Monday, January 30, 2006

The bigger picture

I recently commented on "Should BPM be a part of ECM":

One of the core ideas behind Magnolia 3.0's integration of openWFE is exactly that - making Magnolia part of a potential enterprise wide process management system. This allows to create content as part of a wider process, possibly involving completely different systems and technologies (openWFE is the only open-source distributed cross-platform BPM I know of and includes options to talk to it via REST, .net, Java, perl, ruby and python (I probably missed a couple).

As an example, look at the processes for an e-commerce based community plattform. This might include creating events and allowing people to register to these. The creation of an event is more than adding a web page - it needs to be organized first, and publishing and announcing it is part of the bigger picture. After that, the registrations need to be managed, additional registration information might be sent out, participants might have access to specific information on the page etc. pp.

You quickly see the power - and necessity - to provide business process integration as part of your (content management) solution once you realize that content is there for a purpose, and does not exist in a vacuum.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Sameer found the first feature list for Magnolia. This must have been nearly 3 years ago now (I think we started coding in March 2003). As the chinese proverb goes "A journey of thousand miles starts with the first step" - enjoy!
Obinary CMS OpenSource

Feature list :

Version :1 (very basic)

User Administration
  • None
  • System treats all users as Anonymous
Site/Content Administration
  • Page creating with selected template (user interface)
  • Content editing within page (basic text and image editing tools)
  • Possibility to create 'n' dynamic container lists (multiple components / multiple paragraphs).
  • Image upload (page related or shared images which could be uploaded to the image db)
  • File upload (same as image)
  • Easy editing for multiple sites, multi lingual sites.
  • Easy sharing of content and JSP's within different templates and content pages
  • Site structure is not dependent on language or multiple sites , its entirely up to the authors
Page generation (text based)
  • HTML
  • WML
  • XML
  • Standard API to create and retrieve content, specified structure.. but not restricted to or dependent on any specific implementation (API handling content storage and retrieval in a heirarchical structure)
  • Servlets or JSP templates
  • Templates would represent only a way to store and retrieve/display data
Simple caching
  • Content caching (text / image)
  • Independent to any implementation, authors will be able to push/activate content to various locations
  • Not limited to any number of stages
  • Admin and live sites could be 2 separate stages

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Red Hat: The mother of all open source business models

Matt Asay in AC/OS: Red Hat: The mother of all open source business models provides some insight why he thinks Red Hat has such a great open source business model. With all of us struggling to find the real McCoy in open source business models, examples of things that actually work are rare and welcome.

Simply put, the difficulty lies in making money when people can download your software for free. Apparently one way to avoid the freeloaders (well, at least significantly increase the number of people that pay for your software) seems to be to provide the source but not the binary for free. This was a suggestion I made when we started out with Magnolia - simply said, I proposed to sell the installer.

The one thing I never figured out is how to make sure others do not simply take the code, compile it, and then provide it for free. In the case of Magnolia, anybody could provide an installer. The same is true for all other open source code - unless the license forbids you to actually resell a compiled binary, anybody could.

Of course, the question remains: who actually would? Well, it has been done before (remember how vTiger took the sugarCRM code base, removed the copyright, and rebranded it as vTiger?). These cases are rare, however. At the same time they are legal (except, removing the copyright notice was not).

Lets have a close look at what Matt says about Red Hat and why it works. If there is a fireproof way to create license revenue while providing the source code, I'd love to make all our products open source.

LinuxTag - my proposals

I have had a number of ideas for the LinuxTag call-for-papers - but as so often, time only allows to flesh out two of them - which I did.

My first proposal will be a magnolia product presentation for decision makers. This talk will focus on the things that make Magnolia interesting for the enterprise:

We will present an introduction to the business benefits of Magnolia, aimed at decision makers, not developers (but of course everybody is welcome).

The talk will include a product demo to give an impression of the usability benefits of Magnolia, but focus on providing examples of how Magnolia's enterprise aware design provide significant benefits for medium and large enterprises.

We will shortly introduce JSR-170, the new standard for content storage, that has been the basis of Magnolia development. Magnolia currently is the only open source content management system that has been built specifically on JSR-170, but several other projects are starting to see the benefits of a standard repository and are on its way to adopt it.

It will further present the new Magnolia 3.0 architecture which combines Magnolia with openWFE, resulting in the most sophisticated workflow and enterprise application integration possibilities of any open source CMS available today.

We will then present the major benefits Magnolia brings to your enterprise, and talk about some existing implementations to give an overview of where Magnolia is useful.

An overview of coming attractions will wrap up the talk.

My second proposal recylcles my previous investment into researching the evaluation of open source communities, which I did for my series of articles for the Enterprise Open Source Journal (released any day now):

This talk looks at "The Community" from an enterprise perspective. From the premise that "Open Source is more than access to code" we define what "The Community" is, why it is important for your enterprise, and how to gauge the liveliness of any open source project. We provide some real world numbers for content management system communities. It ends with an overview how your enterprise can benefit by becoming part of a "The Community" itself.

Lets hope this is the stuff the LinuxTag guys are interested in ;-)

Thursday, January 12, 2006

LinuxTag 2006

I am on the team preparing the Information Web track of LinuxTag 2006

LinuxTag is Europe's most important event for free and open-source software. In 2005, over 12,000 visitors experienced this unique combination of conferences, tutorials and trade fair. The twelfth incarnation of this great arrangement will provide up-to-date information to power users, decision makers and researchers, as well as to software developers, newcomers and the open-source community.

Seems this is going to be a great event. Only three days left for the call-for-papers. I hope I will be there (and talk about something Magnolia)