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RIA & Ajax: Article

Selecting an Open Source Content Management Solution

Using Web 2.0 to Drive Online Sales

When it comes to Content Management Solutions (CMS), “one size” does not fit all. When considering open source CMS for a real-world client experience, it’s necessary to focus on the project needs, evaluate various CMS solutions in the context of these project needs, and to explore experiences with the strengths and weaknesses of the solutions.

One example we found was at the Sports Club/LA, a company that operates upscale fitness facilities in numerous cities including Boston, Manhattan, Miami, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. They have over 40,000 active gym members and offer a variety of fitness programs, including yoga, pilates, and personal trainer services. Despite a customer base that is increasingly Web-savvy, the company had never invested in a significant Web presence. Its new management decided that this situation had to change, and commissioned a new e-business Website to drive online sales and generate leads through the Web, and also reflect the upscale nature of the brand with an attractive design.

In particular, this project imposed the following requirements on a content management system:

Robust Low-Cost Content Approval and Publishing: The company has clubs nationwide that publish their own content: local news, promotions and events, as well as activity calendars, which must be kept up to date. This dynamic content is managed by dozens of administrators across the country. It has to be very easy to create, get approval, and publish to the Website. Commercial CMS solutions such as Interwoven or Vignette were too expensive and beyond the budget range for the project.

More Stories By Vinod Pabba

Vinod Pabba is CEO and co-founder of Inkriti Solutions, a technology consulting company and provider of Web 2.0 Solutions for customer-centric e-business. An entrepreneur with expertise in information technology and outsourcing businesses, he has nearly a decade of brand management, account management, and new solutions development expertise. Prior to Inkriti, Vinod founded and operated the software company Amandee in 2000. He holds a masters degree in engineering from Stanford and an undergraduate degree from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), in Chennai, India.

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Most Recent Comments
Davo 01/02/08 03:38:45 PM EST

A couple of corrections for you.

Alfresco is listed as being not free. This is not 100% correct. The Community version is totally free. The Enterprise version is an older more stable release but comes with paid for vendor support. The same is true of Liferay - you have the option of paying for vendor support.

It seems strange that Alfresco and Liferay have even been considered since both are based on JEE and you're scoring the ability to support PHP (natively I assume). Liferay does have CMS features but it's better known as a portal (it can integrate with other CMS solutions such as Alfresco). Perhaps other PHP based solutions should've been considered instead - e.g. ExpressionEngine or ModX?