Tag Archives: content management


19 Nov

I just realized that Plone was missing from the A reality check for vendors by Kas Thomas (CMS Watch).

So here it is, the


1. Our software comes with an installer program.

Yes, the Plone Universal installer.

2. Installing or uninstalling our software does not require a reboot of your machine.

Yes. Moreover the software is platform independent.

3. You can choose your locale and language at install time, and never have to see English again after that.

No. Installation is in english only (although the CMS user interface is available in about 50 languages).

4. Eval versions of the latest edition(s) of our software are always available for download from the company website.

Yes. As a full open source product the entire latest version is always available (also unreleased and in-development versions are).

5. Our WCM software comes with a fully templated “sample web site” and sample workflows, which work out-of-the-box.

Yes. Plone comes with one sample web site and four different sample workflows out-of-the-box

6. We ship a tutorial.

Yes. Tutorials are always available on Plone.org

7. You can raise a support issue via a button, link, or menu command in our administrative interface.

No. Not there, yet. Open Source Community support can be obtained for free, Professional support depends on the Plone Provider selected.

8. All help files and documentation for the product are laid down as part of the install.

We don’t ship end-user documentation as part of the install. But all the documentation is available online and there are several end-user, integrator and developer books.

9. We run our entire company website using the latest version of our own WCM products.

Yes, sure!

10. Our salespeople understand how our products work.

Yes, they usually do. And many of them are developers of the core software itself and in general they are fans of the product.

11. Our software does what we say it does.

Yes it does. It also sometimes does something no one has advertised, unfortunately. Being Open Source, you can also independently verify it does exactly what it claims.

12. We don’t charge extra for our SDK.

Yes. We don’t charge.

13. Our licensing model is simple enough for a 5-year-old to understand.

Yes. Not sure everybody really understand how free software works. But they should and my 5 year old son at least knows that I do a real job.

14. We have one price sheet for all customers.

Everything is free but the customization, support or hosting services. Plone has about 300 integrators / providers worldwide.

15. Our top executives are on Skype, Twitter, or some similar channel, and: Feel free to contact them directly at any time.

Yes they are. The whole community is there.

To the Plone Community: Did I forgot something? Please comment.

Long live to my favourite Web CMS.


Round table on WCM at the JBoye09 conference: emerging best practices

16 Nov

Again this year Janus Boye & friends have repeated the magic with their JBoye09 conference.

In the informal enough context of the conference some of the best CMS analysts, project managers, consultants and, of course, vendors and web / intranet managers met to exchange an incredible amount of experience, knowledge and have some good time together.

In the afternoon of the second conference day there was a slot reserved to roundtable discussions: a moment for an open debate on many diffrent topics, proposed by the participants.

I attended the roundtable proposed by our very Master of Cerimonies, Mr. Janus, on: “Emerging problems, emerging technologies, and emerging approaches to Web Content Management“.

And I was appointed as “volunteer” to take note and report on the outcomes of the discussion, so here are the…

Emerging Best Practices for WCM

1) Divide selection in two phases:

a) vendor and product checklist-filtering
b) in depth look at the VALUE provided by the different remaining vendors/products

Note: care about the project, not the product.

2) Have a content strategy ready before vendor selection

Not a full Information Architecture but a good part of it should be ready before you move forward.

3) Talk to peers, exchange experiences with your peers community

Hint: one of the best places for this are the communities of practice and conferences like the JBoye, of course.

4) Test drive with users

Users are very often still the least considered stakeholder of WCM projects.

5) Make sure that content management is recognized as a task within your organization

Note: put effort in training and other similar activities.

6) Measure, measure, measure

To define goals and measure success (and failure), and to improve the project in a later phase.

Credits go to all the participants to this roundtable:

Stephanie Lemieux, Simon Lande, Richard Hare, Silvia Bombardone, Philippe Parker, Rory McClelland, Miklos Gaspar, Janus Boye, and Francesco Ciriaci.

And if you are interested in WCM future don’t miss the great #fixwcm thread.

Plone vs. Sharepoint round 2: a by-platform feature comparison

20 Aug

An organization we at Reflab work with recently re-evaluated Plone against Sharepoint 2007; their main requirements are related to document management, where Sharepoint is for sure quite strong.

What’s interesting, is that they made the comparison also considering the different platforms and browsers their organization uses.

Here are the results of their analysis and tests, they where so kind to share them with us, I checked them and translated them. I hope you’ll find them useful.

