Posts tagged "web cms"

MindTouch Announces the Most Powerful Voices in Open Source

One of the announcements at the Open Source Business Conference happening now in San Francisco, California, is that of the "Most Powerful Voices in Open Source."Let's take a stroll through the who's who of open source MVPs.

What Is the Most Powerful Voices List?

According to MindTouch (site), the company behind the list, the Most Powerful Voices are the top 50 "most vocal, followed and repeated/re-posted open source commentators, representing several spheres of influence, including media, vendors, OSS projects, standards bodies, community management and more."

The ranking apparently draws from "the wide array of metrics available through Web and Enterprise 2.0 channels, including Twitter, Google News alerts, unique online visitor counts and analysis of the related 'buzz' of vendor/project affiliations."

The data itself was compiled using the MindTouch platform, according to the company "federating these data sources, applying varied weighting, and processing it for delivery of the ranking."

Who's on the List?

The top five MPVs are:

  • Tim O'Reilly, founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media
  • Linus Torvalds, founder of Linux, open source advocate
  • Chris Messina, open web advocate, Google (news, site)
  • Miguel de Icaza, founder, Mono and GNOME projects
  • Jonathan Schwartz, former CEO of Sun Microsystems (news, site)

Open Source CMS Notables

Familiar names from the open source CMS world include Dries Buytaert of Drupal (site) and Cheryl McKinnon with Nuxeo (site). Also making the list is MindTouch's own Aaron Roe Fulkerson (should they get to put someone on their own list?) and a number of well-known consultants who serve the open source CMS community.

Of course, the question has to be asked whether frequencies on social media really represent one's level of influence, but for those who like quantifiable processes, the list is interesting. How would your own list be different?

For more on the Most Powerful Voices in Open Source list, see the official announcement here and the blog post here.

R.I.P Content Management System

Going into the R.I.P Content Management System session — led by Drupal project founder Dries Buytaert — at SXSW (site), I was not too sure what to expect. I know of Drupal Web CMS and their very large developer community that contributes to the overall success of this open source content management system.

I also understand that Drupal is behind hundreds of thousands of websites, so I was interested in hearing what Buytaert was going to present.

All About Drupal

Unfortunately, the session was tailored around Drupal, highlighting sites that are powered by Drupal and their large developer community.

Buytaert pointed to their user community and how passionate they are, running through slide after slide of the different things that their community does with the logo — creating socks, wearing a costume, making cookies — which was interesting, but I was still curious what that had to do with the session.

Buytaert described how open source systems are light years ahead of traditional content management systems because of the ability to leverage their incredibly large developer community. He discussed specific examples of where he felt that Drupal was ahead of these traditional content management systems.

Main Takeaways

Buytaert did make a couple of interesting points during the initial part of his discussion though:

Problem #1

Your webmaster doesn’t scale. Open source (Drupal) redefines the role of the web developer and (pretty much) eliminates the role of the webmaster.

Problem #2

Closed source CMSs are slow to innovate. It is impossible to implement every new feature, so they wait to see what goes mainstream and then integrate them. They are slow to adopt new technologies. Open source solutions are quicker to adapt to changes in the landscape due to their community.

I understand problem #1, and I think that was an obvious point. While I also understand that open source allows for quicker and faster deployment of features and functionality, I think that he was downplaying the features and functionality that traditional content management systems currently have integrated within their products.

The title of this session misled a lot of individuals, as they were not expecting a Drupal overview session. I do like the fact that Buytaert actually listened to the back channel on Twitter (hashtag #RIPcontentmgmt) and did apologize for the session being to tailored around Drupal.

Getting Started with A/B Split Testing

You've built your website for a reason, and in most cases, that is to sell something. But how can you be sure the website you have designed is converting all those visitors into actual sales? Maybe it's time to do some testing.

Every website exists for a specific purpose. No, that purpose isn’t to get more visitors. Rather the purpose is directly related to business goals. These business goals — selling products, collecting leads, signing up members or simply creating a brand — ultimately determine if the website justifies its existence or not. If you think about it, how useful is a website if it does a shoddy job in converting visitors into customers.

