folks who produce the open source document management software, KnowledgeTree (news, site), feel that 2010 will show continued growth of enterprise content management across organizations of all sizes. In particular, the project team believes that CMIS is crucial to ensuring interoperability across ECM applications.
"It is no longer viable for Enterprise CMS applications to operate in independent silos, especially as organizations are recognizing the hidden value of their content," said the project spokesperson. Along with CMIS, KnowledgeTree is focusing on OpenSearch and integration with other PHP applications such as SugarCRM, Drupal (news, site) and Joomla (news, site). They also want to keep the application both easy to use and lightweight.
Another theme they feel will continue to grow is that of the cloud. "Along with the concept that content now constitutes a strategic asset is the corollary that content must be accessible at anytime and anywhere," their spokesperson stated. They've seen small and medium businesses turning to the cloud due to operational and economic pressures, and expect that larger enterprises will speed up their adoption once they grow more comfortable with "storing content off-premise."
Regarding the economy, the folks at KnowledgeTree feel somewhat positive in general, and more bullish about their own chances thanks to their focus on interoperability, ease of use, a low footprint and affordability.
Company CTO Boris Kraft states that for Magnolia CMS (news, site) one of the highlights for 2010 will be the release of Magnolia 5.0. "Its been in discussion for more than 2 years," he points out. "we have done plenty of research regarding the new GUI (code name GenUIne) and we will have a new web-service based architecture in place."
Before they reach that point they'll release two more 4.x versions. First is 4.3. Many of the features of this version come from discussions at the Magnolia Conference Community Day in 2009. Then comes 4.5, which introduces Magnolia's new web services API. Other plans for 2010 involve growing significantly in Europe and the US, and the second Magnolia Conference.
The features they're hoping to add include:
- Introduce Groovy scripting (instead of Java) as a core feature
- Finalize multi-domain support, eliminating need for mod-rewrite
- Finalize internationalization for the Standard Templating Kit (STK) for managing multi-language-single-structure sites
- Extract the logic for the main tags into standard Java classes
- Improve the node builder API
- Add a simplified cache configuration option
- Simplified clustering configuration and adding the synchronization module
- Performance improvements
For 2010, Kraft hopes to significantly grow the Magnolia community, continuing the growing trend from 2009. He also hopes to get users' IT departments to update to the latest version of Magnolia and the STK.
Regarding the economy, Kraft says they've had a very successful 2009 at Magnolia. "Our license revenue has grown by more than 50% compared to 2008 and has reached roughly 75% of total revenue," he points out, "underscoring the success of our strategy to leave services to partners and focus on product development instead. We have seen companies adopt Magnolia at a strategic level."
Byrne Reese representing the Movable Type fork crowned "Open Melody" (news, site) humbly states that he hopes 2010 will become "The Year of Melody." Since this is a relatively new project, early 2010 is when the first beta will be released and their first official release is scheduled for the first quarter. Big features to expect include custom fields, profiles and community-submitted content.
To help designers and developers learn to work with this "completely free and open source alternative to Movable Type Pro," the Melody team has scheduled free online training seminars. They're also focusing on making plugin development as easy and intuitive as site development. Efforts toward this goal include new documentation.
Reese identifies their greatest challenge for 2010 to be building upon and sustaining the momentum necessary to compete in a market full of great alternatives.
We hope to differentiate ourselves," he says, "by looking to these projects for inspiration because we believe that is what open source is all about. WordPress for example was inspiration for us to embed PubSubHubbub support into the core product, and we are watching closely with their support of the Twitter API - which we think is a smart move to instantly gain mobile client support."
Joe Audette says that the mojoPortal (news, site) project intends to release a new version before Christmas. Its major new feature involves creating metadata beyond keywords and description. While specifically designed for use with the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (used with semantic web technologies such as RDFa), this feature does support other vocabularies.
In 2010 mojoPortal will continue to focus on its roadmap, adding and improving features based on community feedback. Particular areas where he expects they'll make headway include:
- Their ecommerce web store feature
- Bringing existing documentation up to date
- Filling in documentation gaps for undocumented features and configurations
- More training videos targeting developers, designers and end users
The coming year will also bring an MVP program to the mojoPortal community. This program will "recognize outstanding community members both in terms of their participation in the community forums and in terms of high quality design or development of custom features on public facing sites they have brought online with mojoPortal."
Audette says they're also toying with the idea of monthly online user/developer meetings.
Stephen Morgan with Squiz (news, site) says that the key objectives for MySource Matrix for 2010 revolve around integrating this project further with Funnelback, their Enterprise Search product.
They've chosen this direction because they see the lines between CMS and search blurring, where some projects may need search-based vertical applications rather than starting with a separate CMS and search library. According to Morgan, this approach will reduce integration costs and increase access to data across an organization.
