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Online Publishing & Content Management with Open Source Software The Non-Profit Technology Conference March 27, 2004. Session Overview. Introductions Where We Are Today Is an OSS CMS Right for Your Organization? Examples of Open Source CMS in Use A View from Within Resources Q & A.

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Online Publishing & Content Management with Open Source Software

The Non-Profit Technology Conference

March 27, 2004

session overview
Session Overview
  • Introductions
  • Where We Are Today
  • Is an OSS CMS Right for Your Organization?
  • Examples of Open Source CMS in Use
  • A View from Within
  • Resources
  • Q & A
  • Panelists
    • Jeff Herron, Beaconfire Consulting – Washington, DC
    • Shefali Gupta, HealthWrights – Palo Alto, CA
    • Manu Gupta, HealthWrights – Palo Alto, CA
  • Questions for Audience
    • What is your role in your organization?
    • What would you like to learn today?
current state of oss cms
Current State of OSS CMS
  • 50+ OSS CMSes to choose from
  • Nearly all on LAMP platform
    • Linux
    • Apache
    • MySQL
    • PHP
  • Standards finally emerging
  • Forking still rampant
decision making challenges
Decision Making Challenges
  • Decision Making Challenges
    • No clear decision maker or ‘owner’; budget = control?
    • Lack of buy-in and support from stakeholders
    • Making the case for spending $ on technology
    • Not determining and budgeting for full cost of ownership
    • Complex mix of choices, sacrifices, trade-offs and risks with few clear ‘right’ answers – How to choose?
    • Will I get stuck with something obsolete, proprietary, or tied to a particular vendor?
    • Viability of vendors and technology options. Will they survive?
  • Functional Considerations – Project Specific
    • What features are required?
    • What features are nice to have?
    • Budget
    • Timeline
  • Business Considerations – Organization Specific
    • Opportunity Cost / Strategic Goals
    • Total Cost of Ownership (one time, recurring, support costs)
    • Change Management - Impact to Organization
    • Time to Implement
    • Risk Tolerance (to project and to organization)
    • Usability
    • Vendor Characteristics (financial viability, culture, customer service, licenses)
  • Technology Considerations – IT Specific
    • Maturity of Product/Technology
    • Scalability & Performance
    • Portability – multiple platforms, lock-in
    • Reliability
    • Interoperability: Compatibility, Data Exchange, & Integration
    • Security
    • Flexibility / Extensibility
decision making criteria
Decision Making Criteria
  • Must have a clearly defined and widely accepted basis for making a decision, otherwise…
    • Lack of buy-in
    • Pre-determined selection – just a formality
    • Decision by intuition or gut feel or style of sales team
    • Don’t realize how minor vendor differences affect organizational priorities
  • Which considerations rise above the rest? Make your decision criteria reflect your priorities and USE THEM.
    • Common Decision Making Criteria
      • Budget
      • Key Features
      • Timeline
      • Technology Ownership Model Preference
best practices
Best Practices
  • Selection Process Steps
    • Prioritize requirements
    • Determine Key Decision Criteria
    • Research available solutions
    • Head to head comparison of options
    • Objective evaluation of capabilities vs. sales claims
    • Demos
    • Q&A with vendor/solution reps / Due Diligence
    • Negotiations and contracts etc
  • Recommendations
    • Making smart technology selection decisions is based on clearly defined criteria and an understanding of your needs.
    • Evaluate Functional, Business AND Technical considerations.
    • Realize limits of the process and overcome challenges with planning.
    • Most often the business considerations are overlooked. Functional and Technical considerations are usually part of the process
technology ownership models
Technology Ownership Models
  • There are several common models for technology ownership.
  • Ownership Model Impacts:
    • Total Cost of Ownership
    • Fit to client requirements
    • Development time frame
    • Dependence on vendor
    • Upgrades and innovation
    • Control of code and future enhancements
    • Maturity of features
cms solution options
CMS Solution Options
  • Depending on the Features and functions required of a CMS, there are several categories of solutions.
  • Open Source software can be present in any of these solution categories. Majority of well known open source tools in the CMS Framework, CMS Product and CMS + Community categories.
oss vs proprietary cms tools
OSS vs. Proprietary CMS Tools
  • Total Cost of Ownership
    • Lower Acquisition Costs for OSS (no license)
    • Often higher implementation effort – requires customization and polish for business users
  • Maturity of Solutions?
    • Explosion of OSS CMS tools means more options
    • However, many are fragmented and development stalled.
    • OSS best suited for use by technologists not business users
      • Derivative products more refined (PostNuke better than PHPNuke)
    • OSS Strongest in Content Delivery
      • Evolved from application server environments (Zope)
      • Frameworks for development rather than fully formed solutions
      • Best suited for intranet/extranet or workgroup CMS
    • OSS Weakest in Content Production (entry, workflow, versioning)
      • End user features & administrative interfaces are less polished
oss vs proprietary cms tools1
OSS vs. Proprietary CMS Tools
  • Support
    • Documentation and training often less complete for OSS.
    • OSS projects supported by a company (Plone, eZ Publish) are be better.
    • Developer Community – typically a strength of OSS;
  • Upgrades & Enhancements
    • OSS driven by user community rather than a company.
      • Great if community is motivated and innovative.
      • Less ideal if effort stalls or becomes fragmented.
  • Proprietary Solution Competition
    • Inexpensive, feature rich proprietary solutions are emerging that mitigate OSS’s most compelling benefit vs proprietary solutions – price.
  • African Conflict Journal – PHP Nuke

  • - eZpublish
case study healthwrights
Case Study: HealthWrights

Knowledge Sharing Network

  • Spectrum of health & policy issues
  • Participatory: representing global voices
  • Professionally managed and edited
case study healthwrights1
Case Study: HealthWrights

Why CMS?

  • Content Management
  • Create truly collaborative network
  • Ease of use for all audiences (international, low tech)
case study healthwrights2
Case Study: HealthWrights

CMS Selection Criteria

  • Desired features in CMS: article submission, workflow, referencing…
  • Costs
  • Technology familiarity
  • Support: documentation, community,
  • Clients/references using CMS
case study healthwrights3
Case Study: HealthWrights


  • Prototype
  • Volunteer Model
    • Collaborative
    • Learning curve
  • Model Sites
  • Customization
case study healthwrights4
Case Study: HealthWrights

Project Management

  • Timeline
  • Technology Building Capacity
case study healthwrights5
Case Study: HealthWrights
  • “Our experience with Open Source CMS technology has revolutionized our thinking.”

  • Content Management System Comparison


final thoughts questions
Final Thoughts & Questions
  • Open source ≠ Free
  • Not all OSS CMSes are created equal
  • Hit the books

Ryan Ozimek

PICnet, Inc.

[email protected]

(202) 585-0239

Shefali Gupta


[email protected]

(650) 325-7500

Manu Gupta


[email protected]

(650) 325-7500

Jeff Herron

Beaconfire Consulting

[email protected]

(703) 534-1559