Traditionally, 99% of the efforts online are applied to get more visitors to your website. Though nothing is wrong with this approach, it definitely leaves a lot on the table. Through marketing or SEO efforts, once you get visitors to your website, the job of your website is to sell products or services and that is what ultimately matters — not the total number of visitors.

Essentially, conversion rate — the percentage of visitors who end up completing website goals — is the most important parameter determining success of online efforts.

What is A/B testing?

Thankfully, conversion rate is a metric that you can optimize.  And the best methodology for that is A/B split testing. The term may sound cryptic but it is pretty simple in reality.

In A/B split testing you design two or more variations (hence the name A/B) of your website and visitor traffic is equally split amongst them. Traffic is diverted to the variations in random fashion and then it is observed which variation resulted in maximum conversions.  

The variations can differ from the original design in either a subtle way or you can have completely different designs.

An Example of A/B testing

Take for example a simple website that sells mobile phones. The company decides to test their shopping cart button text “Buy Now” against a variation “Purchase Today! Only 10 left”. If they get 1000 visitors a day, 500 will see the website with the “Buy Now” version and 500 will see the “Purchase Today” version.

Depending on how many visitors end up buying in each variation, you can conclude whether your idea of creating urgency really worked or not.

A/B testing case study

A/B testing is not a hyped up phrase. Because of their commitment to A/B testing, companies such as AquaSoft have seen as much as 20% increase in bottom-line sales. You can see screenshots below of the A/B variations they tested.

Version A - default

Version B - Redesigned

As compared to version A, version B has a modern design, more trust-building elements and a prominent ‘Download’ button. If they had simply changed the design without testing, they would have never quantified if the redesign increased sales or some other external factor (such as increased traffic).

In this A/B testing case, key points to note are that they did not change products they sell, they did not add new features and they did not devise any new policies. Only the design of the page was tested and it made an everlasting impact in their sales. No other methodology can claim to have a better ROI than A/B testing.

Why should you try A/B testing today

Unlike doing changes on website for improvement based on hunch or expert opinion, A/B testing uses your visitors’ clicks to determine what works and what doesn’t. This methodology is currently used by all kinds of marketers to optimize their landing pages, homepage, offerings, Adword campaigns, etc.

Some even use A/B testing to discover the right price point for their products. No matter what kind of website you have, if you haven’t tried A/B testing, it is a great time to catch up with most successful marketers and add this sophisticated tool to your arsenal.

Clickability Extends SaaS Web CMS With Integrated IDE

Web CMS outfit Clickability adds an integrated development environment to allow customization and flexibility for its on-demand CMS product.

Play Time For Designers

The folks at Clickability must have been really busy this year, no blog updates since last November, no press releases since October. What's been going on deep in their San Francisco offices? 

One answer may be the addition of an Eclipse-based development environment to Clickability's Platform that will allow site designers to work with a range of advanced features for the SaaS-based Web CMS.

While Clickability has long claimed to be accessible to a non-technical audience, it can now appeal to developers and web designers, encouraging improved, better featured websites and content for clients.

Available to all existing users now, features of the IDE include:

  • Allows designers to work on code or templates from any location.
  • Secure access to the Clickability Platform design repository from within Eclipse.
  • Template development with rich editing features.
  • Tracking and auditing of template updates with version histories.
  • Manage the development, staging and production environments.
  • Preview updates within Eclipse.

Clickability is aimed at high tech, government and media industries and offers SaaS content management, social media features and a full management system, saving on the need for expensive hardware.

A Total Eclipse

The Eclipse IDE was started by IBM but is now an open platform with a huge number of plug-ins being developed and used by many companies to ensure open and vendor-neutral standards.

If you want to find out more about Eclipse then you could make it to Santa Clara forEclipseCON 2010 that runs from the 22-25 March. Alternatively, there are a series oftraining events around the world that might be of use.