Another area MySource Matrix will extend into in 2010 involves contextual navigation and presentation of data based on where a user arrived from. The CMS can track "current behavioural patterns" and report to the business when those usage patterns change, allowing the company to encourage further positive changes or seek the cause for a negative change.
Finally, in 2009 MySource Matrix received optimized multi-context editing, workflow and publishing where contexts refer to language, devices and so on. For 2010, Squiz expects to enhance this functionality, integrating it with translation management systems and external workflow steps.
Cheryl McKinnon says that Nuxeo (news, site) wants to accelerate their 2009 gains in community engagement. They plan to add value-added support services and more collaborative elements to their community site, making it easier to share apps and integrations.
Examples of other new features to come include:
- Simple, GUI-driven administrative tools to let business analysts create "innovative content applications" without needing to know a lot of code
- Better support for information governance requirements in the public sector and other regulated industries, by way of enhancing their content lifecycle and records management features
- Enhanced workflow and rules functionality
- Rich media management and DAM capabilities to support image, digital photo and video asset control
Regarding the Nuxeo community, McKinnon says that they hope their community continues innovating at the same level as 2009, helping to fulfill the analyst predictions that 2010 is a make or break year for open source Enterprise CMS. Commitment to emerging standards such as CMIS is particularly important, and they definitely want to encourage the prototyping and integration work that's already under way. Helping 2010 be ECM's year also involves having creative customer and partner stories, with customer use cases driving the evolution of ECM into a platform for specific vertical and horizontal markets.
One thing she says they'd like to avoid in 2010 is being pigeon-holed by Enterprise CMS and document management software competitors as just an open source, low-cost alternative. "We see ourselves as an ECM platform for 21st century business," says McKinnon, "with open source as our selected development model. Open source is not the one single thing we want prospects and partners to remember about our products and market vision."
Regarding how CMS will evolve in 2010, McKinnon says, "There's a shift happening in the content management world today -- the older proprietary architectures simply aren't suited for 21st century business." Today businesses need their ECM to handle many types of communication, including social, interactive, and mobile. It's essential to offer rapid support for every new platform and application that gains traction, along with sticking with interoperability standards, and she feels that the open source development model simply does this better.
Her outlook on the economy for 2010 is positive, she feels that things are starting to rebound.
Allen Ellis at ocProducts, the company behind open source Web CMS ocPortal (news, site) says the project's main priorities for 2010 are to "support our growing community with continued updates and fixes as they are required. This will help our continuing drive to broaden awareness of ocPortal, and foster the growth of the community."
He mentions that the web is changing drastically and that ocPortal must adapt with the change. Regarding those changes, he states, "The web is quickly converging with broadcast and print media and all the richness and quality that comes with that, and today's CMSs only scratch the surface of the publishing and management needs that will result. Internet fundamentals are being revisited and reinvented as forces continue to push the desktop and the web closer together."
Such changes, says Ellis, task ocPortal with "the difficult balancing act of anticipating which changes are valid enhancements to the web (open, supported, effective, and justifiable), and not misdirecting our efforts and users towards temporary 'fads' that crop up."
Along with changes to ocPortal, the company ocProducts also has expanded offerings planned for the months ahead. Stay tuned.
Niels Hartvig with Umbraco (news, site) says that for 2010, he'd like Umbraco to become the preferred open source Web CMS for serious projects on the Microsoft stack. In fact, he'd like to "Make people realize that there's finally an innovative, open source Web CMS on the Microsoft stack that respects users and loves the web."
The project's push for the new year is to promote Umbraco better now that they can show that they have the software and the community to back it up. Expect a new website, more PR and better local representation.
New features to expect include transitioning the framework to Microsoft ASP.NET MVC, a project that may take all year. For the community, Hartvig would like to see the same "incredibly friendly vibe" remain as they welcome more and more new members. "This was our #1 priority for 2009," he says, "as we've seen this go wrong in other successful projects."
What he'd like to see their users achieve is to become even better at sharing assets and making vertical hubs for Umbraco add-ons. In the Media and Government sectors, they're seeing interest in special package repositories and hope to get these into place in 2010.
Issues he wants to avoid in 2010 include feature bloat and forgetting that Umbraco is popular because it's simple. The more users they attract, the more difficult this goal becomes, but he has his fingers crossed.
When it comes to the idea of CMS itself, he thinks in 2010 "people will finally start to stop treating Web CMS as a miracle cure." In Hartvig's opinion the technology is getting too complex and bloated, especially where controlled and developed by technicians. "With very few exceptions like Wordpress and Umbraco," he says, "we're seeing systems that try to do too much -- like integrated analytics, document management or even CRM -- while forgetting being good at presenting editorial content."
Remember, if you feel that we missed your project or an important piece of information, please add your comments below and then send us an email at [email protected] with a pointer to who we should contact in the future.