OpenWGA: A Java Web CMS with Features and Freedom, Kinda

3 minute read
Dee-Ann LeBlanc avatar

German web content management vendor Innovation Gate Gmbh decided earlier this year to rebrand version 5 of their Java-based product as open source. Let's take a look at what they're offering and where it fits.

What is OpenWGA?

OpenWGA is a dual licensed, Java-based Web CMS and web application development platform. Within this platform is a hierarchical document repository, which is accessible through a Java API and the JSP tag library-based OpenWGA Template Engine.

The OpenWGA Template Engine builds OpenWGA output based on repository contents, templates, and what the browser has asked for.

Templates for this product are written in what OpenWGA has dubbed the Web Template Markup Language (WebTML). This language relies on tags within HTML rather than an entirely new markup set or Java.

Free and Not Free

The free version of OpenWGA, OpenWGA Community Edition, is licensed through GPL version 3. Also free is the accompanying OpenWGA Developer Studio, which can plug into Eclipse (news, site) or be run on its own.

Learning Opportunities

On the other hand, the Enterprise Edition is sold on a per-server annual subscription basis under a proprietary Innovation Gate license at a cost of 7950EUR (around US$ 10,100) per year. The additional components for the Enterprise version are closed source, under a proprietary Innovation Gate license.

Enterprise customers get free professional OpenWGA Runtime support. Also available are developer support and consulting services. If you're looking for an Enterprise-level Web CMS and aren't turned off by the closed components, then you might be interested in this version's additional features:

  • Repository connectors for IBM's (news, site) Lotus Domino and DB2, Oracle (news, site) and Microsoft's SQL Server (news, site)
  • Database connector for Lotus Domino
  • Integrated XSLT processor, XHTML generator and HTTP-Post clients
  • LDAP, Novell (news, site) e-directory, Microsoft Active Directory (news, site) and Lotus Domino
  • Single sign-on with Microsoft Windows using SPNEGO, and with Lotus Domino
  • Access logging into MySQL
  • A full text analyzer for file attachments in html, Microsoft Office, OpenOffice, PDF, TXT and XML
  • Repository synchronization between Authoring and Life System
  • Content sharing through WebDAV (news, site)
  • Interface for calling WebTML actions through a web service, and deploying OpenWGA designs directly from the OpenWGA Developer Studio
  • A certified MySQL/Tomcat-based cluster architecture
  • Dynamic PDF generation using Apache FOP, and dynamic generation of ZIP archives
  • Content approval workflow

There's no denying that OpenWGA's Enterprise Edition offers enterprise-level features. But companies who splash "open source" all over their sites and products and then dual license with proprietary add-ons always risk turning off open source adherents.

Innovation Gate is relatively new to the open source space. It will be interesting to see how their international expansion with this offering fares.