Jeremiah Owyang, Dan Rasmus to Keynote #GilbaneSF

The registration for Gilbane San Francisco Conference is in full swing. For those of you coming out to the event, don’t miss the keynote sessions presented by visionaries Jeremiah Owyang and Dan Rasmus.


Keynote Sessions

If you’re not following Owyang on Twitter (@jowyang), drop everything right this minute and go follow the guy. At Gilbane SF, Owyang will talk about customer engagement and collaboration in the workplace.

As an analyst at Altimeter Group (and formerly at Forrester), Owyang brings a wealth of knowledge to the table. “If you want to know how companies are actually using social and web tools to engage with customers, Jeremiah is the go-to guy,” promises Gilbane SF.

Dan Rasmus (@DanielWRasmus), a known strategist (self-proclaimed futurist) and author, really knows the knowledge worker in and out based on his experience as an analyst, consultant and a former director of business insights for Microsoft.

Rasmus is scheduled to shed light on how collaboration in the workplace is evolving in cross-border, cross-culture environments and how to design efficient and comfortable workplace experiences.

Industry Analyst Debate: What's Real, What's Hype and What's Coming

Yes again, expect a debate by industry analysts from different walks of web content management life about critical content and information technologies or strategies. This session’s panelists include Frank Gilbane, president, Gilbane Group; Rob Koplowitz, principal analyst, Forrester; Hadley Reynolds, research director, Search & Digital Marketplace Technologies, IDC; Tony Byrne, founder, The Real Story Group & CMS Watch; Scott Liewehr, senior consultant, Web Content Management, Gilbane Group.


  • What: Gilbane SF with 4 tracks and more than 40 sessions
  • When: May 18-20, 2010
  • Where: The Westin Market Hotel in San Francisco
  • Why: ‘Cos it rocks
  • Registration
  • Conference schedule
  • Pre-conference workshops
  • Twitter: @gilbanesf and hashtag #gilbanesf
Selecting a CMS: Managing Product Demos

If you followed the advice from the first two articles in this series (How to build a short listand Developing scenarios), you should have a good idea of what you are looking for and with what products you might find some content management system bliss. This next article provides guidance on how you can start evaluating actual products against your defined requirements.


This next phase of the selection process is where you evaluate the products against your requirements. Successful completion of this phase will mean that you have selected a product/vendor that is compatible with your content and your way of working. The product satisfies both your objective and subjective criteria.

Failure in this phase means that you will either be swayed by the most charismatic salesperson or that you will be stuck in a never ending sales cycle that doesn't drive you towards an informed decision. Neither case is very appealing — so lets avoid both.

Take Product Demos Seriously

The vendor presentation and product demonstration is one of the most critical components in a CMS selection process. You will learn more from seeing a product in action than reading an analyst report or a RFP response from a vendor.

But to be effective, a product demonstration needs considerable investment from both sides. You won't learn anything by occasionally peaking up from your email to glance at a canned demo about a fictional business that has nothing to do with your company.

Instead, you should partner with the vendor to develop a prototype that supports the scenarios you have given in the RFP. In this exercise, you get to experience what it feels like to be a customer working with the vendor to achieve success. If you run a demonstration properly you will be able to answer the following questions:

  • Does the vendor understand your business and the way you work?
  • Will you be treated like an important customer?
  • Does your company and the vendor have good chemistry?
  • How naturally does the product fit your vision?
  • What customizations or compromises would have to be made to use this product?

Construct a Thoughtful Invitation

The first thing you need to do is connect with the vendors on your short list to tell them that you are evaluating their product and could use their help. This is where most companies go wrong. By pulling out their standard RFP template and loading it up with demands one shoots oneself in the foot, and early.

The worst of such offenses have a glob of irrelevant boilerplate text and then a long feature checklist. One CMS vendor I know even received an RFP that asked if the product contained any radioactive materials — clearly this was language designed for another type of procurement and the customer was too lazy to even read what he sent out.

