Open Source Content Management System – Overview

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Open Source Content Management System - Overview

Open Source Content Management System – Overview

Publishing documents on the World Wide Web can seem daunting to self-proclaimed documents out there. Let’s face it HTML, XML, CSS, JavaScript to mention some of the technologies that you have to get used to developing a website that really looks professional for yourself or your business. Fortunately there is a solution to this problem, it’s called a content management system and this is an easier way for anyone who wants to learn to publish to the Internet.

Some of these content management systems stem from the need to publish data to the web. CNet for example created one internal content management system which they then separated into a separate company called Vignette. Since publishing to the web began to take off in 1995 the development of this system has really begun to develop. But my focus will only be on the open source version of the web content management system.

The first open source system that I want to mention is called DotNetNuke (http://www.dotnetnuke.com) which is an AsP.Net based system. So far one of the more popular open source projects out there today DotNetNuke has a large following of hundreds of thousands of users. The benefits of using this system are quick updates to the platform and the intense support you will receive from the community. These are two very important factors when considering open source systems, the level of updates and support you will receive from their creators or platform users. Furthermore the innovations built into this system make it a powerful application of any size. For example the skinning mechanism is by far one of the easiest to modify and adjust and the scheduling processor reduces some of the more usual tasks in maintaining any website.

But DotNetNuke doesn’t come without flaws. Because this system was developed in ASP.Net, this means you need at least Visual Studio 2003 Professional or greater to truly modify the source and adjust the system to your liking. This can be a serious disadvantage because the cost of this development platform can reach hundreds of dollars.

The second open source system that I have experience in using is called AXCMS.Net (http://www.axcms.net) which is once again built on the .Net platform. This system is rich in features like other open source systems such as DotNetNuke. However, this system has certain disadvantages. First is the rather difficult installation and application problems that can seriously hamper any project. Also, there seems to be no user base that is as addicted as DotNetNuke. But these systems are “as solid” as they get and you will surely be rewarded by your efforts once you have a system fully prepared and ready to use. Also because the system is really a neat way to be introduced to the development team any updates or adjustments you need will be charged from the system creator. This actually impedes community support for the system and makes adoption much more difficult.

There are many other open source systems out there with several being developed as I write this article. The main factors when adopting an open source content management system that you should consider are: how well the system is supported by the community and how often the system is updated by its core development team. Even open source systems can have some hidden costs that must be considered before being adopted into any business or company.

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