Also noteworthy, uPortal is designed primarily for institutions of higher education needing a personalized view of their campus Web. Using a set of Java classes and XML/XSL documents that are tuned for schools (rather than large corporations), this solution can be viable as long as you have staff with Java expertise.
Lastly, GridSphere provides a portal framework and a core set of portlets for creating user profiles and customizing the portal’s appearance. GridSphere is maintained by a small development team and boasts strong administration features that ease deploying portlets. Plus, you can build complex portlets using visual beans and the decent GridSphere User Interface tag library.
Our champion in content management systems is Alfresco, which leads an impressive field including DotNetNuke, Drupal, Joomla, and Plone. If the open source community expects their CMSes to be taken seriously, then these applications need to stand up to the same rigorous testing as their commercial counterparts -- and they do. (Look here for the detailed results of our comparative review on Oct. 1.)
Considering ease, features, security, scalability, and management, as well as other factors such as community strength and the backing organization's support, Alfresco emerges the clear winner. In particular, Alfresco's depth in multilingual content management, scalable deployment options, breadth of built-in applications, enterprise-grade security, and superior document management put it on top.
That's not to say the others are not extensible, lack support, or can't be localized. Runner-up Plone has all these traits, though you might need to search for an add-in. As we go down the list to DotNetNuke, Joomla, and Drupal, they also have many enterprise-class characteristics. But there are clear weaknesses as well. For example, Drupal and Joomla have fewer authentication options. DotNetNuke, while a .Net application, isn't so well integrated with Microsoft Office.
Still, the open source model is clearly thriving in the content management space, with these five solutions the standard-bearers out of a list numbering well over 100. Even considering the expected support and customization costs, constructing your CMS on an open source base will give you many benefits of commercial systems – and still leave you with enough funds to add features that you couldn't normally afford.
Several open source projects attempt to implement Exchange-compatible collaboration servers, but three really stand out: Open-Xchange, Scalix, and Zimbra, each available in commercial and community editions. All three are one-stop Exchange replacements for Linux. Our winner, Scalix, isn't the most feature-rich or innovative of the three (Zimbra is), but it has what most businesses expect from a mail and collaboration platform, along with a solid enterprise pedigree. Originally based on HP OpenMail and recently acquired by Xandros (formerly Corel Linux), Scalix sports a Web-based administration interface, strong Outlook and Novell Evolution integration, POP and IMAP standard servers, and a rich, Ajax mail and calendar client.
As is the case with Open-Xchange and Zimbra, Xandros open sources Scalix's foundation while setting aside the most lucrative bits as closed source. The open source Scalix does not implement the full Outlook client feature set. However, the downloadable binary Community Edition includes licenses for 25 "premium" users, and those users can effectively use Scalix with Outlook as though they're talking to Exchange.
Read more about applications in InfoWorld's Applications Channel.