Trust me, when you do work like this, you are sending a signal to the vendors that you don't care. Some vendors will not engage at all. Others will play along but invest as little as possible in the opportunity — they know that the sales cycle will be long and unpredictable.

You get what you give: an RFP with a lot of boilerplate text will get responses with a lot of boilerplate text. Plus, you will get stuck in "qualification" queue until you show some signs of intelligent life.

The good news is that, if you have done the work of developing scenarios, you have a lot of information that shows (a) you are serious about this initiative and, (b) you know what you want.

Vendors love scenarios because they efficiently tell the story of content in your organization and help them understand what you need. In addition to your 10 most important scenarios, your RFP should contain the following information:

  • Background about your company and division
  • Sample content types and perhaps some screen captures of how they appear on your site
  • A roadmap of your selection process with a timetable
  • A point of contact
  • The response format you you expect.

Be Concise in Your Communications

Attributed to an impressive number of famous folk including Mark Twain, Pascal and a host of others, there's a quote that I find to be a useful and humorous reminder. It goes something like this: "

If i'd had more time, i'd have writen a much shorter letter."

The most important part to keep in mind is that assembling your RFP is not a contest for who can write the longest, most elaborate proposal. The RFP response will not help you manage your content and the quality of an RFP response says nothing about the product. In fact, the prettiest proposals are usually written by a dedicated proposal writer and re-used across lots of sales opportunities — they have very little to do with your RFP.

Some RFPs demand that participants spend weeks of time filling out a response. You don't want the vendors to spend all of their effort on the RFP and then coast through the rest of the sales process. Vendor resources are much better spent building a prototype that shows you how the product would work in your organization. This will give the vendors a chance to show how they approach problems and how their products work. Keep things as informal as you can.  The more leeway you give, the easier it will be easier to identify differences between the vendors and products. When differences are more visible, decisions are easier.

If you really want a vendor to put in the effort to get to know you and translate their features in terms of your requirements, you should let it be known that you are only evaluating 2-3 products. This indicates that you are in the home-stretch of your decision and it is time to pull out the stops. This will help the vendors justify putting their best people on the opportunity rather than pacing themselves for a long slog. Time-boxing a decision helps people work more efficiently on both sides.


A successful demo is all about preparation. You need to prepare the vendor — or systems integrator or in house staff if you are evaluating non-commercial software — with the information they need so they can do their best. You also need to prepare the audience on what they should be looking for.

  • Verify that the vendor understands your requirements
    Have the vendor prepare a written response describing how their product can support your scenarios. Review it and give them feedback with ample time to adjust their demo in case they misunderstood what you need. I typically encourage vendors to do a pre-demo walk-through of the scenario in front of their customer contact person. If you are a vendor, always take advantage of this offer. In my own selection consulting work, when one of the three candidates does a pre-demo walk-through, the demos are so much better that they win 100% of the time.
  • Prepare the audience 
    Prepare your audience for the demo by telling them what they should be looking for. A scorecard that lists the scenarios is useful for keeping people's attention on their needs, not gimicky features. Vendors tend to up their game when the realize they are dealing with a sophisticated audience.

    If the audience does not understand basic content management theory (separation of content and layout, re-usability, content life-cycle, etc.) address that before the first demo. Vendors are actually pretty good at explaining that stuff but there are more effective uses of their time.

  • Call the vendor's references
    Don't wait to the end of the process to call references. If you talk to references before the demonstration, you will be more educated for the demo. Maybe a complaint from a reference was addressed in a newer version of the software. Maybe a feature that demos really nicely isn't practical for everyday use.


The demo should use everyone's time as effectively as possible and should be organized to ensure that vital information is communicated to the right people. I usually allocate 4 hours but the agenda is broken up so that not all stakeholders have to sit through the whole thing.

