InfoWorld Test Center Guide: Content management systems

Before you invest in a CMS, be it a high-end corporate solution or an open source alternative, learn which features are important

Other mainstream CMSes to consider: Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007 WCM, PaperThin CommonSpot 5.0, Serena's Collage Enterprise, and Sitecore CMS.

SDL's Tridion, now at Version 5.3, won't have you yearning for more. Implementing all its features puts it in the upper-tier price range, but you get everything you pay for: .Net-based template creation plus Unix and Java server platform support for content delivery; audience targeting and personalization; multichannel delivery, including print and outbound e-mail; WebForms for online service and related applications; and simple content sharing to quickly build global sites, including those requiring double-byte languages.

Also in the upper tier for your consideration, Day Software Communiqué, FatWire Content Server 7, Mediasurface's flagship Morello ,and Immediacy (for startup projects), and Percussion Software's Rhythmyx WCM solution.

Although this guide doesn't formally cover ECM platforms, there are components of these systems that large organizations may want to evaluate to satisfy Web publishing needs. EMC Documentum Web Content Management, IBM Workplace WCM, Interwoven's Web Content Management package (Teamsite, LiveSite, MediaBin), Oracle Web Content Management, and Vignette Content Management are all viable candidates.

Of the hosted services, CrownPeak CMS tops our list. That said, Clickability cmPublish is running the online side of some top-market newspapers and other media outlets – proving it has the usability and scalability that large enterprise also demand. And Omniture Publish (part of the Visual Sciences purchase), gives you the advantage of melding publishing and Web analytics.

InfoWorld recently discussed open source CMSes at length, with Alfresco WCM scoring highest because of its usability and extensibility; for enterprises wanting support, Alfresco also proved very strong. Magnolia is another option, with both enterprise and community (free) editions. Other notable open source CMS projects include Drupal, Joomla, OpenCms, Plone CMS, and TYPO3.

Choosing an appropriate content management system certainly requires a thorough analysis of your organization's needs, then matching them to a product's features – while respecting your budget and resource constraints. If you didn't initially, also think about how the CMS can go beyond content publishing. Efficient customer service, new revenue opportunities, and better ways to communicate with clients are all real possibilities without breaking the bank.

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