Open Source CMS White Paper

By Deane Barker

I read a great white paper on open-source content management last night called “Content Management Problems and Open Source Solutions.” In it, the author examines several different scenarios and profiles over a dozen different open-source content management systems, explaining the key features of each and why it’s right for the scenario he’s recommending.

If you’re a content management geek, and love trying new systems, this is a good paper to read. It’s extraordinarily well-written, up-to-date, and it gives you a solid taste of a bunch of different platforms. (In that respect, it’s like a buffet – and who doesn’t like a buffet?)

What I liked is how the author divided things up into four scenarios, understanding that no CMS is good for everything. He covers:

  1. The Informational Brochure Web Site: eZ publish, Mambo/Joomla, Typo3, and OpenCMS

  2. Online Periodical: Bricolage, Lenya, Zope CMF, and Midgard

  3. Collaborative Workspace and Wiki as Collaborative Workspace: Alfresco, Plone, MediaWiki, and Twiki

  4. Online Community: Drupal, phpBB, and Roller

While I applaud his delineation of different use cases, I do think he put some things in the wrong spots.

  • I would have put eZ publish under the “Dear God, this can do everything” scenario, but that’s just me. “Brochure Web Site” seems far too pedestrian for it.

  • Likewise with Zope under the “online periodical” category. That platform has wicked depth.

  • For the online periodical, I think WordPress would have been good to try.

He has high marks for eZ publish and Typo3, which is nice. I didn’t have much luck with Typo3, but it’s got good buzz and there’s the church project built on it that we discussed last week. A commenter to that post has much to say about Typo3 as well.

For breadth and eye opening ability, It reminds me of The Mother of All Content Management Discussions from last month. This is a great read. If you like content management, give it a look.

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