  • Limit company background information 
    The vendor should be able to introduce their company and make the case that it is a stable company, it gets content management, and knows your business. However, you need to contain the amount of time that they take to do it. They should be able to build a level of credibility and comfort with the audience but not infringe on the time they have to talk about their product within your context. Your short-listing exercise should have already pre-qualified the vendors along these lines.
  • Mind your manners 
    Even if your corporate culture thinks it is OK for staff to attend meetings in-body only, keep distractions to a minimum. Ask your audience to put aside their email, blackberries, and cell phones and pay attention. Give the vendors every opportunity to engage with the audience. If the vendor is missing the mark, don't tune out. Instead, help steer them back on course. If you can't do that, politely end the meeting as quickly as possible and be happy that you were able to eliminate an option in a very hard decision.
  • Mark your scorecards
    Without making it feel like a Bingo hall, have the audience take notes in their scorecards so that they remember what they saw and their impressions. By the time they have gotten back to their desks and answered their first of fifty waiting emails, they will have forgotten half of what they saw. The most important thing for your audience to capture is their doubts. These are aspects of the product or service that raise questions and concerns. The follow up phase will focus on these doubts.

Follow up

Don't let wait long to get feedback from the audience. It doesn't take long for people to forget. Follow up and plan the next steps as soon as possible.

  • The post mortem
    As soon as possible, get everyone in a room and have them express their observations and impressions and, most importantly, doubts. For each doubt, you need to first validate (was this a misunderstanding or an oversight?), mitigate (what compromises or customizations could compensate for this issue?), and rate (what risk remains after mitigation? Is the customization expensive or does it risk future upgrades? Is the compromise sustainable?).
  • Schedule follow ups
    Review the doubts that came up and have the vendor invalidate or suggest mitigation strategies. For the vendors that didn't make the cut, explain why. If the demo was a disaster but you think the product still has potential, you could give them another chance or you could take it as a sign that they are not prepared to support you. Remember, after the contract is signed, things are only going to get worse.
  • Prototype
    Some doubts will be best addressed with a prototype that the vendor can leave behind for you to use. Different vendors will have different policies around this. Some create hosted sand boxes and allow business users to experiment. Others provide trial versions of the software so that a customer can attend training and try to build the prototype themselves.
A New ASP.NET Security Framework Comes with Bitrix Site Manager 4.6

With all websites increasingly under attack, Bitrix (site) ups the defences with a new security system for its users.

Fighting off the Attack

The number of sites being corrupted and having data stolen, or being used to infect the PCs of visitors with malware is rocketing. To help protect the sites of its many users, Bitrix has come up with a Protective Protection (PRO + PRO) platform for its ASP.NET Web CMS product.

With proactive protection, it locks down sites by monitoring incoming data (working as a firewall) and detecting common attack vectors such as cross-site scripting attacks and SQL injections.

To test the product, it was let loose at the a recent Russian hacking event, Chaos Construction 9, where it staved off thousands of attempted attacks. Naturally, defense can never stand still and already promised for the next update are more security features. These will include one-time passwords, an integrity checker, abnormal activity detector to sniff out suspicious behavior that might indicate a new type of attack and IP-based authentication.

Defense, Defense

Suspicious activity is logged for later inspection, or for evidence. The framework has been certified by Positive Technologies and complies with Web Application Firewall Evaluation Criteria established by the Web Application Security Consortium.

Going Social

The update also has some additional features for social networking including improved blog and forum support, searchable content and management of video and images. Articles can be posted directly from Word or other sources.

Site Manager ASP.NET is available today, there is a 30-day free trial and it can be purchased at the Bitrix store which currently offers a 30% discount at US$ 690. The price includes a one year subscription to technical support, updates and upgrades. Existing users can upgrade live online and the update happens in real-time, automatically using the SiteUpdate module.

5 Things to Consider when Integrating your Content Management System and Portal

Portals and content management systems are widely used in organizations today. For many, the desire to integrate them into a single collaborative environment is critical. But there's a lot to think about before moving forward. In this article we cover the basic considerations for integrating a CMS into an enterprise portal.

