Test Center review: New Day dawns for Web CMS
Day Communique WCM 5.1 impresses with snappy GUI and rich features for business users, easy setup and management for techsFollow @infoworld
In addition to the context-aware menus, you can work on pages through the "sidekick" widget. I found this preferable when developing intricate layouts. That's because the sidekick provides fast access to the many available pre-built components, which range from slideshows to text areas.
I was very pleased with the system's fast response when dragging these components on to pages and then reordering; there was no screen refresh lag. More important, changes were immediately committed to the repository.
My site, your site
Perhaps the most important new capability, from a Web 2.0 perspective, is the way CQ5 handles personalization. Every site visitor is potentially a registered user with a unique profile. For example, you could match profile information with tags placed on a page to deliver content tailored to the person's interest.
Taking this further, each site is really a Web 2.0 portal. In my test intranet, I easily allowed each employee to add a Google Gadget to their home page. Because I knew each user's identity based on their log-in, it was easy to give them rights to upload documents or comment on a blog entry.
CQ5 introduces social search -- something that other CMS products usually make you buy from another vendor. I found that anonymous users got very good results. However, when the application compared previous queries of registered users who looked for the same information, the results more accurately reflected their common interests.
I also liked the new graphical Workflow Console, which is aimed at the business user. CQ5 ships with a number of business models with professional layouts and easy-to-change properties. Additionally, I had no problem inserting complex steps -- such as timeouts and delegation -- into workflows using the drag-and-drop interface.
To conclude testing, I looked at two important functions for datacenter staff: hot backup and clustering. CQ5 uses Apache Felix OSGi technology to bundle the current state of the system and the entire application. This process let me create the backup (without interrupting users) and have it running on a new server within minutes.
Similarly, setting up a server cluster took nothing more than installing the CQ5 software on another box, marking it as a slave, and referencing the first server; everything was then replicated to the slave without the need for restarts.
Overall, Communiqué 5.1 nicely matches the requirements I look for in a contemporary Web content manager. The only drawback is the convoluted way to create new sites and templates. Instead of working within the main interface, you fire up an Eclipse integrated development environment to edit Java and configuration files -- something that’s beyond the skills of business users. Even so, this CMS is worth a serious look.