My CMS Origin

…so a new meme was started by pie, then was followed by all other cmsgurus and then it became popular on Twitter. Everybody went down their memory lane and shared how they started their career in Content Management. Therefore, here is what made me commit to the content management space.

My Introduction to CMS

I started as a Business Associate with a leading service provider in India. I was trained in Fatwire CMS version 5.0. Content Management was kind of a new science for me and understanding content management from a French teacher with a thick French accent was nothing less than rocket science. Those 5 days of training were neither good enough to go ahead and develop an intranet for a major Oil company, so we researched the tool and implemented the solution in ten months.

btw- I was also asked to create sequentially and a class diagram for this CMS implementation and I was like What??

My Argument about the future of Content Management

I remember my argument with my Project Manager where I was defending that there is no future of content management and EJB is the one who will rock the future. Other arguments were based on the huge costs involved in procuring a CM solution and I was sure it was not an option for any SME’s based out in India.

In the Mainstream

A year later, I joined  Apoorv at Wipro Technologies, and from there on we worked closely in the areas of web portals, open-source, and Content Management. I researched a lot on CM systems like OpenCms, Alfresco, Teamsite but the focus area was always Fatwire.

As I was involved in both portals and content management technologies, many times, I wondered which one is better, who holds the future, and then my thought process took another turn, and that was where I started this blog. A post like this was trying to demarcate between the twos.

With time comes maturity and I was now sure that content management is here to stay. To prove my point, my job helped me to travel across the globe for few large CMS implementations. Apart from pre-sales, architecture, and implementations, I always have my eyes open for the happenings in JCRs, CMIS, Migration strategies, and every small big topic in this system.

“First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.” — Mahatma Gandhi

Migrated To WordPress

Finally, today I got my blog migrated from Blogger to WordPress. Here is what I did –

1. Using WP Tools, I used Import from blogger utility which  imported all my posts, comments, and users from my Blogger blog. As I got my categories migrated, I manually created few tags and assigned them to each of my posts in WP.

2. I added few widgets and changed look and feel. Though I have to work more on this.

3. I updated my domain’s Name Servers with NS1.WORDPRESS.COM

4. Changed existing CNAME entry to contentprise.wordpress.com, that was originally pointing to ghs.google.com( for blogger). It took 10 hours to get reflected globally.

It was all about finding a right mini-CMS for my blog. In return,  look what I got the very first day-

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional

Valid Site XHTML 1.1

There is a long way to go for all the SEO’s done for this blog. But more focus will be on portals and content management space.

A lot more is going to come in this space-Keep watching…

Content Integration Vs Content Migration

Few days back Fatwire Software announced the launch of the Fatwire Rescue Program for Vignette and Interwoven WCM customers.
The program will enable customers of Interwoven and Vignette to upgrade to FatWire’s WCM solutions at no license cost. However, this holds good only if they engage Fatwire’s supported or so-called ‘proven’ migration tools and services.
Vamosa and Kapow. I hope this move will hold well for Fatwire in WCM market space.

If you remember Fatwire already has a Content Integration Platform(CIP), which is a “web-services-based” content sharing tool. In this Fatwire CMS user can access content stored across the enterprise without leaving the Fatwire CMS interface (CS-Direct). CIP offers connectors to access content from Documentum, SharePoint, and Windows and Unix file systems.

So why this rescue package from Fatwire when they already have a solution in place? Here are my insights on the demarcation between the two offerings and the differences in the approach –

1. In Content Integration Platform, the source WCM/ECM sever must be up and running in order to serve the content. The only difference will be accessing the content using Fatwire console (dash/advance/insite interfaces).
[Access + Connector = Integration]

2. Fatwire rescue program is based on the expertise and past experiences of Content Migration service providers (Vamosa and Kapow). Server Instances of Teamsite or Vignette will not be required after full content migration.
[Entire data movement (Assets/Content/Templates/Workflows/Roles/Security/Users/Publishing Events) = Content Migration ]

Since there is no Fatwire connector for Vignette and Teamsite as of now, I believe this is another way of attracting the customers to move completely into Fatwire at lower cost (No license cost + No Running Instances of Teamsite or Vignette required).