A Use Case for Integration

Collaboration is no longer just a buzz word; it is now an enterprise need. Some enterprises have already started seeing the benefits of collaborative work environments. They know that content management plays a very important and crucial role in building a successful collaboration environment by improving processes, increasing employee efficiency and productivity, and lowering costs.

A typical business use case around how content lifecycle plays a role in a collaboration environment would be:

  • A user logs in enterprise one stop portal
  • They create and manage content (check-in, check-out, update metadata, tag)
  • They then share the same content via Wikis, Blogs, Message Boards, Discussion Forums, etc…
  • In some cases they may submit content for formal review and approval via some workflow
  • They may also comment and/or rate other content
  • When they have finished, they log out of the portal

Today almost every Content Management System offers its own user interface that integrates content management and community/collaboration features. WebTop, damTop and CenterStage are examples of collaborative tools for EMC Documentum; Alfresco Share an example for Alfresco.

While these may be feature rich interfaces, an enterprise may not want to add another collaboration tool outside of their portal for managing content. The challenge then becomes how to enable content management capabilities via a one stop enterprise portal.

Integrating a CMS repository with a portal solution provides the following benefits:

  • Create, manage and most importantly collaborate on content within and across the community from a single stop enterprise portal enabling collaboration across the organization.
  • Effectively utilize social collaboration tools — wikis, blogs, message boards — from the portal framework by attaching content that is already created and managed within the CMS Repository.
  • Take advantage of better governance, security and compliance policies (retention etc) for their content. People and communities can collaborate and share content based on standard rules .
There are several key architecture and design decisions that need to be evaluated to come up with a robust integration solution between your content management system and your portal:
  1. Define the business specific coarse-grained CMS service to be consumed by portal service
  2. Evaluate and decide on the technology option to implement and host the CMS service
  3. Evaluate and decide on the technology option for writing portlets for content management
  4. Decide the option/strategy on SSO (Single Sign-on)/Authentication from the Portal to the CMS
  5. Define the strategy for Community, security/authorization management

1. Define the business specific coarse-grained service to be consumed by portal layer

Almost all Content Management providers expose their services as web services that can be consumed from any client application (like a portal). But these services tend to be atomic in nature with the lowest granularity. As a result, business specific custom reusable composite services may need to be designed that will call these atomic services.

2. Evaluate & decide on the technology option to implement & host the CMS service

There are multiple technology options to implement the CMS Service:


Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS) is a technical specification for integrating with a ECM (Enterprise Content Management) repository via Web Services. It is a language-independent, repository-independent API for content management. The objective of the CMIS standard is to define a common content management web services interface that can be implemented by a content repository vendor, enabling service interoperability across repositories through standard SOAP and Restful Bindings.

This might be the best option to go with for implementing the common reusable services for any portal or third party integration. The back-end repository can be changed at any time without design and code rework on the front-end system.

CMIS Version 1.0 is just out for public review. Though the vendors have started building their CMIS implementations based on the draft spec, it may not be mature enough and production ready very soon. However, enterprises can start using vendor provided draft implementations for non-critical business applications.

It is important to note that CMIS will enable only standard content management capability. Most content management systems have more rich functionality; functionality that, if required by the enterprise, will require additional custom development.


Most Content Management Vendors expose repository capabilities as standard SOAP-based Web Services. This might be another good choice to use as integration strategy. The downfall is that the enterprise will be locked down to a specific vendor.


Some vendors also provide the repository capabilities as REST services. REST is lightweight and simple to use. However, sometimes it is not a good idea to send large amounts of data/content via uri. Like other REST Services, transaction and security management might be harder for a large enterprise implementation. And once again, the enterprise will be locked down to a specific vendor. 

The OOTB/Custom services can be deployed in standard Application Server Container (like JBoss, Oracle, WebSphere, Tomcat, etc…) or any Enterprise Service Bus. Services can be made available via a standard SOA (service oriented architecture) registry taking advantage the company’s existing standard SOA governance model.

The appropriate Web Service client must be generated from the service WSDL via JAX-WS or Axis, or some other tool. This would be consumed from Portlet Service.


