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Open Source ECMS: Combining Freedom and Reliability

Friday 14 September 2007 8:32:00 pm

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As the Technical Director at Contactivity, an eZ Partner in the Netherlands, I believe that the eZ Publish Open Source Enterprise Content Management System combines the best features of Open Source and proprietary solutions. In this article, I will compare the advantages and disadvantages of proprietary and Open Source systems and explain why eZ Publish is the right choice.

Until relatively recently, mid- to large-scale enterprises in need of a Content Management System (CMS) solution would usually license a CMS from one of the market-leading vendors, such as Microsoft, Vignette, or Interwoven. These firms provide comprehensive, customizable solutions that are regularly and easily updated. They offer training for software users and provide reliable, professional support, along with local services through international partner networks.

However, their licensing and development costs often make their CMS software expensive to implement - sometimes running into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the project.

Moreover, these systems tend to be modular; having purchased one module, companies find themselves having to buy more and more modules. Implementation is slow due to a shortage of certified developers and database license costs can be frightening. But, as long as the customers have the necessary financial resources, they can rest assured that their needs will be met.

In the last couple of years, there has been a large increase in the number of Open Source CMSs, such as Mambo / Joomla!, Drupal, and Plone. Many companies have started to view these Open Source solutions as attractive alternatives to high-end proprietary products. This is not merely due to cost considerations, but also for the freedom that Open Source offers in terms of open standards and the consequent simple integration with other applications.

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