Content Migration is a very risky, customers are advised that there is no fully automatic or a neat way of doing it. Manual intervention and tweaking of trusted scripts, XMLs and non-java based templates is very much required in order to do the migration. Evaluate and request for case studies or a proof of concept from the product vendor before you make a decision.

I am glad that in the midst of acquisitions in the WCM space, Fatwire is the one of the niche player who is moving a step forward by collaborating with content migration service providers like Vamosa and Kapow. I hope this move will hold well for Fatwire in WCM market space.

How IBM is #1 in web portal software?

IT analyst firm Gartner, Inc., has ranked IBM as the worldwide market share leader in the Portal Products and User Interaction Tools enterprise software segment. Here is my take –

There is no question on the capabilities and functionalities of IBM WebSphere Portal V 6.1, which is well designed to collaborate the information from users, communities, corporate enterprises, and the Web. I will not discuss the cool and robust features of IBM but will list down the external factors that might have influenced the ranking-

1. Technology: Still the market share of .net is much less than java. IBM being a java based portal and is adopted by organizations who either already have java based software infrastructure or their decisive people are pro-java. I agree with Janus

“Microsoft is known to give away SharePoint like candy, so SharePoint might indeed have less revenue. A substantial portion of SharePoint licenses remain unused.”

Yes, the Adoption of SharePoint (MOSS) is much higher than any portal in the market (07-08), and who does the marketing better than MS, but the point has still not reached where SharePoint can be ranked as #1.

2. Choice: Do customers have choice?..ummm –lets find out-
a) Opensource/Liferay: Even though Liferay is named as the Visionary portal product in Gartner’s magic quadrant, the financial industry has no confidence in this open source portal. On the other hand, IBM software is being used by the top 10 global banks.

b) Sun JES Portal: before the acquisition: The setting sun finally decided to stop the further release if its enterprise portal product (last version 7.2) and decided to contribute towards Websynergy and Webspace (Liferay-Sun combo Prj).

c) Oracle/Weblogic/Webcenter: Oracle invested huge $$$ in their Webcenter portal project but failed to market their so-called strategic portal product. Market still questions Oracle’s portal leadership. With five portal products under its belt, seems like that sale and marketing team is confused on which portal to highlight. I believe that aqualogic and weblogic are doing pretty well but not widely adopted as IBM WebSphere.

3) Leadership/Support/Cost: IBM tops the chart in terms of cost for its product, services and support. Even then, organizations opt for security, availability, collaboration and other web2.0 stuffs over the cost. It might be because IBM promises better ROI. I believe that 2011 will be a crucial year for IBM portal after the economic recession ends as most of the organizations have kept their decisions on hold for buying an expensive portal products.

There can be other reasons as well such as innovations, industry types, underlying architecture etc that might have valued customers more in buying this product.

More information about the report, features, and a case study is here-
http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Web-Services-Web-20-and-SOA/Report-IBM-Number-One-in-Portal-Software-333186/

Another buyout. Who’s next?

Another big acquisition from shopaholic giant. Finally Oracle bought Sun Microsystems.

Anyways..I’ll leave other analysts to comment on hardware/storage/cloud computing and other areas. I am more interested to speculate the future of software products from Sun, example Sun Portal, Access Manager, Directory Server, and other open source projects. Here is my take in that –

Oracle already have five portals under its belt, out of with they have clearly indicated of taking Webcenter, Aqualogic and Weblogic forward.

With this buy out, Oracle might dispose Sun Portal, as this product from Sun is not doing great from last few years, even after Sun made heavy investments and revamped its portal suite during ’06-07. Sun failed to generate more ROI and is now supporting only its top 100 customers.

I also fear that it might be a dead end for all open source initiatives from Sun, as Oracle has never shown any interest in the Open Source arena. This might badly affect project Websynergy and Webspace (Liferay-Sun combo Prj), NetBeans IDE, PostgresSQL etc.

I think, Liferay is becoming more vulnerable for acquisition by Oracle as Sun had an interest initially and still have few ongoing projects with Liferay.

On the greener side, Oracle will get benefited with Sun’s IDM suite as Access Manager & Directory Server are widely used and now Oracle will have a reply to IBM’s Tivoli suite.

Let’s wait and watch what next will come under Oracle’s Business Process Management tag.

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