3. Evaluate & decide on the technology option for writing the content management portlet

A Portlet Action and Service needs to be designed to call the underlying CMIS, CMS Web Service or REST service. In many cases an enterprise may already have a portal platform, so content management features will need to be enabled for that portal.

Here are a couple of ways to do this:

Vendor Supplier Portlets

Some CMS vendors provide a JSR portlet, but it may or may not match what the enterprise is looking for from a collaboration perspective. It’s not as simple as taking the vendor provided portlet and dropping it into the portal platform. Aside from usability and functionality, authentication, security, transaction and other features need to be aligned with enterprise’s strategy. In most cases some work need to be done.

Write Your Own

An enterprise can decide to go ahead and write its own portlet to meet the business need. There are multiple choices to write a portlet :

  • Pure JSR 168/286 Portlet (with JSR Tags)
  • Struts Portlet (JSR 168/286 compliant)
  • Struts Portlet using Container Provider/Vendor API
  • JSF Portlet (JSR 168/286 compliant)
  • JSF Portlet using container Provider/Vendor API)

The JSF or Struts framework have their own strengths. You should design and develop JSR compliant portlets. The portlets should not be tied with the CMS vendor’s specific APIs so you don't loose portability. Pure JSR portlets might be the best choice, but JSR Complaint Struts portlets or JSR compliant JSF Portlets might be used as well.


4. Decide the strategy on SSO/Authentication from Portal to CMS

User sessions need to be created in the CMS repository to do any kind of CMS related operation. If the portal solution is already integrated with an SSO infrastructure (OAM, Netegrity, etc…), this will be easier to do. The SSO Provider can generate the token, and that token can be passed and used to create a session for CMS related operations. A plug-in may need to be written in the content management system to authenticate the SSO token (if a plug-in is not already available for the specific SSO provider).

If the portal solution is not integrated with an SSO Provider, the named user Authentication approach can be followed. A generic userid/password combination is stored in the service code and the CMS session can be established using this generic id when required. This generic user is going to run all the services on behalf of other users. The SAML standard also can be used to establish a CMS session.



5. Find the strategy on Community, security/authorization management

There are portal solutions — such as Liferay — available today that come with built in community concepts. Also any enterprise can build community capabilities within the enterprise portal. And most content management system also offer collaboration services and features. There are a few choices available to bridge the gap:

  • Have the portal be the single source of truth for community. So the community and its governance, security, creation, modification and deletion capabilities would be propagated to the CMS real time via the portal.
  • In cases where the portal will not be the single point of entry for the content management system, community capabilities and security would also need to be created and managed in the CMS. In that event, portal community and security information will need to be brought in sync.


Integrating a content management system with an enterprise portal solution is not trivial as it involves integration between different products. But a successful integration backed by a solid business goal and technical architecture can bring the business value right way and improve the overall organization performance many fold.


About the Author

Palash Ghosh is a BEA Certified Enterprise Architect, IBM Cerified OOAD & SOA Soln Designer and has more than 11 years of software architecting, designing, management experience working with the global fortune 100 companies focusing on providing business and technology solutions across diverse range of technologies. He is currently leading multiple initiative(s) in ECM, Portal, Collaboration & SOA/BPM space for fortune 100 Companies. His current interests include SOA, cloud computing.

Hippo CMS 7.3 Brings Facets, Surf-and-Edit, Pretty URLs

Hippo CMS 7.3 Updated With Faceted Navigation, Surf-and-Edit

With Europe being under heavy snow this winter, the NL-based makers of Hippo CMS (site) seemed to have many cold days to concentrate on the next release as opposed to spending their time ice skating on Amsterdam's canals. Here's what's new in the recently released Hippo CMS 7.3.

The latest Hippo CMS 7.3 brings several new features and improvements, continuing to focus on giving more control to content editors over the presentation layer straight from the Web CMS interface and ease of use.

