InfoWorld reviews five open source CMS offerings

InfoWorld published a review of Alfresco, DotNetNuke, Plone, Drupal, and Joomla. Heck ranks Alfresco the highest out of the five, which is a good data point for people evaluating these products, but most folks should consider deeply the scenarios they will use the package for when making a decision because each package has a “fitness to purpose” that’s more important to consider than just “fit” alone.

For example, although the article gives a good high-level description of the pro’s and con’s of each package, there’s a more fundamental characteristic of Alfresco that makes comparison to the others an apples-to-oranges exercise. That characteristic is that unlike the others in the list, Alfresco isn’t focused on community-centric functionality. Can you build a community site that is managed by Alfresco and/or uses Alfresco as the back-end repository? Of course. And the new REST framework makes that even easier than it used to be. But you won’t find consumer-facing wiki, blog, or forum functionality out-of-the-box with Alfresco. In fact, you can take your entire web site, as-is, and manage it with Alfresco without any changes to the front-end code. That’s a fundamentally different model than the other packages evaluated.

So you should read the article. But when people ask you to compare Alfresco to Drupal, back them up a bit and instead, figure out the purpose and goal of the site and the business processes needed to manage it (the “how”) and then talk about the open source CMS options.

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