Vendor Kudos and Shortcomings, Circa 2005
By Tony Byrne at 2005-09-08 15:02:00 |
It's time for our annual review of the CMS vendor capabilities. The categories below, as well as our judgments about vendors excelling and lagging, come from the most recent edition of The CMS Report.
In previous years (2002/03 and 2004), I've called these CMS "Supergroups." Unfortunately, you can't combine the best features of each tool into one great product. The more important point is that each product will necessarily possess strengths and weaknesses emanating from the business and design choices that a vendor or open-source project team make with each release. A smart buyer will match vendor strengths with core needs.
Another caveat: this list is limited to the 31 major solutions we review in The CMS Report. (For more information about them, visit our CMS vendors page. ) Of course you can find scores of other worthy vendors out there, including a variety of regional suppliers, as well as hundreds of consultancy offerings.Content Production Phase
In this phase, content is managed from conception to going live. There are 10 key features to examine here.
- Role/User Management. Kudos to: Zope / Plone.
Honorable mention: Ingeniux, Vignette.
Lagging: Interwoven, Sitecore.
- User Interfaces. Kudos to: Stellent.
Honorable mention: CoreMedia, Interwoven, Mediasurface, PaperThin, Serena.
Lagging: FileNet, Hummingbird/RedDot, Open Text, Synkron.
- Repository Search. Kudos to: Clickability.
Honorable mention: CrownPeak, Documentum, WebSideStory/Atomz.
Lagging: Interwoven, Roxen.
- Authoring & Transformation. Kudos to: Mediasurface.
Honorable mention: CrownPeak, Day, Ektron, Hummingbird/RedDot, Tridion.
Lagging: Documentum, Microsoft, many open-source tools.
- Library Services. Kudos to: Interwoven.
Honorable mention: CrownPeak, Microsoft.
Lagging: FileNet, Ingeniux, Plone, Serena.
- Metadata/Taxonomy Management. Kudos to: IBM
Honorable mention: Day, FatWire, Zope/Plone.
Lagging: Mediasurface, Sitecore, Vignette.
- Templating. Kudos to: Serena.
Honorable mention: Day, IBM, Midgard, Sitecore, Stellent.
Lagging: Documentum, Interwoven, Percussion.
- Workflow. Kudos to: Stellent.
Honorable mention: CoreMedia, OpenCms.
Lagging: FileNet, Microsoft, Open Text.
- Localization. Kudos to: Day.
Honorable mention: Documentum, Open Text, Plone, RedDot/Hummingbird, Sitecore, Tridion.
Lagging: Clickability, Mediasurface.
- Promotion Path. Kudos to: Serena.
Honorable mention: FileNet, Open Text, Refresh Software.
Lagging: Stellent, Ektron.
In this phase, content is delivered to end-users. Many Web content management systems deliberately do not deliver content; they "hand off" content to a delivery system, such as a webserver, web application, or portal.
- Page Assembly & Renditioning. Kudos to: Roxen.
Honorable mention: Microsoft, Midgard, Percussion.
- Site Search. Kudos to: WebSideStory/Atomz.
Honorable mention: Clickability.
Lagging: Ingeniux, OpenCms.
- Personalization. Kudos to: Hummingbird/RedDot.
Honorable mention: FatWire.
Lagging: Hard to say; many CMS vendors ignore this with good reason
- Caching & Replication. Kudos to: FatWire.
Honorable mention: Vignette.
Lagging: IBM, PaperThin.
- Syndication. Kudos to: Documentum.
Honorable mention: Ektron, IBM, Ingeniux, Vignette.
Lagging: Roxen, WebSideStory/Atomz.
- Output to Alternate Formats. Kudos to: CoreMedia.
Honorable mention: Sitecore.
Lagging: Microsoft, PaperThin.
A software package is more than the sum of its functional features. Other intangibles -- including the company, its partners, and the nature of its present customer base -- may have a greater impact on a product's suitability to your needs.
- Accessibility/508 Compliance. Kudos to: Stellent.
Honorable mention: Paperthin, Serena.
- CMS Activity Reporting. Kudos to: CrownPeak.
Honorable mention: Percussion, Serena
Lagging: Interwoven, Vignette, Zope, and nearly everyone else.
- Integration with 3rd-party software. Kudos to: Interwoven.
Honorable mention: CrownPeak, Day, Interwoven, Vignette.
Lagging: Roxen, Zope.
- Suitability for multichannel publishing. Kudos to: Tridion.
Honorable mention: Ingeniux, Percussion.
Lagging: PaperThin, Refresh Software.
- Active User Group. Kudos to: Documentum.
Honorable mention: Interwoven, Microsoft, Plone, Serena, Stellent.
Lagging: FileNet, IBM.
- Depth of Professional Services Organization. Kudos to:
Honorable mention: Documentum, Percussion.
Lagging: Day, Mediasurface
- Strong Reseller or Integrator Channel. Kudos to: Sitecore.
Honorable mention: Hummingbird/RedDot, Interwoven, Microsoft, PaperThin.
Lagging: Day, Mediasurface, Tridion.
- Knowledgeable Sales Staff: Kudos to: Serena.
Honorable mention: Clickability, Refresh Software, Zope.
- Product Support: Kudos to: CrownPeak.
Honorable mention: Ektron, Serena, Silkroad, Zope/Plone.
- Good Value. Kudos to: Serena.
Honorable mention: CrownPeak, Ektron, PaperThin, Plone.
As you would expect, CMS products are getting better. Many spent the last year consolidating (read: fixing) previous R&D efforts rather than rolling out new features. That's good for the marketplace as a whole.
And as usual, there are no clear "winners" and "losers" here. The best CMS is the best one for your particular circumstances. Stellent's nice professional services team doesn't mean much if you intend to do all development in-house. Clickability's lack of solid localization features doesn't matter if you're producing a unilingual website.
So dig around, do your research, and test carefully. Good luck!