Highlights of Hippo CMS 7.3

In addition to the revamped search, which now is part of the navigation area in the UI, here are some of the new features in the open source Hippo CMS 7.3:

  • Faceted navigation allowing content editors to find and “slice and dice” content.
  • Surf-and-edit feature with which editors can click an edit button in the preview site, which will lead them to the exact location of that item in the CMS, eliminating the need to search or browse the content structure.
  • Ability to build web forms from the CMS interface.
  • Ability to specify SEO-friendly URLs.
  • New rule-based replication process.

Faceted Navigation

With Hippo CMS 7.3’s new faceted navigation content authors and external users have a different view and access to the content repository.

Hippo Facets.png
Hippo CMS Facets

Users now have the option of browsing content and drilling down through it based on specific combinations of tags and keywords, which can come in handy in undefined and unstructured browsing structures.


In 7.3, Hippo CMS users can preview unpublished content in context to check exactly how it’s going to look like in the live environment post publishing. In this view, editors can use the new 'surf-and-edit' feature that allows them to jump directly to a specific piece of content in the CMS. Afterwards, they can click the “edit” button and edit content in the same interface.

Developers can add logic to their JSPs and associate content with corresponding links that allows the user to jump to a certain document in the CMS to edit the content.

Web Forms

Catching up with many other in the Web CMS market, Hippo CMS now features the ability to build Web forms within the content management system.

Hippo Forms.jpg
Hippo Web Forms

Web forms are treated like any other content type in Hippo: they can be published, version-controlled and re-used across different pages. In Hippo CMS, editors can create composite documents by including references to other documents. Since a form is a document too, they can be re-used anywhere within Hippo, said Arje Cahn, Hippo’s CTO.

SEO-Friendly URLs

Still chasing after SEO and graces from Google et al? Now, you can do “pretty” URLs (as Hippoids call them) in Hippo CMS 7.3, a friendly URL is automatically generated based on the document name that was specified by the user.

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SEO-Friendly URLs in Hippo

There’s also a capability of manually changing the URLs.

Smart Replication

Administrators using Hippo CMS can now chose and automatically replicate subsets of content to repositories running in a distributed environment. Check out more info on replication here.

HST 2.04.04 Updates

Hippo Site Toolkit (HST) saw some love as well in this release. You will see flexible exception-based error page handling, canonical URLs, context-aware linking, support for Freemarker Template Engine and architectural improvements among many other changes.

Feeling Like an Upgrade?

Since version 7.3 was expected in the fall of 2009 (per Hippo’s roadmap of 4 scheduled releases per year) you’re probably anxious to try out the new goodies. Head right over here for the upgrade instructions, do your homework and check out any know issues before you upgrade to 7.3 in your DEV environment. Then, tell us what you think about the new release in the comments.

Bitrix's D.I.G. Engine Offers Cross-Content Search Technology

Enterprise search is a boom area and Bitrix (site) offers its new solution for finding data spread throughout an enterprise's online assets.

Can You D.I.G. Enterprise Search?

The bigger the corporation, the harder it can be to find something. So we have seen the rise of federated enterprise search, endless metadata, semantic search and many specialist solutions. Bitrix has a fix for the rapid rise in the amount of data being stored on company intranets and websites with its D.I.G. Engine, designed to hunt down data stored in online repositories.

Automated indexing means that anything submitted to the sites will be cataloged. As we're dealing with enterprise users, users will only see in the results information they have privileges to see, so those CIO comments or figures will remain out of reach. Results can be ranked and sorted, allowing users to quickly find the right answers.

Digging in Documents

As well as direct to Web data, D.I.G. can search in Office, OpenOffice and PDF files, as well as media files, stored online. It currently works in English, German and Russian, with stem-table support for other languages.

D.I.G. uses AJAX-powered interactive pages to show results, allowing users to refine their results. It also makes use of a taxonomy service with automatic tag cloud generation.

Find data on your corporate intranets

The new search engine is available as part of the existing Bitrix products, Site Manager and Intranet Portal. Bitrix claims that B.I.G. is up to 10 times faster than traditional search, something we'd be keen to see proven.