Feature – Requirement

Windows XP


SharePoint Sever 2007

Plone 3.1.7


Plone 3.1.7

IE 7.0 / Suite Office 2007

IE 7.0 / Suite Office 2003

Firefox 3.0/ Office 2003

Firefox 3.0

IE 7.0

Firefox 3.0

Firefox 3.0

Use of templates Y Y Y (1) Y (1.1) Y (1.1) Y (1) Y(1.1)
Automatic Minutes of Meetings
Y Y Y Y(1.2) Y(1.2) Y N(1.2)
Collaborative Management of the documentation Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Off-line management of the documentation Y(2) Y Y Y(1.3) Y(1.3) Y Y(1.3)
Workflow checks on doc Y Y N(3) Y Y N(3) Y
Automatic Versioning
Y Y Y Y Y(1.4) Y Y
Visualization/Management on File System Y Y N Y(1.5) Y(1.5) N Y(1.5)
Indexed search and smart folders
Notification of new versions of a document Y Y Y N(1.6) N(1.6) Y N(1.6)
Different file formats management Y(4) Y(4) Y(7) Y Y Y(7) Y
WebPart/HTML Pages Management
Mobile tools
Y (5) Y (5) ? ? ? ? ?
Todo Lists Y Y Y(3) N N Y(3) N
Shared calendar
Y(6) Y(6) Y(6) Y(1.7) Y(1.7) N Y(1.7)

Other Features

Windows XP


SharePoint Sever 2007

Plone 3.1.7


Plone 3.1.7

IE 7.0 / Suite Office 2007

IE 7.0 / Suite Office 2003

Firefox 3.0/ Office 2003

Firefox 3.0

IE 7.0

Firefox 3.0

Firefox 3.0

Massive documents upload
Y Y N Y(2.2) Y(2.2) N Y(2.4)
Send To Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Date Picker Control Y Y N(2.1) N(2.1) N(2.1) N(2.1) N(2.1)
File ordering
Structure templates
N(2.3) N(2.3) N(2.3) Y Y N(2.3) Y
Y – Compatibile: all or most of the aspects are equivalent
N – Not compatibile: the functionality is not available or not fully working. Unless otherwise specified in Sharepoint these features require ActiveX controls, that are available in Internet Explorer only.
?- Not found or not easy to define
(1) Only through the Upload Document and not New.
(2) Integrated
(3) Problems on the user management (javascript or ActiveX) that participate to the WF or to the activities.
(4) No real support and management of the Wiki format, if not as HTML page.
(5) Not tested
(6) Outlook only
(7) Wiki and HTML not working.
(1.1) Addon Product: Plone Templates 1.0 (Beta release 2)
(1.2) Only through template product
(1.3) Addon Product: Working Copy Support (Iterate) 1.1.5 for the checkIn-checkOut
(1.4) history view integrated in the page not working
(1.5) With Enfold Desktop for Windows, or through a WebDav client
(1.6) Needs to be setup with a Content Rule
(1.7) Addon Product: Plone4ArtistsCalendar 1.1 – some features (different colours for integrated calendars) not compatible with Plone 3.1.7
(2.1) The user can add events with New Event
(2.2) With Enfold Desktop
(2.3) Need programming
(2.4) With navigation applications like WebDav

Some of the findings could be debated and are hard to evaluate, but I really found useful the approach of of taking into account  the platform/browser compatibility.

Other resources on Plone vs. Sharepoint:

If you’re interested in the comparison and maybe doing a cms software selection don’t miss the:

Plone vs. Sharepoint by Carlos De La Guardia where you’ll  find a link to a paper about an internal comparison of Plone and Sharepoint for a corporate web site published by the University of Leicester.

Is Plone a Good CMS? by Janus Boye: Janus is definitively one of the best cms consultants I know, but please read also the excellent comment to his post.

Other instersting related comparisons reported by Ken Wasetis are the Idealware Report and the  Why Sharepoint Scares Me post.

Finally, my friend Nate Aune (Jazkarta) of the most active Ploners and Plone Evangelists on the planet suggested:

Cyn.in is a Plone-based intranet solution and here is a blog post describing how it compares to Sharepoint in terms of pricing: http://blog.cynapse.com/cynin-low-cost-alternative-to-sharepoint

Katie Cunningham also has some interesting things to say about Sharepoint at NASA, and why they went with Plone instead.

Disney replaces Sharepoint with Plone

Karl discusses Plone and Sharepoint on his blog

and of course the Plone vs. MOSS – round 1 post.